ECIS ESLMT Conference Copenhagen (2-5 March, 2017)
"The Power of Multilingual Classrooms in International Education: Implications for Curriculum Design, Teaching and Learning" 
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Friday, March 3 • 13:30 - 14:30
Expanding Your MT Definition: Bringing Identity Language Into Your School. FULL

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The time of English only classrooms is long over. After welcoming children’s mother tongues into classrooms, it is now time to welcome the whole child into your classroom! Today's world and the children who live in it don’t always have a black and white, easy-to-define language profile anymore. For after school MT programmes, often your passport or the languages your parents speak are your criteria for entrance into these programs. As the international community becomes more global, and more people come to live outside their national boundaries for extended periods, our children's languages and identities expand further and change. Children’s core identities are becoming more complex and their language backgrounds more diverse.

In response to a growing urgency within our school, we felt that our access criteria to MT programmes no longer met the needs of our international students and their families. As we have been spreading beyond EAL settings, trying to drive mother tongue inclusion further into the curriculum, we felt a change to our MT definition was unavoidable. We would like to share our experiences with you on adapting policies to include the whole child and everything they bring into our school. Affirming identity is one of the most crucial aspects needed to impact student learning, giving them the opportunity to be successful people with strong sense of themselves and where they come from. Let’s match our languages programmes to our international students and their lived experiences, which exist beyond the borders of their passport and not the other way around.

This policy shift will be explored through an examination of student case studies and the restructuring of our MT language programmes. Using our newly created language portrait as a flexible tool to uncover our students’ language backgrounds, we are better able to utilise their linguistic potential in all learning contexts.

avatar for Jim Cummins

Jim Cummins

Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
Jim Cummins is a Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research focuses on literacy development in educational contexts characterized by linguistic diversity. In numerous articles and books he has explored the nature... Read More →

avatar for Mindy McCracken

Mindy McCracken

Mother Tongue and Identity Language Leader/EAL Teacher, International School of the Hague
Mindy holds a degree in Environmental Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching credential with a built-in CLAD (Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development) concentration to support second language learners. This specific expertise has been essential for her successful classroom... Read More →
avatar for Lara Rikers

Lara Rikers

Primary School EAL Leader & Y3 EAL Teacher, International School of The Hague
Lara Rikers is an experienced Primary School Teacher and EAL Team Leader. With over fifteen years of teaching, in both Dutch and International settings, Lara actively uses her multilingual background to accelerate the language learning of her students. In her role as EAL Team Leader... Read More →

Friday March 3, 2017 13:30 - 14:30 CET