Tag: Polish in Ireland

Mother Tpngues storytelling

Mother Tongues Storytelling projects

Over the last 12 months, we have been working with Chester Beatty Library and Dolphin’s Barn Library on two family storytelling projects. We have experimented both with bilingual storytelling, where every child can join in and try to engage with a dual language story and with single language storytelling, where facilitators and parents only read in the children’s heritage language.
This was a fantastic experience for children who hear their heritage language only spoken at home, as it showed children that libraries and other public places welcome their language and heritage, and storytelling in the heritage language can be a fun community activity.
Language adventures, Raising bilingual children, Mother Tongues, multilingualism, bilingualism, DublinOur multilingual storytelling project Language Adventures started at Dolphins Barn Library with a series of six mornings in which Italian speaking mothers and fathers read and told stories to their children.
The atmosphere was great, and the children enjoyed the unfamiliar experience of reading in Italian in a public space.
Each session also included arts and craft activities which allowed parents to get to chat with one another and make new friends.
Both Claudia from Mother Tongues and Beata, head librarian at Dolphin’s Barn library were extremely enthusiastic and pleased with the outcomes of the first few meetings, so we planned a multilingual storytelling series, including Polish, German, Chinese and Lithuanian. Each session was quite unique, and we allowed families to choose their style of facilitation.
For Polish storytelling, we gathered a fantastic group of Polish parents who read famous stories from their home country and created beautiful bear masks. The German storytelling turned out to be a toddler book reading and parents had the opportunity to meet other parents and to ask questions about bilingualism.

In February we were delighted to host Evan Furlong, director of the Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese, who told children and parents how the 12 animals of Chinese Zodiac were chosen and ranked. This storytelling was bilingual, which meant that stories were told in both Chinese and English.
The following month we hosted the Lithuanian Saturday School. They read the story of the fox and the bear explaining why the fox is considered the smartest animal in the forest and the bear’s tail is so short. We were amazed at the children’s incredible reading skills in their heritage language and this special event was made even more special thanks to the visit of Virginija Umbrasiene of the Lithuanian Embassy. You could definitely see that the children were proud and happy to be able to speak Lithuanian.

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Our next events at Dolphins Barn Library will be in Greek and French. The Greek storytelling is organised in collaboration with the Hellenic Community of Ireland School and it will take place on 27th April at 10.30. This event will allow everyone to get a glimpse into Greek language and culture, and it will be held in Greek and English. On 25th May you will meet author Juliette Saumande for an hour of stories and songs in French. We will even make our own books at the end.
In collaboration with the Chester Beatty Library, we organised more multilingual storytelling sessions in Chinese, Greek, Lithuanian and Japanese. These events are held bilingually – English and the corresponding language. The first two were well attended and much appreciated by the public.
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Aga Pędrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Bilingual mind

I began to be interested in language and migration when my parents emigrated to Ireland in 2005. At the time, I was almost 16 and I did not want to go with them – I insisted to stay with my grandparents. For several years, also later during my studies when I lived independently, I visited Ireland several times each year. I travelled a lot across Ireland with my parents and thanks to that I felt I knew the country very well and that Ireland became close to my heart.
Yet, I was still not ready to emigrate. My studies of Polish philology deepened my linguistic interests and I dedicated my BA and MA theses to “Ponglish” (the mixed language that includes elements of both Polish and English) and bilingualism of Polish children living in Ireland and in Great Britain.
In order to collect my research material, I visited several Polish complementary schools, I talked to teachers, parents and children of Polish descent. Everyone had different stories, views, experiences.
After graduation, I decided to move to Ireland, where I currently work as a teacher in Polish complementary schools. Shortly after my arrival, my daughter was born and I understood that, despite this seemingly good knowledge of the Irish reality, moving to a new place and bringing up a child with two languages can be a challenge.
I started writing a blog because I wanted to share my knowledge, opinions, experiences and I am always happy to hear other people’s views.
I know that many migrant parents need support, reliable knowledge, advice and they are interested in language and migration. I write my blog for parents, teachers and to all the people who are interested in child bilingualism & biculturalism and on Polish as a heritage language.
In my blog posts, I always stress the fact that bilingualism is an investment for life and that it should be built on the family’s respect for both countries, both languages and both cultures.

