Linguistic and cultural effects on the attainment of ethnic minority students: some methodological considerations
SourceBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
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Established literature suggests that language problems lead to lower attainment levels in those subjects that are more language dependent. Also, language has been suggested as a main driver of ethnic minority attainment. We use an original dataset of 2020 secondary school students to show that ethnic minority students in Cyprus underperform overall, but they do not perform less well in subjects considered more language dependent. We suggest that the main determinant for their low performance is not linguistic but cultural. This is the first study to investigate the performance of Georgians as an ethnic minority group in a European country. It is also one of the very few studies which were deliberately designed to compare the attainment of ethnic minority students on more and less language-dependent subjects. Methodologically, this is an instructive study using a repeated-measures design and combining teacher assessments with test results to alleviate floor and ceiling effects. © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.