Here is the abstract from Sannah Qurban’s final year research project, supervised by Dr Carol Moxam.
Bilingualism in Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: A Study of Primary School Educational Staffs Training, Opinions and Experiences
This study explores the training, attitudes and experiences of primary school educational staff in the North East of England with regards to bilingualism in children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). A questionnaire was created through the process of focus and pilot groups prior to distribution. The final paper questionnaire was distributed to specialist and mainstream provisions in the region. Data collected from 43 participants was quantitatively analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics alongside qualitative data analysis. The findings suggest despite extensive training on SEND there is a gap in training on bilingualism, yet professionals are keen to receive more training on identified areas of uncertainty. Despite attitudes being generally positive it was clear that participants were uncertain about the impact of bilingualism on communication skills, in pupils with SEND. Furthermore, differences between the current integration of bilingualism for children with SEND and priorities was identified between provisions. Additionally, this study found a majority of participants had experienced working with a bilingual SEND pupil in the classroom, which further highlights the need for further training and research with this population. The study concludes by emphasising the need for further research into the knowledge held by professionals and the current practises of bilingual staff working with the population.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), bilingualism, specialist provisions, mainstream provisions, English as an Additional Language (EAL), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay