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The experiences and personality development of Russian-speaking migrant pupils in English primary schools

Gundarina, Olena (2019) The experiences and personality development of Russian-speaking migrant pupils in English primary schools. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the experiences and personality development of Russian-speaking migrant pupils in English state-funded primary schools at Key Stage 2 (7-11 years old). Research related to Russian-speaking migrant children has been conducted abroad but to date there is no known study of this in English primary schools. While addressing this gap, this thesis also addresses the dearth of research into personality development, which is underexplored in L2 (Second Language) migration, middle childhood, and the educational context of L2 schools. The methodology comprises a qualitative longitudinal ethnographically informed multiple case study research approach with five embedded cases. The evidence is based on 79 interviews with creative techniques and seven months of participant observations. By employing McAdams’ personality development theory in a migration context, personality development was found to be inseparable from children’s L2 schooling experiences. The findings revealed that often Russian-speaking migrant pupils felt excluded, isolated, and unable to achieve or show achievement (i.e. fulfil their need to be/feel ‘smart’) in their L2 schools. These feelings were intensified when their L1 (First Language) was limited or forbidden. The experiences impacted, directly or indirectly, on children’s motivations and social relations, i.e. on their personality development. Namely, (1) migrant pupils preferred more accessible subjects (mathematics, art), as opposed to English; (2) pupils’ lack of knowledge gain, rather than lack of interest, caused their low learning engagement in academic subjects; and (3) pupils exhibited silence (quietness, submissiveness, or reticence) in class but not outside of class, which was an adopted pattern of behaviour rather than ‘silent period’. The thesis furthers an understanding of Russian-speaking migrant pupils’ place and voices, which can be extended to other linguistic minority groups in the diverse cultural realities of UK and other European classrooms. Pedagogical recommendations for EAL (English as an Additional Language) specialists and policymakers are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: English as an Additional Language, EAL, Russian-speaking migrant children, learning experiences, personality development, primary schools
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.789467
Depositing User: Ms Olena Gundarina
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2019 11:53
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25142

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