Most of the Western world celebrates "New Year" on January 1st, as does WordPress. In the academic world, however, our rhythms are different. July signals for me the end of the year, and a time for reflecting on the past academic year and the upcoming year. So I'm going to have my own little celebration … Continue reading My Academic year by the numbers
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?
Next parent seminar in Amsterdam coming up! If you are raising your children with more than one language (or thinking about it), come along and find out the six building blocks for a successful Family Language Plan. This seminar has been developed over a decade of working with bilingual/multilingual families and packs in theoretical background … Continue reading Raising Bilingual (or multilingual!) Children: 6 building blocks for success (May 18)
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
This is such an important issue – and this blog explains exactly (perhaps without meaning to) why few teachers engage in research, either actively or as a consumer. There is so much out there, from poor research to great, and from poor events to great, and teachers have such limited time (and budgets) that trying to weed the chaff from the wheat must feel overwhelming. Thankfully, there are more and more researchers now like Victoria Murphy who are making the bridge from research to practice and to make the critical work they are doing accessible and applicable to the teachers and schools it should be helping!
In the last of our mini-series of research blogs, Victoria Murphy asks what counts as research and whether everything that teachers are presented with should be given equal weight.
Research comes in many forms, from reading reports of previous studies to carrying out randomised control trials (RCTs), and everything in between. There’s often an implicit hierarchy at work, and we are told that only large scale studies are more reliable, for example, or that only action research can capture the truth of teachers’ everyday experiences. The truth, though, is that the quality of the research cannot be determined simply by identifying the nature of it. For example, a systematic review (which takes a well-defined, systematic approach to reviewing the research literature to address a particular research question) is very different from, for example, a study where teachers are interviewed to determine their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs about a specific issue…
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... the real issue is not whether they should become bilingual, but how to best support them in their life with two or more languages. (E. Kay-Raining Bird) I've written about the topic quite a few times over the years, because it is one that causes parents great concern. It is also a topic where … Continue reading The Perennial question – can children with SEN become bilingual?
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
A few weeks ago I sat down with Donna Bardsley at Amsterdam Mamas, to record a podcast on bilingualism and bilingual education. The topics ranged from my own experience raising three kids with three languages, to the more complex, and compelling, issue of how language status affects children who are becoming bilingual. I've written about … Continue reading Privilege and Paradox in Bilingual Education