Bilingual primary school initiatives: perspectives of principals and language 2 native speakers working in the NSW education system

Year: 2013

Author: Weiss, Ingrid

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In NSW, 2010 saw the establishment of four bilingual primary schools which employed native second language speaking specialist teachers as a platform for delivery of the new second language acquisition initiative. The National Curriculum and National Priorities in the area of second language acquisition are influenced by the trend in most OECD countries of introducing second and even third languages in primary school.
The primary schools which volunteered to become bilingual sourced and employed multilingual and bilingual specialist language teachers and volunteers for the delivery of a bilingual program beginning in Kindergarten.  The consequent success of the bilingual program and its implementation rests heavily upon the native or background speaker teachers and volunteers and as well as on the direction and leadership within the four schools.
This paper, the second in a series, presents a synopsis which reconnoitres the Language 2 native speaker teachers' experiences over a period of 12 months working in three newly established bilingual primary schools and in one established bilingual ‘additive' language program. All four schools operate within the NSW government primary school framework. The distinct school community and leadership framework of the four bilingual schools will be briefly described to provide a contextual framework for the varying work environments.
The research sets out to investigate the processes, behaviours, adjustment and support the teachers experienced in their journey of developing new curriculum, aligned bilingual programs, as well as their personal perspectives on desired outcomes.