A Bilingual Pupil's Profile – Case Study Example

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The paper “ A Bilingual Pupil’ s Profile” is an impressive variant of a case study on education. This is a case study of a nine-year-old Polish girl, Anna, who was born in Poland. Her family moved to England in 2006 where she was admitted to a Catholic primary school. Anna had commenced formal education while in Poland at the age of seven. She had to adjust to the new environment, learn English, and a means of learning in the English school and be able to interact with people in her immediate environment effortlessly.

The journey of her learning a new language does not roll out smoothly despite her being an English additional language (EAL) pupil back in Poland. The program was at its tender age and there were experienced teachers to guide her through. Anna comes to England when her mastery of English is non-existent and she can barely be referred to as bilingual. Through the efforts of her teachers and peers, a social network is formed at school and back at home that enables her to learn the English language and converse with others confidently (Baker, 2011).

The process has its own challenges and hiccups but despite everything's journey of learning English is steady and self-assuring both to her peers and the teachers. The essay is an analysis of Anna’ s experiences as a second language learner within a new environment.     DiscussionAnna's admission into a school in England made him frightened and nervous. She was worried that other children will think she was not clever simply because she could not speak perfect English. It is unfortunate that the family lived in an isolated background hence Anna did not have a chance to interact with other children hence helping her to feel at ease.

The time spends at school seemed to be too long to bear since Anna had problems communicating effectively with other children in class or during playtime. The isolation in her home denied Anna social networks that would have helped her to cope in the new environment (Bialystok & Majumder, 1998). It was normal for her to feel frightened since she was setting her feet in a new environment and the fear of what will befall her future preoccupied her.

Back in Poland she was not bilingual and the EAL program was in its tender stage and there were enough teachers to provide guidance for the new learners. However, earlier exposure to English somehow prepared Anna for the tough path she had to work in a new environment, in a new school, and in a foreign country. Studies have shown that Bilingual participants are less accurate and slower in a picture-naming task as compared to monolinguals (De Mejí a, 2002). Bilinguals at any stage show better executive control as opposed to monolinguals matched in age as well as other background factors.

Executive control refers to a set of cognitive skills established on cognitive resources for functions like inhibition, working memory, and switching attention (Bialystok, Craik & Luk, 2012). The types of inhibitions differ in their basic domain of influence. Local inhibition mostly affects linguistic performance while global inhibition affects both cognitive and linguistic performance. Executive control is very important in children since it is crucial to academic achievement and hence academic success is an important determinant of long-term health and wellbeing (Garcí a & Baker, 2007).

Executive control comes up late in the development stage and weakens early in aging, and aids activities like high level thought, sustained attention, and multi-tasking. In many cases, a bilingual possesses an intellectual advantage as compared to monolinguals since his or her thinking is not restricted by language (Peal & Lambert, 1962). People who have knowledge of more than language find it easier to learn new languages as compared to monolinguals (Ruiz, 1984Anna was a monolingual and hence she found it difficult to adapt to English in a new environment.

She had been used to Polish and could not speak any other language. Exposure to English as a second language gave her a chance of learning a new language.            

References

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Ruiz, R. 1984, Orientations in language planning, NABE Journal 8 (2): 15-34.

Vertovec, S. 2006, The emergence of super-diversity in Britain, Centre on migration, policy, and society, University of Oxford.

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