Monday, January 24, 2005

Bilingual illiterates

There is a high level of illiteracy amongst bilingual students in Copenhagen:

One in every four of Copenhagen´s teenage students is practically illiterate. A new PISA study shows that the majority of bilingual schoolchildren have almost no reading skills.

One fourth of Copenhagen´s 15-year-old students have too limited reading skills to be likely to find a job in the future.

A new PISA international education study shows that students in 15 out of the city´s 96 schools rank among the world´s worst readers. They fared worse in the test than their academic peers in Brazil, who hit the bottom in PISA´s education study of 31 countries in 2000.

The study showed that more than half of students with immigration background are practically illiterate.

"This is an enormous problem," said Niels Egelund, Professor at Denmark´s University of Education. "The schools have to demand more from both students and teachers. It´s especially worrying that we seem to have failed half of our bilingual students."

The test results came as a blow to many politicians, who agreed that the city´s educational system seemed to have failed.

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