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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Saturday, March 4 • 12:30 - 13:15
Round Table

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Round-table: these sessions focus on discussion for educators with a common topic of interest chaired by an expert or practitioner, and based on the chair's or participants' guiding questions. You can choose which discussion you would like to join on the day in the assigned venue.

Discussion leaders (and notes):

-Bekhechi, Frances with Veronica Bourke (International School of Brussels)
  • Practices and Approaches: Looking at case studies of second language students who struggle and determining how best to support their learning.

-Botcharova, Susan (Haileybury Almaty)
  • Multilingual education is a wonderful thing - but what to do when some of the stakeholders in your school don't see it that way? This round-table conversation will focus on this interesting and challenging question. How to deal with the cultural, social (and possibly political) issues which may arise when the details of multilingual language instruction are more closely examined will be the topic of discussion, with the examples from the Haileybury School in Almaty, used to demonstrate how challenging this can be. Although this issue touches on all aspects of school life, it will be framed within the ''Culture and Identity'' sub-theme. 

Caputo, Lorna (IS Zug & Luzern, Switzerland)
  • International schools have significant populations of multilingual children with complex language and educational histories due to families’ often-frequent relocations. This round table will explore some of the unique characteristics of high socio-economic, transient, multilingual children by posing discussion questions that come from recent sociolinguistic research on language variation and exposure, as well as psycho- and clinical-linguistic research. We will discuss how international educators work with families and clinicians to diagnose language disorders in multilingual children, as well as highlight the various factors that can contribute to both over-and under-identification of language disorders in this group. In addition, we will analyse the role of teachers in supporting the needs of multilingual children with suspected language disorders, and the many professional challenges they face. Many of the speakers you have selected for the conference have researched or recently presented papers and published articles on topics that deal with multilingualism and language development. I believe that a round table that addresses multilingual children and the topic of language disorder identification and support will provide attendees with a forum to reflect on this nuanced issue. 

-Dumic, Mirela (IS London, Surrey)
  • Connecting Students to the World of Research:   As an innovative initiative that gives interested Grade 8 and 9 students the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research, the Research Institute at the ISL Surrey has started a pilot research project. The project focuses on Bilingualism / Multilingualism, a key area of strength and expertise within its school community. Engaging with an academic researcher as a role model/mentor and two research facilitators from the school, the students will experience the whole process of conducting a research project. The students will produce an article for inclusion in a relevant publication and present their research findings to various audiences. The aim of the session is to share this experience and discuss potential of such initiatives in the context of an international school, and how they may empower the student. Research Institute 

- Dr. Feinmann, Jenny
  • This session will focus on assessment and intervention practices to encourage the academic language development of multilingual students. My doctoral research was a multiple case-study looking at the background factors affecting the spoken academic language development of adolescent International School students. This work drew on 25 years of experience working in International Schools in Europe and South-East Asia as a teacher and educational psychologist. It includes the longitudinal study of students from Grades 5-12. The proposed discussion relates to the ‘language needs or special needs’ question which was the particularly popular Teachers for Teachers session at the last ECIS ESLMT conference. Topics for this Round- table might be: Language needs or special needs? How do we assess whether students have had the opportunity to develop AL in any language? What is the place of home language development alongside the targeted instruction of academic language in the primary language(s) of schools?

-Kan, Christopher (Bavarian International School)
  • Who said learning shouldn't be fun? A lower affective filter, often an aspect of fun activities, can promote learning (Krashen, 1981).The aim of my session is to explore different experiential learning activities that are not only effective for supporting EAL students but are also fun. I hope to share a few ideas, engage my participants in thinking of ways to improve and adapt these ideas for their own teaching contexts.

Schmitt, Jennifer (Inter-Community School Zurich)
  • Face, pride, and ego: Conflict resolution in a multicultural context:  this session would be broader and more conceptual – it would include potential conflict resolution issues amongst staff, students, and parents as impacted by our various sets of cultural norms in an international school setting.  The focus is more on multicultural interactions and less on curriculum/instruction. Supporting slides available on this link.

-Smith, Graham (The EAL Academy)
  • Assessment & accountability: this discussion will focus on promoting raising the achievement of bilingual learners through:
    -the power of formative and summative assessment to provoke positive teacher conversation about learners and pedagogy
    -the power of accountability measures (such as inspection and performance data) to raise expectations of achievement for bilingual learners 

Stewart, Susan (IS London, Surrey)
  • This discussion will focus on the possibility of setting up a network of schools who actively support mother tongue within the curriculum. Could such a network regularly share their practices with one another and also provide information for our exiting families who are seeking a school with similar mother tongue support? Could we dream big, and imagine having a recognised "stamp of approval" of a "mother tongue/home language expert school"? 

Zwart, Henk (LanguageOne)
  • Teachers of the "host country" language in international schools face unique challenges in creating and delivering a high-quality program. Some of these are:
    - varying levels of proficiency in groups, from beginner to native speaker
    - varying levels of parental interest and support
    - lack of curricula and materials for this particular target group
    In this round table we will gather to brainstorm how "host country" teachers can work within these issues, and perhaps form collaborative partnerships for further development. 

Saturday March 4, 2017 12:30 - 13:15 CET