There is a common presumption among ex-pat families, in particular, that if you have a choice between primary school in the home language and in English, the latter is the better choice. This ties in to the common myth "earlier is always better" for acquiring a new language, especially through immersion. Let's take a quick … Continue reading Is early English-language education always the right choice?
It's that time a year again, kids heading off to school all over the world (with the exception of the Antipodeans!). In an increasingly mobile world, many children will be starting at new schools this year, and that may be in a new language. Parents often like to believe that going to school in … Continue reading Top 5 Tips for parents with children starting school in a new language
Every year, all around the world, teachers welcome into their classrooms students that they can not communicate with at all. While it's obviously extremely difficult for the students, it's also hard for the teachers. Every teacher wants to make their new students feel comfortable and happy and ready to learn. And that's really hard to … Continue reading Top 5 tips for learning about your new students when you can’t talk to them…
To reject the child's language in school is to reject the child. Jim Cummins First language, home language, mother tongue, family language... all these terms are used in international education, to try and talk about the languages students bring into schools. But what is implied by all these terms, and how does that affect the … Continue reading Identity language – what’s that? (Spotlight on Good Practice series)
I've been promising for years to write a post about pedagogical translanguaging. In fact, probably about five years! But I always get stuck in the details... I want to present it accurately, and really show how it works. So I created (with the help of Ollydave) this short explainer video, so people can have … Continue reading Wondering about translanguaging?
With respect to ELLs, there is undeniable and growing evidence that the home language of ELLs is of considerable benefit to their overall academic success. Fred Genesee (Professor of Psychology Department at McGill University, Montreal and recipient of the Canadian Psychological Associate Award for Distinguished Contributions to Community or Public Service) This is the … Continue reading Spotlight on good practice: Multilingual Poetry
In the month of March, I had the privilege of presenting at three international events. The first was the ECIS ESL/MT conference (now the ECIS MLIE group). There I presented on using pedagogical translanguaging to support learning in international education. The second event was the CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning (Amsterdam), where I presented in the … Continue reading Spotlight on Good Practice: New blog series
Why are we using the terminology ESL and mother tongue, when for many students English is not actually their second language and they have multiple linguistic identities? How does this term reflect the multilingualism of many of our students? J. Cummins, ECIS ESL/MT conference, 2017 I wrote this article on LinkedIn two days ago, but … Continue reading What I learned this weekend from Cummins, Krashen, and Genesee
Waking up to a beautiful morning in Hong Kong! This is a post that I wrote several months ago, and I am reposting it because I am once again in Hong Kong (Clearwater Bay School, the International Montessori School and LanguageOne HK) and I know this question will be an important one for many parents … Continue reading Please, speak Cantonese to your children!
Aboriginal people have a right to language. Unless we do something in this generation the languages will die in the next generation -- the generation of my daughter. -- Lorena Fontaine, PhD student at the University of Manitoba As a Canadian living abroad, I tend to focus on all the good things about our history and have an admittedly Pollyanna … Continue reading Learning from the past?