'I'm going to bring my sense of identity to this': the role and contribution of bilingual teaching assistants

Cable, Carrie (2004). 'I'm going to bring my sense of identity to this': the role and contribution of bilingual teaching assistants. Westminster Studies in Education, 27(2) pp. 207–222.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0140672042000277134

Abstract

In recent years there has been a considerable growth in the number of teaching assistants (teacher aides in the USA) in UK schools and in the diversity and range of their roles and responsibilities. Although these roles vary in different parts of the UK, an increasing number of assistants now work alongside teachers to support children’s learning. Some teaching assistants and instructors are bilingual in the languages spoken by children in their schools and draw on their knowledge of other languages in providing support for children’s cognitive and language development. Many bilingual teaching assistants carry out similar roles to their monolingual colleagues but, in addition, are involved in facilitating communication and mediating interaction between home, school and local communities. However, their roles and contribution to children’s learning are often not clearly defined and are certainly under-researched.

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