Vol. 15:1 (1992) ► pp.71–84
Supporting children’s home languages in mainstream educational programs
If we are to ensure that language and communication skills for national needs are developed through education, then we cannot afford to neglect the existing language resources which Australia’s children bring to early childhood and primary school programs.
Conservation of these resources can range along a continuum from home language support in mainstream educational programs to full bilingual education programs. The greatest range of national needs will be met through full bilingual education. However, in the current educational and political climate, such programs are unlikely to expand. In such a climate, it is important to ensure that no avenue of linguistic conservation is neglected. The Home Language Support Project, described in this paper, is one attempt to help mainstream teachers include children’s home languages in educational programs.
The Project is described briefly, and one of the questions which arose during its implementation is discussed -language delivery patterns in home language support programs and the issue of code switching.