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Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools

Orhan Agirdag (UGent)
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Abstract
A growing body of empirical studies indicates the educational benefits of bilingualism. Despite this tendency, bilingual minority students are being pressured by school authorities to shed their mother tongues. We conducted qualitative interviews with Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students in Flemish (Belgium) secondary schools to investigate how students evaluate their languages, how Dutch monolingualism is imposed, and how students respond to the dominance of monolingualism. Our results indicate that the mother tongues of bilingual students are mainly perceived as a barrier to educational and occupational success, while the benefits of bilingualism are unknown. Thus, both Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students approved of speaking one language. We also found that monolingualism was strongly imposed on students by explicit encouragement, formal punishment when bilinguals speak their mother tongue, and exclusion of foreign languages from the cultural repertoire of the school. These results are discussed as they relate to policy-makers, scholars of bilingualism and institutional racism.
Keywords
CHILDREN, FAMILY, bilingualism, ASSIMILATION, monolingualism, Turkish students, doxa, bilingual education, institutional racism, ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT, LANGUAGE, PERCEPTIONS, 2ND-GENERATION

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MLA
Agirdag, Orhan. “Exploring Bilingualism in a Monolingual School System: Insights from Turkish and Native Students from Belgian Schools.” BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION 31.3 (2010): 307–321. Print.
APA
Agirdag, O. (2010). Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION, 31(3), 307–321.
Chicago author-date
Agirdag, Orhan. 2010. “Exploring Bilingualism in a Monolingual School System: Insights from Turkish and Native Students from Belgian Schools.” British Journal of Sociology of Education 31 (3): 307–321.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Agirdag, Orhan. 2010. “Exploring Bilingualism in a Monolingual School System: Insights from Turkish and Native Students from Belgian Schools.” British Journal of Sociology of Education 31 (3): 307–321.
Vancouver
1.
Agirdag O. Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION. 2010;31(3):307–21.
IEEE
[1]
O. Agirdag, “Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools,” BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 307–321, 2010.
@article{933795,
  abstract     = {A growing body of empirical studies indicates the educational benefits of bilingualism. Despite this tendency, bilingual minority students are being pressured by school authorities to shed their mother tongues. We conducted qualitative interviews with Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students in Flemish (Belgium) secondary schools to investigate how students evaluate their languages, how Dutch monolingualism is imposed, and how students respond to the dominance of monolingualism. Our results indicate that the mother tongues of bilingual students are mainly perceived as a barrier to educational and occupational success, while the benefits of bilingualism are unknown. Thus, both Turkish-bilingual and native-monolingual students approved of speaking one language. We also found that monolingualism was strongly imposed on students by explicit encouragement, formal punishment when bilinguals speak their mother tongue, and exclusion of foreign languages from the cultural repertoire of the school. These results are discussed as they relate to policy-makers, scholars of bilingualism and institutional racism.},
  author       = {Agirdag, Orhan},
  issn         = {0142-5692},
  journal      = {BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION},
  keywords     = {CHILDREN,FAMILY,bilingualism,ASSIMILATION,monolingualism,Turkish students,doxa,bilingual education,institutional racism,ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT,LANGUAGE,PERCEPTIONS,2ND-GENERATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {307--321},
  title        = {Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425691003700540},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2010},
}

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