Thursday, September 30, 2010

Creating an Interlingual Classroom

Must. Should. Could.

We are currently looking at the practicalities of providing Home Language support in curriculum time during the school day and in our after-school programme. Alongside this we are searching for ways to support all teachers in becoming teachers of language and incorporating easily managed strategies into the everyday activities in the classroom.

To this end we are working on this MUST.SHOULD.COULD. document of what must, should and could be done in the classroom.

Would be interested in any feedback you have on this and how it relates to initiatives at your school.

Creating an Interlingual Classroom
Allow children to use their home languages in the classroom.
Familiarise yourself at the start of each term with the language profile of all the children in your care.
Find out and use the correct pronunciation of the children’s names
Always talk in positive terms about language and culture.
Welcome the children’s language into the classroom and be open to learning from both the students and their families
Where possible place new students into classes with language buddies
Practice good EAL strategies in the classroom to allow all children equal access to the curriculum
Work from strengths. Build on what students already know. Draw on their background experiences and encourage connections between academic concepts and students' own lives. Help students see the value of being able to communicate in multiple languages.
Show multilingual and multicultural displays and signage in the year group
Use multilingual and multicultural resources in the classroom
Support EAL staff with multilingual focused activities
Use of bilingual teaching assistants
Reinforce the message to parents of maintaining their mother tongue
For children new to English learn a few words/phrases in their home language.
Where possible provide bilingual support for children new to English – 1-2-1, class peers or across year groups
Give students opportunities to teach others about their first language and home culture.
Allow children to work with same language partners’ to discuss a problem and clarify an answer before transferring to English
Encourage families to find books, songs, poems and rhymes in their own languages related to your classroom theme and invite them into to share with the whole class.
Actively seek out opportunities in the curriculum to celebrate similarities and differences in a variety of cultures and languages.  A coordinated approach so different focus in different year groups.
Guide students to check out native language books during your regularly scheduled library time.
Encourage families to complete ROAs in home language
Put multilingual links on class blogs

Allow children to mind map in their home language
Invite children to produce dual language assignments
Allow children to work together on multilingual translations
Link up with language buddies in other classes/years/schools/countries
Put on plays in different languages
Display translations of students’ favourite stories and work
Have a classroom library made up of books in different languages
Have resource books and bilingual dictionaries in the classroom
Celebrate World Language day February 21


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