How do you encourage your students to use the full range of their language skills to deepen engagement and comprehension of content?

Every teacher is a language teacher.

A CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) dual focus promotes content mastery and language acquisition. Teachers need to be able to simultaneously support content and language development if all students are to be included and engaged, and learn with meaning and conceptual understanding. Language learning is indeed at the heart of an internationally-minded education.

So, How do we create conditions that engage multilingual learners in our classroom?

Consider learning a new scaffolding technique. “Scaffolding up the curriculum, rather than watering it down, is key for English learners.” (Nordmeyer et al, 2021). Leverage the fluid languaging of learners. Try a new strategy or approach so all your students can equitably deepen engagement and comprehension of content, while simultaneously developing language.

Consider trying one of these actionable language learning strategies from our April content or read a language learning focused MiniPD Coach article below.

The Reason Why Every International School Needs a Mother Tongue Programme by Noelia Zago. Noelia writes, “Children that maintain academic studies in their mother tongue are able to dominate other languages with greater ease and fluidity. The inclusion of a high-quality Mother Tongue programme is a prime indicator of a world-class international education.” Her article “shares how such a programme can be put together and delivered with all of its associated benefits to students.” Noelia was part of the founding team of one of London’s leading International Schools, and is an IB teacher of Spanish for native and for second language students.

Effective EAL Teaching and Learning by Anna Leaman. Anna writes, “There are some fundamental strategies that are just as important in a virtual classroom as in a physical one when delivering effective teaching and learning for EAL students,” essential for, “delivering an inclusive curriculum.” In her article, she unpacks the following strategies:

  • Ensure Learning Instructions are Clear
  • Provide Visuals to Support Learning
  • Pre-Teach Vocabulary
  • Provide Graphic Organizers, Cloze Exercise, Sentence Starters and Writing Frames
  • Offer Ample Opportunities for Collaborative Learning
  • Maintain Communication with ParentsCapitalize on Home Language – Can Learn Curriculum in Home Language.

With experience in international school contexts, Anna currently works with schools to share proven strategies, processes and resources to facilitate improvement to the English language learning provision that they offer.

Being Multilingual and Global Translanguaging: New Ways to Strengthen Learning by Rini Ghosh. Rini explores the cognitive benefits of being multilingual and addresses the question, “How can teachers help students develop the academic language they need to be successful while taking advantage of students’ multilingual use?” Rini is a facilitator and examiner for Spanish with the International Baccalaureate. Amongst other roles, she works at an IB school in India and is with the Board of Studies at Amity University, India.

Beth Puma writes, “Far too often students’ language proficiency and multilingualism is reduced to a spreadsheet and a score. By taking the time to write language profiles for students that capture their assets, you have the opportunity to reframe perceptions of multilingual students. The profile also helps build the parent home partnership while serving as a great communication tool with co-teachers.” Beth provides examples of practical strategies, including assessing student language profiles and developing multilingual student profiles, found here in April – Leveraging on Languages. Beth Puma is currently an Instructional Coach and EAL Specialist in Japan. She is dedicated to building a more transformative educational landscape that honors linguistic diversity.

Beth leaves us with an important question to consider, “How do we help students notice their full linguistic repertoire? How do we help them notice this as a beautiful asset?”

Join the Conversation

We invited educators from around the world to join us in a Coaches-in-Conversation on our theme, Leveraging on Languages, in April 2022.  We are happy to share the recording here:

Wanting to further the conversation?  

MiniPD Language Coaches

Needing a thought partner? A critical friend? Schedule one-to-one coaching sessions with any of our inspirational MiniPD Coaches mentioned above. They can support you and your team to nudge your language teaching and learning practices forward.

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Leveraging on Languages

The MiniPD Team

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