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.
Get your copy HERE.
Mother Tongues’ very first celebration of the European Day of Languages has been a fantastic multilingual marathon… or langua-thon, with 9 days of events which involved more than 500 people of all ages.
We started on Culture Night – 21st September – with a multilingual reading of The Hare and the Tortoise, one of the best known Aesop’s fables, at the Gutter Bookshop. We told the story in Swedish, German, Irish, Greek, Italian, French, Maltese and Russian. Children loved listening to the sounds of new languages and our storytellers had a great time!
On 22nd September two Native Scientist workshops took place in Trinity College Dublin. In these workshops, 5 Italian speaking scientists and 5 Spanish speaking scientists spoke to more than 50 children about their research and engaged them in fun experiments and games. Children learned about the brain, about cells and DNA, about the oldest rocks in the world, and much more, but more importantly, they learned about science through the medium of their mother tongue.
The highlight of the week was the European Language Label Awards! Language Explorers received the European Language Label from Minister Richard Bruton, and this recognition has given us great energy to start the programme in new schools from next week!
The LexIcon Library in Dun Laoghaire was the home of many of the activities that took place around the European Day of Languages. On Monday 24th September two classes visited the library for Language Explorers workshops. Children learned about Irish Sign Language, about the many languages spoken in Africa and they played games based on similarities between languages. On Tuesday 25th and Thursday 24th Claudia Kunkel ran two multilingual storytelling sessions in collaboration with Erika Piazzoli, Aga Pedrak and Juliette Saumande (pictured here). The library also hosted a talk on raising bilingual children, which was attended by mums, dads, and grandparents who shared a common goal: supporting their family’s multilingualism with a positive attitude and great determination!
Francesca also visited Clones Library for two Language Explorers school workshops, and she shared her knowledge of Irish Sign Language and Italian in exchange for some Gaelige and Lithuanian. Everyone had lovely stories to share, and we discovered that the Italian and the Irish words for LAMP are similar in Italian, Spanish, Russian and Irish!
The week ended with our bimonthly Language Adventures reading project, which saw Italian speaking families sharing stories and reading books in Italian at Dolphin’s Barn library in Dublin 8.
This week has given us great energy to continue with our activities and to keep spreading the message that multilingualism is a great asset for our society! We hope you enjoyed our events too, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
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