Identity language – what’s that? (Spotlight on Good Practice series)

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)

International Mother Language Day: Why is it important?

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?

Promoting home language use: How do we make a difference?

When I was in Hong Kong last week and meeting with parents and teachers, the subject of discussion was often the issues raised in my previous blog post about HK parents choosing to speak English with their children rather than Cantonese. Inevitably, someone would ask how we can change this pattern of choosing the higher-status … Continue reading Promoting home language use: How do we make a difference?