In United Kingdom, for the past few years the UK’s population is expanding and becoming more diverse. The population of the UK has grown to 64.1 million in the mid 2013). Since 2001 the UK’s population has increased by around 5 million (Office for National Statistics, 2014). As well as this, according to Migration watch, Net Migration to the UK in the year ending March 2014 was 243,000 (Green, 2014), this could be one of the reasons the UK’s increase in its population. In this chapter, there will be an exploration on how the UK’s ever growing multicultural society can help assist the needs of young children who come from diverse backgrounds, with the use of more technology in settings being one of them. There will be a particular focus on children with English as an additional language (EAL), as over the past few years due to the increase in migration in the UK there has also been an increase of EAL children in nurseries and schools. There are more than a million children between 5–16 years old in UK schools who speak in excess of 360 languages between them in addition to English. Currently there are a 1,061,010 bilingual 5-16 year olds in English schools (NALDIC, 2014).
2.2 Historical Context
According to educators, it was at around the 1950s Britain in which they started to see signs of diversity in Nurseries and schools in Britain. It was at that time people from around the world were migrating to the UK (Hatt and Issa, 2013). Migrants began to emerge from 1950s to 1960s from organizations such as the association of teachers of pupils from overseas (ATEPO), the British Caribbean society and national committee for commonwealth immigrants (Plowden report, 1967). These new arrivals were needed due to the expansion of the British economy which resulted to the demand for unskilled and semi-skilled workers for example London transport, British rail and underground as well as mass production lines (Hatt and Issa, 2013). The recruitment of these arrivals were where cheap labour was available. The history of the UK illustrates that it is indeed a ‘growing diverse population’. During the eleventh century there was the arrival of the Norman French and also in the eighteenth century there was the installation of the German Hanoverian monarchy (Issa, 2013). Even way back in 54-5BCE was when the Romans invaded England and also other settlers (winder, 2004). So it’s evident that the UK has constantly been able to handle new arrivals, which enabled this country to modify it language due to the influences of other cultures (winder, 2004).
Due to Britain’s evolving multicultural society, a focus on language began to stem up from educators and the government. This resulted in the publication of ‘English for immigrants in 1963’ (Rattansi 1992, cited in smith, 2003). This publication stated that schools should face the issues of integrating immigrants into the education system, by schools finding more on child’s culture and should ensure they support child in dealing with new unfamiliar experiences whilst teaching child English (Ministry of education, 1963). There was also further concerns raised in regards to the rate of migration at the time. These concerns were on the presence of immigrant population not causing any type of disturbance to the white British pupil’s education (Rattansi 1992, cited in smith, 2003).
2.3 The inclusion of Migrants in the UK
Following on from the early governments approach to assimilation this is where inclusion began to come underway. Inclusion plays a big role in one of the ways in how the UK deal with how rapidly British society is becoming more multicultural due to migration. According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2014) inclusion is defined to be the removal of all barriers, participation and overcoming all forms of exclusion within education. However, researchers Jenny Corbett and Roger Slee’s…