Multilingualism, multilingual identity and academic attainment: evidence from secondary schools in England

Rutgers, D., Evans, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Gayton, A. and Liu, Y. (2021) Multilingualism, multilingual identity and academic attainment: evidence from secondary schools in England. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, (doi: 10.1080/15348458.2021.1986397) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Multilingualism is highly prevalent in schools around the world. Yet, the relationship between multilingualism and academic attainment is not well understood. Where research on this topic exists, it has predominantly focused on how home language background impacts on academic success, lacking in a broader view of multilingualism which extends beyond home languages and also considers the identity component of being multilingual. This paper explores the relationship between multilingualism, multilingual identity and academic attainment. Using school-reported and student-reported data from five secondary schools in Southeast England, we disentangle the complexity of multilingualism in schools by contrasting self- and other-ascriptions of multilingualism, as well as investigating indicators of “multilingualism” and “multilingual identity.” Our findings reveal meaningful differences between how students are identified and identify themselves as “multilingual,” and foregrounds “multilingual identity” as a potentially more meaningful indicator for understanding academic attainment than multilingualism indicators traditionally used in United Kingdom schools.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AH/N004671/1].
Keywords:Linguistics and Language, Language and Linguistics, Education
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gayton, Dr Angela
Authors: Rutgers, D., Evans, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Gayton, A., and Liu, Y.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Journal of Language, Identity and Education
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1534-8458
ISSN (Online):1532-7701
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Journal of Language, Identity & Education 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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