Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Celebrating Our Languages: a Toolkit

I have just received the Our Language Toolkit published by CILT and I am very impressed by what it has to offer to all schools, whether multicultural or not.
The toolkit is a free support document to encourage the setting-up of more formal partnerships between mainstream, voluntary and complementary schools. Although such partnerships might seem easier in multicultural schools, it is important that some degree of partnership is established in all schools to equip their students with the understanding needed to work and live in our 21st century multicultural environments.

There is also considerable evidence indicating that there are great cognitive benefits derived from developing pupils’ confidence and competence in their mother tongue.
The toolkit also includes a section highlighting accreditations in different languages like the Asset Languages certificates as well as opportunities provided for family learning and routes available for native speakers to become teachers and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

In addition, the Our Languages project has made freely available a comprehensive range of resources to support the teaching and learning of different community languages including Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Mandarin Chinese, Panjabi, Polish, Somali, Tamil and Urdu.

The resources cover KS2 as well as KS3-4 and there are also many case studies and videos to support them and give a student’s perspective of the projects.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools(TDA) is now developing a strategy to improve the teaching and learning of world languages. The strategy will include support of teaching and non-teaching staff, qualification framework and you can now contribute by completing the World Languages survey on the TDA website.

I would also say that using the term “World languages” for the survey rather than “Community Languages” is already a positive step-it is a very inclusive way to describe all languages rather than go back to the old foreign/ community languages divide ...

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