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CentrePiece article
In brief: Language barriers? The impact of non-native English speakers in the classroom
Charlotte Geay, Sandra McNally and Shqiponja Telhaj May 2012
Paper No' CEPCP368:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 17 (1) Spring 2012

Tags: primary school education; uk; educational attainment; curriculum; immigration; language

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of children going to school in England who do not speak English as a first language. We investigate whether this has an impact on the educational outcomes of native English speakers at the end of primary school. We show that the negative correlation observed in the raw data is mainly an artefact of selection: non-native speakers are more likely to attend school with disadvantaged native speakers. We attempt to identify a causal impact of changes in the percentage of non-native speakers within the year group. In general, our results suggest zero effect and rule out negative effects.

This article summarises 'Non-native Speakers of English in the Classroom: What are the Effects on Pupil Performance?' by Charlotte Geay, Sandra McNally and Shqiponja Telhaj, Centre for the Economics of Education Discussion Paper No.137, March 2012