31 SES 12, Enhancing Educational Provision for Newly Arrived Migrant Children in Europe – The EDINA-project
Migrant background is viewed as a disadvantage for educational achievement (EU, 2015) and career prospects (EU, 2013:6). In the Netherlands, at the primary school level, municipalities are responsible for the schooling of newly arrived migrant pupils (NAMs) with a certain degree of autonomy. Some choose to initiate NAMs in separate classrooms within regular school settings, others organize a preparatory year in a separate building. The latter option, described in this study, provides one year of full-time intensive language and academic support. NAMs are observed and evaluated with the goal to provide them with sufficient school experience to integrate into mainstream educational system. In principle, NAMs will not be provided with any extra support after this year. In 2013, we were asked to evaluate one preparatory school in order to identify potential for improvement. To this end, we used school records of 146 pupils of 31 schools. Of these pupils, 50 had completed the preparatory year in the preceding one to three years. For each NAM, 2 to 3 peers from the same classroom were randomly selected. The results revealed, with the exception of vocabulary, no differences between the NAMs and peers. Next, we compared the overall performance of our study groups with the national average performance for this age group. Given that we found no difference between NAMs and peers, we merged data of these two groups for this analysis (except for vocabulary). Results revealed again no difference with the national average except for arithmetic where the average of our entire study group outperformed the national average. The findings of this study do not confirm the widely held believe that NAMs perform lower than their peers. Here we show that already after relatively little time, NAM performances levels meet the country average. One important implication of our results is that we may underestimate the true potential of NAMs. We believe that these attitudes may hamper their educational academic development. In this presentation, we will discuss a toolset and resource base aimed at promoting the entry of NAMs at the level of education that corresponds to their cognitive possibilities in order to support excellent schooling attainment.
- European commission, 2015. Language learning and teaching in multilingual classrooms. http://ec.europa.eu/languages/policy/learning-languages/multilingual-classrooms_en.htm
- European commission, 2013. Study on educational support for newly arrived migrant children. http://bookshop.europa.eu
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