London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Teachers’ beliefs about the performance of bilingual immigrant students with or without learning difficulties model

Author(s) Alevriadou, A., Griva, E., Papadopoulou, I. & Spinthourakis, J-A.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
With increased numbers of bilingual students, changing population demographics in Greece have altered the landscape of education and teacher’s now need to be prepared to work within this new reality. However, teachers often express uncertainty or even anxiety with regard to teaching bilingual immigrant students; something that does not help the building of communities. The present study therefore seeks to examine Greek teachers’ beliefs about their ability to teach bilingual students. With the growing number of bilingual immigrant students attending Greek schools the Greek educational system has to correspond to the needs of heterogeneous groups of students, with a number of immigrant children included in mainstream classrooms. This study was designed to record the beliefs of Greek teachers of both general and special education in relation to bilingualism. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 primary school teachers. Study findings resulting from the qualitative analysis of interview data, revealed teachers’ misconceptions and inconsistencies about certain issues relating to bilingualism, bilingualism and learning disabilities, and bilingual students’ academic and linguistic performance. Keywords: teacher’s beliefs, school performance, bilingual immigrant students, learning difficulties

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