Crutchley, Alison (1999) Professional Attitudes and Experience in Relation to Bilingual Children Attending Language Units. British Educational Research Journal, 25 (3). pp. 371-387. ISSN 01411926

A large-cohort study looking at children with speech and language difficulties attending 'language units' across England identified a small subgroup of the cohort who were bilingual. Interview data were collected to try to shed light on differences found between this 'bilingual' subgroup and the rest of the cohort. Head-teachers and language unit teachers were asked about levels of involvement of bilingual parents in school or unit life, about the level of provision available for bilingual children in the local education authority (LEA) and about the adequacy of this provision. Qualitative analysis of 'themes' indicated that differences existed between head and unit teachers in patterns of answers in all of these areas. However, relating these qualitative results to quantitative data from a questionnaire survey of English LEAs revealed that attitudes and knowledge also varied according to the location of the school (in a Greater London, metropolitan or non-metropolitan LEA). It is thus suggested that these differences in attitude may be linked to the experience that unit and headteachers have of bilingual children and their families.

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