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Creating multilingual resources

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.