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Bilingual poetry: expanding the cognitive and cultural dimensions of children’s learning

Kenner, Charmian; Al-Azami, Salman; Gregory, Eve E. and Ruby, Mahera. 2008. Bilingual poetry: expanding the cognitive and cultural dimensions of children’s learning. Literacy, 42(2), pp. 92-100. ISSN 1741-4350 [Article]

[img] Text (Presenting data from an action research project in East London primary schools, this article shows how children investigated metaphor and cultural content in a Bengali lullaby)
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Text (Presenting data from an action research project in East London primary schools, this article shows how children investigated metaphor and cultural content in a Bengali lullaby)
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Abstract or Description

Stories and poetry have long been considered a resource for the language and literacy development of bilingual children, particularly if they can work with texts in both mother tongue and English. This paper demonstrates that bilingual learning is also beneficial for second and third generation children whose English is often stronger than their mother tongue. Presenting data from an action research project in East London primary schools, we show how children investigated metaphor and cultural content in a Bengali lullaby, clarifying concepts through dialogue with their parents. Comparison with a lullaby in English from North America generated additional ideas concerning different cultural values. The learning process enabled children to use their bilingual skills and draw on different aspects of their bicultural identities. Finally, we explain how bilingual poetry can be used to stimulate learning in a multilingual classroom context, through the example of a whole-class lesson based around Bengali and English lullabies.

Item Type:

Article

Keywords:

bilingualism, biculturalism, poetry, metaphor, Bengali, learner identities

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies > Centre for Language, Culture and Learning

Dates:

DateEvent
July 2008Published

Item ID:

4531

Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2010 14:35

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2018 14:28

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/4531

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