Book Chapter

Pedagogy and bilingual pupils in primary schools: certainties from applied linguistics



Creese A (2011) Pedagogy and bilingual pupils in primary schools: certainties from applied linguistics. In: Ellis S & McCartney E (eds.) Applied Linguistics and Primary School Teaching. Cambridge: Cambride University Press, pp. 186-198.

During the annual half-day session devoted to learning about English as an additional language (EAL) on a crowded initial teacher training curriculum at the University of Birmingham, one trainee teacher approached me at the end of my guest lecture. She wanted to check that she had understood my endorsement of her bilingualism in the primary school classroom. She wanted confirmation that she could and should use Urdu alongside her English. Unlike many of my responses to the complex questions students ask, I was able to give a clear unambiguous answer ‘Yes’. Using the linguistic resources of teachers and pupils in the endeavour of learning and teaching to engage and facilitate is to be endorsed and supported in our school classrooms. In this chapter, I draw on a body of research to consider how teacher and pupil languages and varieties of languages can serve as resources in the primary school classroom. I show how pupil and teacher bilingualism can be used in multilingual classrooms drawing on two different contexts. The first is a Gujarati complementary school in Leicester while the second is a Birmingham primary school. I make the argument that we should be encouraging code-switching as a pedagogic resource for teaching and learning and suggest that our initial and continuing teacher development programmes need to offer support and strategies to teachers to implement such an approach.

Applied Linguistics and Primary School Teaching

Publication date31/12/2011
Publication date online01/04/2011
PublisherCambride University Press
Place of publicationCambridge

People (1)


Professor Angela Creese

Professor Angela Creese

Professor in Education, Education