Leading up to Mother Tongues Festival 2023, we are excited to present our Language Explorers workshop series with Fernanda Ferrari!
New pilot programme on multilingualism to be funded by RTÉ Late Late Toy Show Appeal 2022
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The Language Explorers multilingual workshops have a strong focus on bringing high-quality art and creativity experiences to 3 & 4-year-old children
Uillinn Programme Manager will host a conversation with IMYLA creator Tomasz Madajczak about celebrating linguistic diversity in Ireland
Teachers tell me they are really impressed with the level of engagement of the students, learning and exploring new languages around them.
When I asked the young people why they think we should do multilingual workshops, one young person said “to create language friendships”.
Language Explorers is designed to raise awareness of linguistic diversity in the classroom and to promote an interest in language learning.
Our programme Language Explorers has been selected as one of the most impactful innovations for the HundrED Spotlight on Parental Engagement!
Take a traditional tale that has travelled the world, build characters and props, and here you have a “story box”!
Now it’s time for you to enjoy telling stories in many languages, share fun moments and engage with the whole school community!
As part of the Language Explorers initiative, we visited a Junior Infants class in Dublin to create the opportunity for children to experience various languages and to learn more about one another.
We chose the Three Little Pigs, a very familiar tale, and we invited parents to take part in the project.
Parents joined their children in building the props and telling the stories in their mother tongue.
The discussions among the children were fascinating:
– “Look! I made a pig unicorn!”
– How do you say “horn” in your language?
– Rożek (in polish)
– Oh! like courgette!
– yeah! but it’s not the same /R/ (referring to the pronunciation of the r sound). I now know 3 ways to do /R/: English, polish and french!
Parents had fun telling the story in their mother tongue and for many, it was the first time they spoke their language in front of their child’s class.
The children heard the same story told in English, Irish, Portuguese, Japanese and French. This was a great opportunity for all children to be exposed to new sounds and words and to understand the diversity that their friends and the families bring to the school as an enrichment to the whole school community.
Children were delighted to share their heritage with the rest of the class and they were very excited to see their parents speak a language in school that is only usually spoken at home. The comments, the observations, the laughter, the attempts to imitate sounds and words allowed everyone to experiment with linguistic diversity.
It was a fantastic experience and we hope to be able to bring this initiative to more schools, so get in touch if you would like to bring this project to your school!
For more information visit www.languagexplorers.eu or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Language Explorers Activity Book was launched on 18th September at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
The event opened with an address by Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO of Gaeloideachas, on the importance of multilingualism and the relevance of the Language Explorers Activity Book in classrooms.
The launch included a fantastic “Language Explorers” themed workshop organised by Dr La Morgia in collaboration with Jenny Siung, Head of Education at the Chester Beatty Library, who worked together on the book.
“It was an honour to be able to collaborate with Jenny Siung and Justyna Chmielewska at the Chester Beatty Library, because they immediately understood the potential of this multilingual resource and their collection is the perfect starting point for a multilingual treasure hunt” said La Morgia. “I really enjoyed seeing the children walking around the collection and spotting the objects that were portrayed in the book and I hope that many more children will be able to look at this collection and at the world around them with a different attitude after they have completed the activities in the book.”
Since the book launch, the Language Explorers project for primary schools has been awarded the European Language Label, an award that rewards innovative initiatives in the realm of language teaching and learning.
The Language Explorers activity book, published by Mother Tongues, includes activities for primary school children that encourage them to explore the linguistic landscape around them and to play with language. The activity book takes children on a journey of discovery through games, quizzes and word searches. Young Language Explorers will start observing the languages they see every day on road signs, shop fronts and even on their food labels!
The book is available in English and in Irish, thanks to the support of Gaeloideachas.