This is a fantastic article about the two-sided nature of the bilingualism debate. "Desirable bilingualism" involves children who speak the host-country language and another, high-status language. These bilinguals are considered "lucky" to have two languages. On the other side, immigrants and refugee children who speak a lower-status language and are learning the host-country language are … Continue reading Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students? – The Washington Post
So it happened, the moment every married person dreads... I forgot my anniversary! Thankfully, it was only my blog anniversary, so I only need be angry with myself. But to mark the milestone, even a few days late, here are some interesting facts: 1. What I blog about: Bilingualism/multilingualism 2. What my "specialization" is: child … Continue reading Three years of blogging about bilingualism!
As we come to the end of the school year I've been reflecting on how much the school impacts successful bilingual development. Most schools are not "bilingual" schools, or "immersion" schools, or indeed any kind of language-based school model. Many schools believe that their only job is to ensure that all their pupils master the … Continue reading Five ways your school can support multilingualism
On May 18, the European School Bergen is hosting their annual "Euromarkt". For those of you lucky enough to live within reach, it will be a day spent in multilingual activity and enjoyment. The school parents' committee hosts the event, and different country groups provide entertainment, food and fun. There will be a multilingual book … Continue reading Euromarkt: Come and meet multilingual Europe (and a little bit of the world…)
February 21 is International Mother Language Day. Recognised by the United Nations as a day "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world It is a day when all involved in multilingualism, whether personally or professionally, should stop and consider where they can make a difference. February 21 … Continue reading International Mother Language Day
As I have mentioned previously, I am working with Dr. Jane Spiro from Oxford Brookes university on a teacher-training based research project this year. We are halfway through the training year, and it's been both exciting and moving to see how the school and teachers are taking on-board the ideals behind the program of being … Continue reading Mother Tongue reading: A “Beyond EAL” project update
This post was inspired by a reader question, one that I think may be of interest to many minority language parents. A Greek couple have just moved to the UK with their young son (almost 3-years old). They are being encouraged by the nursery to use English at home with him, to help him "learn … Continue reading Using the “second language” at home: What’s the etiquette?
Yesterday, we held a seminar for parents at the primary school we are using as our pilot school for the EAL training project. The point of the seminar was to help parents understand the process of becoming bilingual through school, and how they can best help their children through the process. At the end, one … Continue reading “I thought you were going to tell us why English was more important!”
The festival is now over, and we are left to contemplate the many varied experiences we all had. For my part, the outstanding moment of the festival was the multilingual reading of "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. To standing room only, the crowd composed not only of parents and children but also interested … Continue reading Opening minds: Multilingual reading with children
One of the great things to come out of whole-school professional development is that it helps all staff be on the same page when it comes to lettingkids speak their L1 (first language) at school. That may sound obvious, but unfortunately, it isn't. Far too often I hear of, or come across, schools with a … Continue reading “You can’t speak that language here!”