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Abstract

Benefits of being bilingual? The relationship between pupils’ perceptions of teachers’ appreciation of their home language and executive functioning

We aimed to investigate whether bilingual pupils’ perceptions of their teachers’ appreciation of their Home Language (HL) were of influence on bilingual cognitive advantages. We examined whether Dutch bilingual primary school pupils who speak either German or Turkish at home differed in perceptions of their teacher’s appreciation of their HL, and whether these differences could explain differences between the two groups in executive functioning. Executive functioning was measured through computer tasks, and perceived HL appreciation through orally administered questionnaires. The relationship between the two was assessed with regression analyses. German-Dutch pupils perceived more appreciation of their home language from their teacher than Turkish-Dutch pupils did. This difference partly explained differences in executive functioning. Besides, we replicated bilingual advantages in nonverbal working memory and switching, but not in verbal working memory or inhibition. This study demonstrates that bilingual advantages cannot be dissociated from the influence of the sociolinguistic context of the classroom. Thereby, it stresses the importance of culturally responsive teaching.
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Keywords: bilingualism; culturally responsive teaching; executive functioning; primary school; sociolinguistic context

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Claire Goriot is als promovenda werkzaam aan de afdeling Taalwetenschap van het Centre for Language Studies van de Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen. Correspondentieadres:, Email: [email protected] 2: Joep Bakker is, ondanks zijn pensioengerechtigde leeftijd nog altijd werkzaam als docent bij de afdeling PWO van de Radboud Universiteit en is als associate member verbonden aan het Behavioural Science Insitute. 3: Eddie Denessen is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan het Behavioural Science Institute van de Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen. 4: Mienke Droop is universitair docent Onderwijskunde bij het Behavioural Science Institute van de Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen.

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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