Native Language @ ISB

Entries Tagged as 'Mother tongue at home'

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 21 ISB Languages

May 18th, 2020 · No Comments

Many ISB families are enjoying Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this month, thanks to the MS Faculty Read-Aloud. Did you know that this book is free online in many languages during COVID-19? 

To browse the ebook, audiobook, and print versions available in Thailand, visit Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 21 ISB Languages!

(Tip: log in to Sora first.)

Happy reading and listening!

Tags: Books · Mother tongue at home · Native Language at ISB · Websites

Panthers Pounce Reading Challenge: Read in Any Language!

May 2nd, 2020 · No Comments

Panthers Pounce is a school-wide May reading challenge where everyone—students, staff, and families—can join the fun in ANY language! To participate, read in any/all of your languages during May and log your reading time here. (Choose the Students or Adults box on the right side of the page.)

Happy reading in ANY language!

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Native Language at ISB

Audiobooks in Eight ISB Languages

April 30th, 2020 · No Comments

Need some screen-free fun (and listening practice)? Children’s audiobooks in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese are available free at Audible Stories: Discover during COVID-19. Options range from novels to storybooks like Der kleine Siebenschläfer (The Little Dormouse) by Sabine Bohlmann, read in German by the author. Click to listen!

Tags: Books · Mother tongue at home · Websites

Five Surprising Truths About Language Mixing

April 20th, 2020 · No Comments

Multilingual families sometimes worry about language mixing. Is it a problem?

Dr. Shana Poplack, founding director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory at the University of Ottawa, suggests not. In a fascinating article for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, she shares conclusions from her research that shatter many common myths about this topic. For example, mixing languages isn’t detrimental to linguistic structure!

Dr. Poplack’s conclusions matter because, as she notes, language mixing is often stigmatized — “considered to display laziness and ignorance, when not blamed for the deterioration or even demise of one or all of the languages involved.”

Have you discovered that language mixing can be a 楽しい part of learning and life? If so, mix it up!

Tags: Journal articles · Mother tongue at home

Tips on Multilingual Learning at Home

March 27th, 2020 · No Comments

ISB Multilingual Learning at Home, a blog post to accompany the above video.

March 27, 2020, is the second International Day of Multilingualism. On this date—chosen because March 27, 196 BC, is the date on the famously multilingual Rosetta Stone—we celebrate how more than half of the world’s population speaks multiple languages. #MultilingualIsNormal! This is clear at ISB, where English is the common language but a majority of students report a Language Other Than English as their native language, and where native and world language classes are offered in all divisions.

Currently, virtual school affords ISB families a unique opportunity to use ALL of their languages, connecting both with school work and with one another. How can multilingual learning enrich the experience of virtual school? How are ISB families finding that #MultilingualIsNormal even in a not-so-normal time? This is a great day to share stories. Happy International Day of Multilingualism!

Note in today’s Good Morning Middle School, daily email announcements for students in grades 6-8.

 

 

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Multilingualism

A Great Time to Exercise Languages

March 8th, 2020 · No Comments

Discussing academic concepts in all of students’ languages is a great way to deepen their learning at ISB.

During the weeks of March 9-13 and 16-20 [March 17 update: international schools are closed until further notice], students will engage in online learning due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. This time presents an opportunity for families to discuss academic concepts in students’ native languages, in some cases as students are studying the concepts. 

Glossaries for school can support this process. To access Bilingual Glossaries for many academic subjects, in numerous ISB languages, click on Bilingual Glossaries under Bookmarks at the right side of this blog.

There are also many ways to exercise languages outside of study time. To read tips by ISB Native Language Academy teachers on how to have fun practicing languages at home—from reading aloud together to playing games—please click Educators at the top of this blog, and then click any teacher’s name for the teacher’s tips. Have fun!

Tips by Mandarin teacher Guofang (Candy) Tang 

This post was last updated on 17 March 2020 at 2 p.m.

 

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Native Language Teachers · Websites

A Language-Rich Lunar New Year

January 24th, 2020 · 1 Comment

Spring couplets, paper cutting for window decorations, stick games, FOOD…these are just a few ways ISB’s Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese speakers are celebrating Lunar New Year, January 25, 2020.

Dumplings served at PTA Chinese Food Fair, January 21, 2020

Lunar New Year also provides opportunities for conversation. When does our family celebrate New Year, and why? When do our friends celebrate? What are the historic roots of our traditions? How have different generations observed this same holiday?

No matter your background, may your family enjoy a Lunar New Year rich in both fun and language!

