Webinar - Growing Up/Learning and living with multiple languages

Published in Webinar on Sep 12, 2023

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    Nayr Ibrahim

APPI Webinar - Growing Up / Learning and living with multiple languages: benefits and challenges of multilingualism

Zoom platform

In the superdiverse societies of the 21st century, children are exposed to multiple language contact situations from a very young age: they switch between their several languages to communicate with binational parents and monolingual relatives; they integrate new language communities as a result of parents’ chosen or forced mobility; they learn foreign languages in primary school; they have English as a basic skill in the school curriculum; and attend after-school heritage language programmes. This multilingual scenario has had a significant impact on children’s early experiences of language, literacy and identity and, as it spills over into classrooms, on teachers’ classroom practice. 

This presentation explores multilingualism as a holistic phenomenon from a sociolinguistic, cognitive and affective perspective. It looks at the benefits and challenges of linguistic diversity in schools and in the classroom and identifies strategies teachers can use to build on and value children’s linguistic repertoires. Ultimately, helping education professionals move from a monolingual to a multilingual mindset supports increasingly multicultural societies in becoming inclusive of diversity, tolerant of difference and accepting of multilingual children.

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