A: Absolutely not! I work with a lot of internationally living parents, and this is a common misconception; that it would be more valuable for them to use English with their children, to make sure they have English as a "mother tongue". I've even met families who want me to help them change their … Continue reading Q: Isn’t English more important than my language?
I made my first blog post here exactly 6.5 years ago today, and since then I have posted 195 times (not all original content), for an average of not quite 2 posts a month. I've had periods when I posted more frequently, and periods when I posted less, always of course linked to how busy … Continue reading 2018: The Year of the Q&A
Every year, all around the world, teachers welcome into their classrooms students that they can not communicate with at all. While it's obviously extremely difficult for the students, it's also hard for the teachers. Every teacher wants to make their new students feel comfortable and happy and ready to learn. And that's really hard to … Continue reading Top 5 tips for learning about your new students when you can’t talk to them…
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)
A brief announcement that on Thursday, October 27, I will be returning to the Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam, for an open seminar "Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success". This is my most popular seminar, and mainly given at schools, so an open event is rare! In the two-hour session we will look … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Parent seminar (Amsterdam)
Aboriginal people have a right to language. Unless we do something in this generation the languages will die in the next generation -- the generation of my daughter. -- Lorena Fontaine, PhD student at the University of Manitoba As a Canadian living abroad, I tend to focus on all the good things about our history and have an admittedly Pollyanna … Continue reading Learning from the past?
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
It's that time a year again... once the school year is up and running, parents start thinking about how things are going with their little bilingual children. I meet more parents in the Sept-Nov block than at any other time of year! I visit many schools to provide parents with an opportunity to learn more … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success (Amsterdam)