Throwback Thursday: Language Status: How cool is your language?

on raising bilingual children

I’ve written many, many posts about bilingualism over the years, and some I think deserve to be resurrected from the archives of my blog… last weekend I gave a seminar at the DRONGO Festival of Multilingualism in Utrecht, talking about bilingual education. People generally agree that bilingual education is a good thing when two “important” languages are involved, but as soon as we start talking about bilingual education involving immigrant minority languages, many people become uncomfortable. Why is that? It’s because of language status issues, described in this post from 2012.

One of the unfortunate realities of bilingualism is that success or failure is often determined by language status. Yes, it’s true, languages have “status”. Some languages are high status, some are low status, some are in the middle. It’s not an unchangeable rating – it depends on where you are and what other languages are involved. Here in the…

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LKALE on stage: The Bangor International Conference on Bilingualism in Education

I wrote this post on a round table I co-hosted with four other members of the Language and Linguistics in Education research group. We are all working on the critical issue of teacher knowledge for the task of teaching language alongside content in schools. Enjoy!

Linguistics and Knowledge about Language in Education

by Eowyn Crisfield

To round off the 2015-2016 academic year, five LKALE members hosted a round table at the first Bangor International Conference on Bilingualism in Education. Convened by Urszula Clark, the round table entitled “Teaching with and for diversity: What teachers need to know about language and how researchers can (and should!) support them” addressed key aspects of LKALE’s mission to broaden teacher knowledge about linguistics and how it influences classroom learning.
The round table was opened by Eowyn Crisfield, with a paper that contextualised the common mantra “Every teacher is a language teacher”. Eowyn explored the types of training that “language teachers” receive, and compared to the skills needed by regular classroom teachers in order to function as language teachers alongside their roles as subject teachers. She discussed results of a teacher-training pilot project and findings that indicate that targeted INSET can make a difference in both attitudes…

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Bilingual education in NYC set for big expansion – NY Daily News

What great news! Over 30 more bilingual education programs, in languages that matter to the community! The focus of bilingual education should first be enhancing the languages of the community, before turning to adding in other (high-status, of course) languages. Kudos to NYC educators and policy-makers for getting it right! Big Apple public schools are … Continue reading Bilingual education in NYC set for big expansion – NY Daily News

After the Death of Her Father, a Woman Reconnects with a Language She Hasn’t Spoken in Years

Many would applaud the efficiency with which we settled into English—it’s what exemplary immigrants do. But between then and now, research has shown the depth of the relationship all of us have with our native tongues—and how traumatic it can be when that relationship is ruptured. Source: After the Death of Her Father, a Woman … Continue reading After the Death of Her Father, a Woman Reconnects with a Language She Hasn’t Spoken in Years

Feds Offer Guide to Providing Quality Education for English-Language Learners – Learning the Language – Education Week

It's great to see initiatives like this, which promote cohesive practices and provide support for teachers. Looking forward to seeing it! The tool kit is a companion to joint guidance the departments released in January to remind schools of their federal obligations to the nation's nearly 5 million English-learners. Source: Feds Offer Guide to Providing … Continue reading Feds Offer Guide to Providing Quality Education for English-Language Learners – Learning the Language – Education Week

#IMLD: Top 5 (now 6) Reasons to Choose Bilingualism for your Child v2.0

Hire more multilingual employees, because these employees can communicate better, have better intercultural sensitivity, are better at co-operating, negotiating, compromising. But they can also think more efficiently. Antonella Sorace Every once in a while I meet someone who makes me consider this point again. It's usually (as it was this time) someone who says to … Continue reading #IMLD: Top 5 (now 6) Reasons to Choose Bilingualism for your Child v2.0