My former doctoral dissertation adviser and mentor sent me this link to a video that someone had sent to her. Although I have known about international schools, both the “American” and the British, for years, what did not occur to me was the ESL aspect of it. I just presumed that all children had to pass English exams to be admitted. All of the children I knew who attended the American International School here in Budapest, were those of Embassy employees. Speaking with these kids, I did know the classrooms were mini United Nations, but using native languages did not creep into my conscious thoughts.
I have been an advocate for multilingual education for decades, but this video was especially eye-opening in regard to the international schools. My hope in posting it here is that it is as consciousness raising for others to see the need for multilingual education in all schools. Not only do we need to promote the teaching in native languages, but also teach “foreign” languages.
There is something about the phrase “foreign languages” in a school system that sets me on edge. The “foreign” sets us up for the us VS. them paradigm that so desperately needs deconstruction.
“Research shows that language immersion and other world language programs promote academic achievement for English Language Learners as well as English-speaking students,” Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson said. “Students with a global perspective have a better understanding of the world around them, the language skills to communicate across cultural boundaries, and a deeper knowledge of the connections that link our community to those of the world at large. These skills help our students and our country to thrive in an increasingly global society.” This quote comes from this article.
Watch and enjoy!