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Young adult language brokers’ and teachers’ views of the advantages and disadvantages of brokering in school

Crafter, S; Cline, T; Prokopiou, E; (2017) Young adult language brokers’ and teachers’ views of the advantages and disadvantages of brokering in school. In: Weisskirch, RS, (ed.) Language Brokering in Immigrant Families: Theories and Contexts. Green open access

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Abstract

Schools have been cited as one of the most frequent venues where children and young people act as language brokers (Angelelli, 2014; Tse, 1996). Whilst a number of studies have used school as the access point to gather data from child language brokers (CLBs), the ways in which school might offer particular contextual challenges has been given less attention. This chapter will report on a mixed-methods study involving teachers and young adults who had acted as CLBs while they were at school. We use data from an online survey of teachers (N=63) and young adult CLBs (N=25) and in-depth episodic interviews that look at teachers’ (N=12) and young adult language brokers (N=14), to examine their stances towards the advantages and disadvantages of students acting as language brokers in the school context. Our findings suggest both groups shared many opinions on key advantages and disadvantages, with the exception that CLBs placed more emphasis on prioritising family interests and highlighted improvements to both languages. Some of their comments focused on the immediate advantages (such as cost savings and flexible timing) and disadvantages (such as a greater risk of translation errors). Other comments focused on the longer term impact of experiences of language brokering at school, such as a growing sense of maturity and confidence, and feelings of pride in being able to help others. Teachers and CLBs discussed the potential problems that may arise if too much time is taken away from studies or if the same pupil is overused for translating activities. CLB activities left many in the sample feeling ‘gifted’ and ‘empowered’ but for the CLBs it could also be a cause for embarrassment. Overall, how the school handles the brokering experience influenced both the teachers’ and CLBs’ views of it.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Young adult language brokers’ and teachers’ views of the advantages and disadvantages of brokering in school
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.4324/9781315644714
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315644714
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Child language brokering, Teachers, Translating, Interpreting, School
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1508493
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