I suggest those who see language only as a means of communication fail to appreciate that language equals cultural values and creates a bond between people - if you force a foreigner to speak YOUR language this opportunity is lost. This stuff matters in business and politics. the arrogance of the English speaker who shouts and waves his hands about is mocked around the world! Learning another language helps you understand the rules of language in general, and that has grammar too! Through learning a new language, you understand your own better. ANY foreign language will improve your grammar in your own language. Bilingual children know more grammar through their acquisition of grammar. They therefore understand grammatical relations better than monolingual children.
A primary school teacher asking her pupils in the classroom: What do you call a person who speaks 3 languages? Trilingual! what do you call the person who speaks 2 languages? Bilingual. And what do you call a person who speaks only one language? British!
English is not a peace building language for the Muslim children in British schooling. Majority of English speaking Muslim youths are extremists, find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. One can find English speaking Muslim youths in Syria and Iraq, in prison and in the mental hospital. Thanks to English language. English is the economic language of the Muslims while Arabic , Urdu and other community languages are the social and emotional languages of the Muslim community.
The UK is so backwards when it comes to languages. In Spain I have sat in a plaza watching a bunch of kids of various nationalities playing football and flipping between half a dozen languages from Arabic to Spanish to English and French and so on - all of them no more than 7 or 8, all of them with more than one language.
Bilingualism has positive effects on children’s linguistic and educational development. The level of development of children’s mother tongue is a strong predictor of their second language development. Mother tongue promotion in the school helps develop not only the mother tongue but also children abilities in the majority school language. Spending instructional time through minority language in the school does not hurt children’s academic development in the majority school language. When parent’s culture are recognized by the school, their interest and involvement in the curriculum often increase dramatically.
Migrant Muslim children in all western countries not only learn and be well versed in local language but also learn Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
One in six children in English primary schools do not have English as a first language.This does not mean that their level of English is poor or non-existent. In some cases it is very good. Being bilingual will help in their general education.Stop hating on the immigrants their children also have the right to go to school like the British children and the British children are not good in school!!!! "These are real languages: living languages that give people a huge insight into culture and give the children who can speak them additional opportunities. "Isn't that what education is about – enabling every child to achieve the maximum potential? What I'd love to see is an emphasis that this is an added value that that child has, a talent, and we should aspire to allow other children who may be monolingual to strive to become as bilingual as they possibly can be." The more languages one speaks, the greater is one's capacity to engage with, and profit from meeting other people... and you also learn a lot about yourself in this process.Fifty years ago it would have been harder to try and educate children bilingually, since the pressures to 'seem English' would have been greater, and for some immigrants the main priority was to Anglicize their children as soon as possible, which is fair enough. There has been a change in attitude and I reckon that now it is much easier and well accepted, but still some foreigners living in the UK seem reluctant to transfer their native language to their children. I teach 4-5 year olds and find that children learn a English much more quickly if they speak their home language well. If parents don't encourage their home language at home, children risk not speaking any language fluently.
Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one's culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children's alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grandparents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.
“A good grasp of one’s mother tongue is an essential base for a child who then has to get to grips with the language of their host country,” reckons Amelia Lambelet of the Fribourg Institute of Multilingualism. Therese Salzmann, an expert in multilingualism at the Swiss Institute of Youth and Media, agrees. “The teaching of mother tongues reinforces self-confidence and gives the child a feeling of security.” She adds that “taking account of a child’s double cultures is a determining factor in their social integration and professional success.”
We should celebrate bilingualism and multilingualism. Through studies and views from distinguished English Professors brought to our attention through this article there is the need to bolster the status of community languages which adds to young people’s self-respect, self-esteem, and it is an acknowledgement, a recognition of their home language and culture.
The availability to sit exams and take qualification in a community language in different levels is necessary in order to recognize and support the linguistic capabilities of young people today.
There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted. The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won't feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.
I regard Muslim schools not just Faith schools but more or less bilingual schools. I set up the first Muslim school in Forest Gate London in 1981. Special attention was given to Standard English, Arabic and Urdu languages along with National Curriculum. The teaching of Standard English will help them to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village, he/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit.
The sound knowledge of one's owns language would appear to help – not hinder the acquisition of a second language and bilingual children may even have cognitive advantages and that the ability to speak more than one language is going to be increasingly important for the world of the future. Therefore, Muslim children and young Muslims have potentially a major educational advantage, although sadly this is not being developed well at present. British policy makers now recognise bilingualism as an educational asset rather than a problem. Education plays a central role in the transmission of languages from one generation to the next. The teaching of mother tongues is essential in terms of culture and identity. Arabic is a religious language for the Muslims but for Pakistanis, Urdu is also essential for culture and identity. Blind Muslim children in Bradford are learning to read Arabic and Urdu Braille, by a blind teacher who travelled from Pakistan. Now blind Muslim children are not going to miss out on culture, religion, language and the social aspects and integration into their own community and identity.
As a British Pakistani myself, and a Muslim, I am deeply proud of my heritage and language. At home i speak my own languages, Punjabi and Urdu.
A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. A Muslim must learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time they must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. English is their economic language while Arabic and Urdu are their religious, social and emotional languages. It is purely an educational question.
The largest ethnic minority groups in British schools are children of Pakistani origin: a community often accused of resisting assimilation and integration. Ann Cryer, the MP for Keighley blamed Imams for not speaking English. She should blame British schooling for not teaching Urdu/Arabic to Pakistani children, thus depriving them of understanding the Sermons in Arabic/Urdu. They are unable to enjoy the beauty of Urdu/Arabic literature and poetry. Imams are not part of the problem rather than the solutions. There is a proposal to teach Urdu as a compulsory language instead of French and German in British schools. The British Government is urged to remove the requirement in the National Curriculum that children between the ages of 11-14 study at least one European language. The linguistic abilities of large number of Muslim children were being ignored because they had to learn another European language as well as mastering English. The Government must promote the status of Urdu language instead of languages of European origin. Tim Benson, head of Nelson primary school in Newham said that the “nationalistic curriculum failed to recognize the staggering array of linguistic abilities and competencies” in schools such as his, where the pupils spoke more than 40 languages. The linguistic dexterity of families speaking an array of languages was celebrated but the “awesome achievements” of children mastering three or four languages were barely recognised by the education system. Social and emotional education comes with your own language-literature and poetry. A DFE's document clearly states that children should be encouraged to maintain and develop their home languages. A study shows that bilingualism is a positive benefit to cognitive development and bilingual teacher is a dire necessity and is a role model. The price of ignoring children’s bilingualism is educational failure and social exclusion. Bilingualism could be developed by bringing a partner from Pakistan. The kids will get better at both languages. One will speak English while the other will speak Urdu.