After describing the national context, the book traces the development of Scoil Bhríde’s response to an increasingly diverse pupil cohort and goes on to explore in detail the impact of the response on classroom discourse, pupils’ literacy development, and their capacity for autonomous learning. The authors illustrate their arguments with a wealth of practical evidence drawn from a variety of sources; pupils’ and teachers’ voices are especially prominent. Bearing in mind that Scoil Bhríde developed its approach without access to special funding or resources, the concluding chapter considers issues of sustainability and replication and the implications of the approach for teacher education.
The book makes sustained reference to a wide range of relevant research findings and theories, including translanguaging, plurilingual and intercultural education, language awareness and language learner autonomy. It is essential reading for researchers and policy- makers in the field of linguistically inclusive education.
David Little was formerly Director of the Centre for Language and Communication Studies and Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. For the past ten years, he has played a leading role in the Council of Europe’s work on the language education of migrants.
Déirdre Kirwan was principal of Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown, Ireland, from 1987 to 2015. In 2008 she was nominated European Ambassador for Languages (Léargas) for her active promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the school, and in 2009 she received her PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, for her research in this area.