On the occasion of this Day, I launch an appeal for the potential of multilingual education to be acknowledged everywhere, in education and administrative systems, in cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General Every year I write a post about this day, but it's important to remember that "Mother language" … Continue reading International Mother Language Day: Why is it important?
Mother tongue promotion in the school helps develop not only the mother tongue but also children’s abilities in the majority school language. (Cummins, J. 2001) This year I am celebrating International Mother Language Day at home, speaking many languages with my own children - mother, father and other. Last year, for IMLD 2015, I had … Continue reading International Mother Language Day: Putting your money where your mouth is!
Education in the mother language is an essential part of achieving these goals – to facilitate learning and to bolster skills in reading, writing and mathematics,” she added, noting that taking this forward will require a sharper focus on teaching training, revisions of academic programmes and the creation of suitable learning environments. Yes, yes and … Continue reading United Nations News Centre – On Mother Language Day, UN spotlights role of native tongue in education
This is revised from a previous post, and is for all the Dads out there wondering why they are being left out of the party... Traditionally, bilingualism research used the term "Mother Tongue" to describe the language spoken by the mother. Because there is no use of "Father Tongue" there is an implication that the … Continue reading Mother Tongue, Father Tongue?
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” ― Nelson Mandela I've been really excited to write this post for the International Mother Language Day campaign, because this topic is at the heart … Continue reading Supporting Mother Tongue (everyone’s!) at school
This post was inspired by a reader question, and fits well with the theme of the month, so I am putting my thoughts in a post. This family is from the Middle East, and has Arabic and English as the two languages in their language plan. They began their family in the Middle East and … Continue reading When the Mother Tongue becomes a minority language: Changing your family plan
I wrote this post at the end of the school year last year, the first year my children attended a European School. As both a professional in the field of bilingualism and as a parent of bilingual children, it was a year of reflection and growth for me in my understandings of a truly … Continue reading #IMLD: Supporting languages at school
One of the best thing about being bilingual is being able to pick and choose le juste mot - to say exactly what you want to say. Some of the greatest words in language relate to how people think and see the world, so it follows that some things just can't be said "right" in … Continue reading Being Bilingual: Words I like from other languages
I get asked, a lot, to name some "negative" aspects of bilingualism. This happens in casual conversation, in seminars, in training sessions and in almost every situation where I am talking about the positive aspects of bilingualism. My standard answer is that there are no negative consequences when bilingualism is successful. That is not … Continue reading Beware of Bilingualism…
Last night I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a very diverse group of parents. All of them had children who will grow up with two languages, and many had children growing up with three or more languages. A few of the families are lucky enough to have multilingual partners, who speak … Continue reading Whole-family support for (very minor) minority languages