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BBC随身英语 第517讲 42 languages 操场上的42种不同语言

更新时间:2014/6/14 12:57:38 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Byron Court, a school in north-west London, gets high marks for integration. No fewer than 42 languages are spoken in the playground. The 600 pupils from places as far apart as Iraq, the Philippines, Somalia, India, Romania and Slovakia mingle and play together.

Many of these children spoke no English at all when they arrived in the UK aged five to eight years old. But they learn quickly. Martine Clark, the school's executive head teacher, believes that unity is very important. She says: "It's vital there's no differentiation between any languages or any culture. We do that by celebrating the diversity of the culture in our school."

According to Clark, the children that come to Byron Court are adaptable and resilient. Having such a variety of backgrounds makes them better learners. Some have struggled, not always understanding instructions in the classroom. But after a few years, many have turned the disadvantage of not speaking English into the advantage of being bilingual.

Nonetheless, educational standards can suffer when not everyone speaks the same language, at least to begin with. Though according to Martyn Pendergast, an education officer at Brent Council, this doesn't last for long: "It takes time to learn English and in Brent our children perform just below the national average when they are assessed at seven years old. But by the time they're 11 they've caught up with national standards and at 16 they're flying".

Those who don't speak English but are used to discipline often progress rapidly. But some are concerned about children who are native speakers of English. Christopher McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, which aims to promote a greater emphasis on traditional values, says: "The problem is not the migrant children. The problem is the white working class children who are doing very badly at school."

McGovern believes many parents think a lot of attention is given to migrant children, while their own children are being neglected.

White British families and second-generation immigrants have been moving out of schools near urban centres to more distant suburbs, or to the countryside. That's a process which raises its own questions about the future of education in British cities.

Quiz 测验

1. How is unity maintained in a school with children from so many different backgrounds?
By not differentiating between different languages or cultures and celebrating diversity.

2. True or False: Many immigrant children find it difficult to understand classroom instructions?
True.

3. When do pupils catch up with the national average in terms of assessments?
By 11 years old.

4. True or False: Some working class parents aren't happy because their children can't understand immigrant students?
False. They aren't happy because they believe too much attention is given to migrant children and their own are forgotten.

5. Which expression means 'people who were born in a country their parents moved to'?
Second-generation immigrants.

Glossary 词汇表

to get high marks for (something) 在(某方面)获得高分
integration (种族之间的)融合
playground 操场
to mingle 交际,交往
head teacher 校长/教务长
differentiation 区别
to celebrate 庆祝,赞扬
adaptable 适应能力强的
resilient 有弹性的,坚忍不拔的
educational standards 教育水平
to assess 评估,考查
traditional values 传统价值
working class 工薪阶层
to neglect 疏忽,不予重视
second generation 第二代
suburb 市郊

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