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Children's exposure to a minority language is often limited to the education domain. Consequently, educational establishments have an important role to play in maintaining and enhancing the linguistic achievements of minority first language (L1) speakers whilst at the same time developing the competence of those learning it as a second language (L2). This not only involves the provision of continuous exposure to the language, but also the need to elicit extended speech from the child. In order to identify the extent to which Welsh-speaking children (and L2 speakers in particular) are given enough opportunities to participate actively in extended conversations in Welsh, the linguistic interchanges between teacher and child in the classroom were examined in 10 schools across Wales. The results revealed that whilst children do have opportunities to respond in Welsh to verbal requests through extended speech in class, the extent to which L2-speaking children – and boys in particular – engage in such practices is limited. The implications of the results for classroom discourse strategies in minority language contexts are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-261
JournalLanguage and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012
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