The Importance of Embracing Multilingualism

Through reading Imagining Multilingual Schools: Languages in Education and Globalisation I have learnt much more about how important it is in schools to promote multilingualism as much as possible.

In many schools, English is the dominant language that lessons are taught in. When there are pupils in schools who do not speak English as their first language, they can sometimes deal with barriers throughout their education, for example perhaps not being able to understand what is being taught. This can have a big impact on how much the pupils will gain out of lessons. Therefore there are many ways for schools to promote language learning.

Firstly, from what I read it is important that, with regards to the home language and English, schools have a “both/and” attitude rather than “either/or” attitude when it comes to teaching in English and also in pupils home language as well. This is important because it allows for fairness in class and for all pupils to gain as much out of lessons as possible. In addition, it allows pupils to embrace other cultures through learning from each other’s languages an creating an inclusive learning community.

Following , it is also important to create interpersonal spaces within the classroom that support the development of literacy in both English and the home language of each child. This will make all pupils feel comfortable to embrace each other’s differences in a shared space. This is good because in IB schools it will promote pupils to be internationally-minded people through developing skills of appreciation, curiosity and empathy of each different culture.

Lastly, from what I read another way of promoting multilingualism in schools is to encourage the use of new technologies to reinforce the development of home-language literacies as well as English. These technologies help to give pupils the opportunities to use less-dominant languages and plenty of other ones when doing their work to help them complete their best work, rather than having to attempt to complete it in a language they are not comfortable in- therefore improving their educational experience allowing them to achieve their full potential.

It is therefore important that schools encourage as much use of other languages and cultures as possible, in order to help pupils feel welcome, included, supported and confident in their learning. No matter where a pupil is from, they all deserve equal chances to do their best in school and by getting rid of language barriers it can make all the difference.

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