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Migrants 'do not lower school results'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by chelsea2, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    What an interesting report. And its scope is global - but the UK comes out very positively.
    Maybe this report will help change people's perceptions that migrant children have a negative effect on a school's performance?

    'Higher levels of immigration do not damage educational achievement in the host country, a global study from the OECD economic think tank suggests.

    It found no link between the numbers of migrant children and the performance of school systems.

    But it indicated wide gaps in a sense of "belonging" - with the lowest levels among migrant students in France.

    The OECD's Andreas Schleicher said many migrant families were "hugely motivated" to succeed in education.

    The study also examined how much young migrants identified with their school or felt excluded.

    It found that migrant pupils in the UK and the US were particularly likely to be positive about schools in their adopted country - while in France and Belgium, they were among the least likely to feel a sense of belonging.'

    Full report at:
  2. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    "The performance of school systems"? What does that mean? The last school I worked at had a huge influx of NTE migrants and the pace of lessons slowed considerably to accommodate the many EAL students. The English GCSE results plummeted because although they picked up the spoken language commendably quickly, our exam system (in alll subjects) requires you to write at length in English.
  3. Alf58

    Alf58 Established commenter

    I suspect if the OECD people had discovered anything other than migrants are great the report would have been quietly shelved.
    xena-warrior likes this.
  4. gregometer

    gregometer Occasional commenter

    Okay. You have 17 native British speakers and 12 immigrants, newly arrived, with little English in a class. You have another class with 29 native British speakers.

    And they both perform the same? It defies all common sense and most certainly my experience is that large proportions of non British speaking children in a class slows everything right down, as you are forced to spend far more time accommodating their considerable needs.

    What a completely stupid report. I bet if someone dug deeper, you'd find it was financed and commissioned by some pro immigration group, or Corbyn.
  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that...
  6. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Obviously very recent immigrants still learning English in an exam year are going to be at a disadvantage, but it looks like the willingness to learn and hard work from immigrant children in general offsets this. It looks like the message is that, yes, someone arriving with limited English in Y11 might get poor results, but someone arriving in the same situation in Y6 will likely go on to get better results than their born-British counterparts.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    They won't perform the same.
    In terms of EAL, I've taught immigrant pupils with a better knowledge of English grammar than any of the non-EAL lot, pupils who know Latin and a variety of MFL, pupils whose grammatical knowledge of their first language meant they found English easier and at the other end of the scale pupils who were illiterate in their first language and pupils where it took us weeks to figure out what the first language was.
    Aside from EAL, pupils in my classes range from ones who are fluent and can analyse complex texts to those who will barely grunt an answer, have limited vocabulary and whose written work is limited to about 300 words of barely understandable prose.
    Now which 29 did you want to compare?
  8. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Mixed-nationality, multiple-language classes are not a homeogenous entity. At my last school we had many mid-year refugees throughout KS3 and 4, and a sudden heavy influx of Czech and Romanian. Their academic achievements were severely hampered by the demands of needing written English alongside learning a new language after a period of dislocation.
    We also had the sons and daughters of academics visiting the University, several Chinese students (hurray!) and the offspring of well-to-do Middle East migrants who had been taught English by tutors from infancy. This group had no impact n lesson pace and content, other than to accelerate it.
    You have to compare like with like.
  9. kittykinsfluffty

    kittykinsfluffty New commenter

    Possible they don't. (Not at all convinced by anything from them)

    But how much does it cost the tax payer to 'educate' migrants whose English might be non-existant when they arrive - and how much extra work does it generate for the average teacher - who is not remunerated?
  10. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    The EAL dept maintains that Immersion is the best policy for NTE pupils. Maybe it is - personally I think they should all spend one whole term in a specialist facility before being dumped on mainstream - but it doesn't take into account the extra burden placed upon a subject teacher whose sole function is to get an arbitrary set of results for the class.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Of course not, but do all pupils do what they are expected to do?
  12. ChrisKRT

    ChrisKRT New commenter

    I kind of agree and disagree with a lot of what has been said here, but the main reason for that is that although I'm an ITT specialising in MFL now, I spent twelve years teaching EFL.

    It is possible for EAL students to be brought up to a stage where they don't have an impact on exam results (although I question the report too). However, does the government provide schools with resources to do that effectively? A lot of the time, I would argue they don't.

    Maybe there need to be SENCOs who specifically specialise in teaching ESL to absolute beginner? English teachers can help with the literacy skills, and Maths teachers can help with numeracy, but there is help that EAL students need beyond that. I also don't think a term is enough to give them that level of specialist help, but there again, you come to the issue mentioned earlier of funding.

    I don't know whether the answer is to spend money better, establish some form of ESL provision or simply continue to immerse EAL students in classes. There is some merit to theories about immersion though, as well - however barking people sometimes think Krashen's theories are, the input hypothesis has been shown to work, and a lot of us do learn a language quite quickly when we have to adapt to total immersion in a second language.

    That would be my question - can we think of a better option?
  13. drek

    drek Star commenter

    The EAL dept insist that immersion is the best way to learn?
    Would it suit the fact that they are short staffed and under resourced? I'm not disagreeing but it does seem convenient. Teachers of core subjects are supposed to give them resources to adapt, but they are too busy, preparing lesson plans to teach small groups of EAL students taken out of non core lessons, too short staffed, or have too many non essential reports and forms to fill out for performance management purposes to do it!
    Or when they go on maternity leave there is often no one else to do it!
    So teachers end up doing the EAL person's job as well as well as their own, but owing to performance management demands, often not relevant to lessons or students we teach, most don't have the time.
    I remember when they used to insist we hand our lesson plans to EAL and Sen staff a week before so they can 'prepare the resources' beforehand.
    But they never had the time to do anything, whilst the teachers were scrutinised to see if they had spent all weekend preparing these plans! So they were left with no time to adapt the resources either. I'm talking about 4 page 'templates' written by anal media studies assistant head with nothing else to do plans.
    EALs were overworked doing far too much for far too little pay, often told they can use the route into 'teaching' used to cover lessons for very little extra pay to this end, then discarded. Or made into HOYs
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  14. ChrisKRT

    ChrisKRT New commenter

    I think it would suit the fact that they are short-staffed and under-resourced, and thanks, Drek - you've kind of confirmed my assumptions there. The trouble is, there are a lot of people who want to get into teaching that have a background in providing this very kind of support. I, for one, wouldn't mind being an MFL teacher and EAL support because I could imagine it being a pretty rewarding job. However, the issue then is the resources need to be there to help EAL support to do their job and pay them appropriately to cover what is actually a difficult SEN to cater for.

    I don't think it's necessarily reasonable to ask the teachers to do that either though, because they really haven't been properly trained in EAL, at least, not from what I've seen so far. That feels like one demand too far, especially with ever-increasing performance management targets.

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