Print bookPrint book

Creating multilingual resources

Creating multilingual resources

Site: ECML - Moodle | Community
Course: Virtual Open Course (VOC): Collaborative Community Approach to Migrant Education
Book: Creating multilingual resources
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 18 August 2019, 11:05 PM

7. Creating Multilingual Resources

Multilingual resources allow teachers to make the best of all the languages that students bring along with them into class. Through multilingual resources, communities and schools can be connected in diverse and creative ways. We will show the following resources:

1. Multilingual children’s books

2. Multilingual school dictionary

These resources were developed through the collaboration between researchers, educators and communities with the aim to bring forward the life experiences of our students and allow for all their languages to have space within the learning process.

All of the proposed multilingual initiatives aim to develop critical multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000) for the benefit of all those involved.

 

7.1. Multilingual children’s books

More specifically, the multilingual children’s book My first book on bilingualism: between the Greek and Arab worlds, created by Polydromo Group, is divided in the following parts:

  1. Theoretical, which aims to provide a definition of bilingualism and its advantages on a social and personal level,

  2. Interactive, which invites children to fill it in with drawings, letters or words from their own languages, while encouraging them to share information from other children or families in their own contexts (neighbourhood or school)

  3. Arabic, which includes the narration of two protagonists of Lebanese descent, who ‘talk’ about the specific experiences that are related to their linguistic and cultural background, giving emphasis to the point of view of the bilingual children themselves.

Through the above approaches other children and families of diverse ethnolinguistic background are encouraged to share elements that may seem to differentiate them from the dominant culture and language of the country of reception. A closer look, however, makes it obvious that children share similar perspectives and voice experiences and priorities that unite them, such as the importance of family relations and play. The promotion of sameness through difference is an important revelation for all children and families alike, one that educators are invited to capitalize on in order to create a collaborative and intercultural context for learning through languages for all children.

7.2. Multilingual Classroom Dictionary

In the light of the previous discussion about the importance of making all students’ languages visible in class and the special cognitive and social advantages of bi/multilingual educational approaches that help build bridges connecting the school with the communities, we propose the creation of the classrooms multilingual dictionary and games.

The dictionary that we present is a product of the collaboration between educators at preschool education in Thessaloniki, Greece and researchers of the School of Early Childhood Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and of the Group ‘Polydromo’ (www.polydromo.gr).

The dictionary includes words and everyday phrases chosen by educators at preschool and early primary school level , which are useful for everyday communication at school and appear -so far- in Greek, Albanian, English, French, German and Spanish. These languages were chosen as Albanian is a very widespread immigrant language in the Greek educational and social context, while English, French, German and Spanish are popular foreign languages.

We consider the creation and use of a ‘Classroom Poly-Lexicon’ an important means of promoting both the maintenance of the various languages of origin of the children and the promotion of language learning for all children alike. In order to extend and enrich such an educational material, the aid of parents and community members is crucial and of utmost importance. Thus, we can involve parents and carers in the educational process and make their linguistic and other knowledge visible and useful for all.

7.3. Reference

Cope, B. & Kalantzis, M. (2000) (eds) Multiliteracies-Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures. London & New York: Routledge.