Language Explorers Workshops: Fostering Home Languages
Unlocking the Potential of Multilingualism
As parents, we all want to provide our children with the tools they need to succeed in life. One of the most important tools we can give them as bilingual parents is the ability to speak multiple languages.
We know that when bilingual children hear their family language spoken also outside of the home, they gain a stronger sense of self-worth and develop positive attitudes toward their own diversity and other cultures. The same happens when a monolingual child who speaks the majority language (in Ireland that would be English) is exposed to other languages and cultures from a young age.
Home Languages Flourish with Language Explorers
At Mother Tongues we believe that by fostering plurilingualism we can create the basis for the new generations of children who will become more open to diversity. This is the rationale behind the creation of our flagship programme, Language Explorers, a multilingual programme that places a strong emphasis on art and creativity to promote language development, parent-child communication, and on fostering home languages.
The workshops are delivered through a range of engaging activities, such as storytelling, arts and crafts, drama, movement and music.
Embracing Diversity Through Inclusivity
What makes Language Explorers different to a standard playgroup is that it is designed by an early years artist and a language development expert. The children’s home languages are included, so everyone is exposed to each other’s languages. Language Explorers welcomes all children, irrespective of the languages they speak. The programme places a strong emphasis on including migrants and Irish bilinguals, to share their experiences and work creatively with their parents or carers and other children. Therefore, we strive to foster an inclusive and supportive environment for all.
Early Years Language Development
Research has shown that the early years are crucial for a child’s linguistic and socio-emotional development. This is why Language Explorers is specifically designed to cater for children aged 3 to 6. By introducing creative interventions at an early age, the project aims to have a long-lasting impact on the child’s psycho-social well-being and sense of self.
Thanks to the Communities Integration Fund awarded to us by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), we were able to organise a series of 8 workshops in Tallaght Library last autumn. Over the 8 workshops, we had 12 languages spoken other than English: Portuguese, Italian, Persian, Ukrainian, Irish, Spanish, Arabic, Czech, Chinese, French, Finnish, and Russian.
Language Explorers is committed to sustaining its impact over the long term, with the hope of seeing continued benefits for all children, both migrants and non-migrants, in the coming years.
This programme has had a positive impact on families who have participated in the workshops. In the feedback collected after the sessions led by artist Fernanda Ferrari, parents told us that they notice an increased awareness of different languages in their children. Moreover, they were delighted about the inclusive nature of the workshops as places where different languages are welcome.
Positive Impact: Parents Share Their Experience
But don’t just take our word for it! Here is what some of our attendees had to say about their experience with Language Explorers:
Experience the Magic of Language Explorers Workshops
We strongly believe that Language Explorers has the potential to impact children’s lives more than other intervention programmes because we use high-quality creative experiences as a fundamental form of self-expression. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity, join us at Language Explorers to foster your child’s home language and promote diversity and inclusivity in your community!