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

Kenner, Charmian and Al-Azami, Salman and Gregory, Eve and Ruby, Mahera (2008) Bilingual poetry: expanding the cognitive and cultural dimensions of children's learning. Literacy, 42 (2). pp. 92-100. ISSN 17414350

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


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
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > English
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 09:51
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 09:51

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item