Agnieszka Pędrak
www.bilingualmind.com


Zaczęłam interesować się językiem w kontekście emigracji, kiedy moi rodzice wyemigrowali do Irlandii w 2005 roku. Miałam wówczas blisko 16 lat i nie chciałam wyjechać z nimi – uparłam się, że zostanę z dziadkami. Przez kilka lat, już później mieszkając samodzielnie w trakcie studiów, odwiedzałam Irlandię kilka razy każdego roku. Dużo podróżowałam po wyspie z rodzicami, co sprawiło, że czułam, że znam te kraj jak własną kieszeń i że jest mi on bliski. Wciąż nie byłam jednak gotowa na przeprowadzkę. Studia polonistyczne pogłębiły moje zainteresowanie językoznawstwem, a swoje prace dyplomowe poświęciłam właśnie językowi Polaków za granicą (językowi mieszanemu, zwanemu „Ponglish”) i dwujęzyczności dzieci polonijnych w Irlandii i Wielkiej Brytanii.
Kiedy zbierałam materiał do badań, odwiedziłam kilka polskich szkół sobotnich, gdzie rozmawiałam o dwujęzyczności i języku dziedziczonym z rodzicami, nauczycielami, uczniami
polskiego pochodzenia – dzięki temu poznałam przeróżne doświadczenia tutejszych Polaków, a temat dwujęzyczności jeszcze bardziej mnie zainteresował. Po ukończeniu studiów
zdecydowałam się wyemigrować do Irlandii, gdzie obecnie uczę języka polskiego w polskich szkołach sobotnich. Niedługo po przylocie na Zieloną Wyspę urodziła się moja córka.
Zrozumiałam wtedy, że mimo pozornie dobrej znajomości realiów życia w Irlandii, emigracja i wychowywanie dziecka za granicą wciąż mogą być codziennym wyzwaniem. Zaczęłam pisać bloga, bo lubię dzielić się swoimi przemyśleniami na temat dwujęzycznego wychowania i jestem ciekawa doświadczeń innych polskich rodzin za granicą. Wiem, że jest wielu rodziców-migrantów, którzy potrzebują wsparcia, rzetelnej wiedzy, porady albo po prostu chętnie dowiedzą się czegoś nowego o dwujęzyczności. Mój blog skierowany jest zarówno do rodziców, opiekunów i nauczycieli dzieci dwujęzycznych, jak i do wszystkich osób, które interesują się dwujęzycznością, wychowaniem dwujęzycznym i językiem polskim na świecie. W swoich tekstach zawsze podkreślam, że dwujęzyczność i dwukulturowość są „inwestycją” na całe życie, a dwujęzyczne wychowanie powinno opierać się na szacunku całej rodziny wobec obu krajów, języków i kultur.

Agnieszka Pędrak
www.bilingualmind.com

St. John Paul’s Polish School, Aga Pedrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Talk on Bilingualism in Kilkenny, 20.10.2017

Last Friday Aga gave a short talk on bilingualism to parents of St. John Paul’s Polish School in Kilkenny.

St. John Paul’s Polish School, Aga Pedrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin
Aga Pedrak

During one hour presentation, they discussed what is bilingualism, what are the benefits and challenges associated with bilingual upbringing and how to support bilingualism in small and school-age children. Parents asked about everyday tips that would help them encourage they children to use Polish at home and outside. They were also interested in the impact of complementary schools or other after-school classes held in the minority language.

All participants received leaflets and brochures on bilingualism and an e-mail with additional information and links to helpful online resources.

The talk was organized with the cooperation of St. John Paul’s Polish School in Kilkenny in order to celebrate Polish Bilingual Day celebrated every October since 2015 by Polish diaspora around the world.