I can just about stand the fact that Nick Ferrari walks freely upon this earth. Sometimes, if the mood takes me, I can tolerate his show on LBC. However, recently he fucked with MY industry with a show that contained approx 10% fact and 90% unsupported, bigoted views.
This is the show's blog report on the subject that made my blood boil:
"Children for whom English is their first language are now in a minority in Inner London primary schools, putting extra pressure on education budgets. According to the latest government figures for the 13 inner London boroughs, it's risen to 54 per cent of pupils - and almost 80 in Tower Hamlets. Has this presented an issue in your child's school? Susan Gowen - a primary school worker in Putney – told Nick most youngsters learn English very quickly, but problems arise when their parents don't."
Next year, I will teach an extremely bright top set year 11 class ENGLISH, where approx 70% of the kids go home to households that communicate entirely in a second language, and guess what?! They've all got B and above in every coursework essay so far. And, to top that, 6 kids that are on track for an A* speak English as a foreign language. They are funny, bright and confident young people, and I genuinely feel privileged to work with them every day.
Would they have achieved these grades if they had been slung into some Ferrari-endorsed 'Foreigners' class, or worse, school (probably neatly packaged and labelled 'EAL Target Group' or some shit)? No. Absolutely not. We teach them in English. They talk to each other in English. They learn, because they have to. Over 50 languages are spoken by students in our school. So, if we put them all together in classes where they all spoke the same language they would not learn any of the academic, and more important, social skills that help them blossom (hopefully) into useful members of society. And they'd never learn colloquial English, despite having 'English' lessons every day. Thus providing Nick Ferrari with material to be able to conduct yet more phone-ins about 'Immigrants who don't integrate', or some other vaguely disguised racist bullshit.
Many parents don't speak English because they're at home all day or working with family members who speak the same language as them, NOT because they want to separate themselves from their local community. However, they usually bring a translator to parents evenings and meetings with them, so it's actually very rarely a problem at all for us or their kids. Our school also offers cheap evening classes to parents who want to improve their English.
Last year we had a few new EAL female students arrive into Year 10 from Iraq, two preferred to be placed in the EAL induction class and one chose to enter mainstream classes. Guess which student/s has better grades and more friends? When she first entered my class she was silent, but I could see her watching and watching everything that was happening and by the second term she was contributing and completing all her work in every lesson. This particular class only had three students for whom English was their native language. So did I feel 'overworked' from the 'pressure' of working with these kids? Did I buggery! And any teacher that does, in my opinion, has an unrealistic view of teaching in inner city schools today. Bugger off to some rural church school or something, and have it your way.
How can a school become a community if it is segregated on the basis of language? NUR Nick Ferrari, you am a dikk.
P.S. I have excel spreadsheets to back all this up. Yes, SPREADSHEETS!