How many languages are spoken in your class?

How many languages are spoken in your class?

Ciao! cześć! Hola! Our classes are really multilingual, and as teachers it is important to understand how to make the most of the many languages we have in our classes and communities.

Every school should know which languages are spoken by the pupils and they should know which are the most widely spoken ones. In some schools this information may be collected at the point of enrollment, in some schools the information emerges only once the teacher gets to know the children better.

multilingual class
Mother Tongues have developed a growing database of articles to help teachers make the most of linguistic diversity, and we recommend that teachers use our Language Background Questionnaires (child and adult version) to start the conversation with the children and also to gather important information that can help to plan activities. The questionnaires can be downloaded here.
If you are looking for a resource to start talking to children about languages, you can easily access the RTÉJr podcast Mothertongues to listen to stories of families with multiple languages, showing the range of languages spoken by children in Ireland. Hearing children talking about their own languages will help some children to open up about their own experience, and will allow everyone in the class to reflect on identity, diversity and what it means to be a multilingual Irish child!
Each episode has an associated article with some fun facts about each language, too, and some of the articles focus on traditions from different countries, making this a very flexible resource.

If you are a teacher looking for lesson ideas or resources to support multilingual children in your class, head to our Database of Topics, and consider becoming a Member of Mother Tongues to avail of the many exclusive benefits for members!

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