One of the most frustrating myths about child bilingualism is that learning a new language is effortless for children - drop them into a new language environment and they just absorb the new language like a sponge! This myth has several negative effects. The first is that parents often don't take into account the time … Continue reading Children are *not* little sponges!
A: This is a tricky question to answer, because parents ask it for different reasons. Some parents ask this question because they have multiple languages in their family/community and are trying to formulate an effective language plan. Other parents ask this because they believe the "children are sponges" myth and want to try and … Continue reading Q: How do we chose which languages to focus on with our child?
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?
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?
Obviously this applies to Cantonese-speaking parents... 🙂 but the underlying principle is the same, no matter what your home language is. I've been thinking about this issue since I visited Hong Kong in March, and met with many lovely parents who were all attempting to raise their children to be bilingual. So what's wrong with … Continue reading Please, speak Cantonese to your children!
I've been very absent from my blog for the last year, and have been thinking about a good post to start the new year. I have a back-log of ideas in my brain and none was "the one". Then I saw this video on FB (thanks to Ellen-Rose Kambel from the Rutu Foundation) and found … Continue reading Supporting multilingualism in schools: Spotlight on best practice
This welcome attention to English learners, however, will become hollow rhetoric if the federal government does not fund significant professional development for teachers. A majority of teachers today report that they do not feel prepared to work with English learners, and most teachers in fact have limited or no training regarding the unique challenges and … Continue reading Forum: Why educating English language learners means success for everyone
On average, it took the students 3.8 years to reach English proficiency. But over the course of the study, almost 20 percent of students did not score high enough on the state exam to be reclassified. This is such a big question in education these days; how long does it take learners to become proficient … Continue reading How Long Does It Take ELLs to Develop English Proficiency? – Learning the Language – Education Week
"No proven method exists for identifying an English-learner student who has a learning disability and then placing the student in the most appropriate instructional program," This report touches on a crucial area for improving support for language learners in school - how to evaluate and support for potential learning difficulties across a language barrier. The … Continue reading Report Offers Guiding Principles to Support ELLs With Disabilities – Learning the Language – Education Week
This is a great outline of how administrators and senior leadership are key in setting a school up to provide the best support system for children who do not speak the school language. For those who don't want to read the whole article. here are the points: 1. Set a vision for high expectations 2. … Continue reading Six Things Principals Can Do To Support Their English Language Learners | Education Northwest