Reminder: Native Language Academy classes will all be back in session next week! (The couplet writing and decor-making will be happening in the ES Mandarin classes of Chinchin Fan, and stick games will be happening in ES Korean class with Young Ae Jung!)

Tags: After-school classes · Mother tongue at home

A Buffet of Bilingual Glossaries

November 14th, 2019 · No Comments

When parents, faculty and administrators gathered for today’s Raising Multilinguals: How? workshop, they enjoyed a buffet of samosas, sushi, mangoes with sticky rice—and bilingual glossaries.

The glossaries, organized by school subject and division (elementary, middle, high) are downloadable from the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and Transformation in Schools, New York University. They come in many ISB languages.

Bilingual glossaries can help students and families discuss schoolwork in their native tongue(s), one of many language-rich experiences discussed at Raising Multilinguals: How?.

At this workshop, presenters defined a language-rich experience as “any experience where opportunities to use language are created and nurtured.” Participants explored ways to transform everyday experiences—from discussing homework to texting to waiting in traffic—into language-rich moments. Small groups considered ways to infuse speaking, listening, reading, and/or writing into different scenarios, and they pondered ways to have conversations that nurture language growth. Finally, everyone affirmed the importance of reading aloud in one’s native language(s).

If you missed last month’s Raising Multilinguals workshop or today’s Raising Multilinguals: How? workshop, feel free to email us for information: nativelanguage@isb.ac.th

Meanwhile, do sample the bilingual glossaries online! Click on Bilingual Glossaries under Bookmarks at the right side of this blog.

Tags: Mother tongue at home · Native Language and Education · Native Language at ISB · Parent Workshops · Websites

Ask Olga! Helping Children Store Up Languages

November 8th, 2019 · 3 Comments

Children of multilingual families rarely choose what languages they will learn. They receive and accumulate what is given them by the family and the outside world. However, once children begin to develop their linguistic competencies, they are compelled to make choices each and every time they use language. Just think of the complexity of these choices and the amazing capacity and flexibility of young multilingual minds!

“How did it happen that you speak three languages?” I ask my granddaughter Michelle as we sit on the porch outside her home near London. A seemingly simple question suddenly poses a challenge to a six-year-old. “I don’t know,” she says. “Maybe when my Mama had me in her belly she spoke three languages . . .” It takes her a few seconds to reconsider, and then a more logical (from our perspective) answer emerges: “Oh, I know, I speak Russian with Mama and French with Papa. And my preschool teacher taught me English.”

It seems that for Michelle and her younger brother Maxim, each linguistic choice, each transition from one language to another, happens seamlessly and naturally. Russian is part of Mama’s personality and her family, and French is part of Papa and his family. English has a strong presence everywhere. It is useful to think of these languages not as separate domains but as a combined multilingual resource. Children learn to use this resource through experimenting with it, mixing the language ingredients, and learning the best ways to convey meaning. We are lucky to be involved in this process, but we also bear the responsibility for enriching the language they store.

My grandchildren’s language acquisition has involved some innovative choices, some unexpected side trips, and many funny moments. Both Michelle and Maxim continue to experiment with grammatical intricacies, word choices and phonology based on language that they have received. With the start of their school in the UK, the share of English language during the day has increased. Therefore, it is now especially important that their family continues to provide motivation and support for learning home languages and literacy.

Sometimes parents are concerned that the use of home languages might compromise learning in the language of instruction at school. However, research, experience and common sense suggest that using the potential of all linguistic resources available to multilingual children is beneficial for their cognitive, social and emotional development, and ultimately for their success in the global community.

Members of multilingual families can turn many moments into opportunities to build proficiency in home languages. These opportunities sometimes get lost in the ocean of chores and daily routines, engagement with gadgets, and the “I’ll do it on the weekend” mentality. We must keep in mind that lost opportunities accumulated over time require a lot of catching up later.

How can we parents and grandparents help children “store up” language?

  • Look at the schedule and make a list of language enrichment possibilities within our reach.
  • Use our native languages with the children consistently, making them always a part of the linguistic landscape.
  • Seek out new sources of language input: friends, activities, online sessions and/or lessons—these are becoming quite popular as distance learning. Adult friends, cartoons, movies and books are also great. The world is multilingual—there are opportunities to meet same-language groups everywhere!
  • Make good strategic use of our extended family: relatives and important others who are dedicated to educating children and happy to watch them grow. Michelle has begun serving as my Russian-language narrator for home movies filmed in French. Maxim is beginning to add his voice as well!

Our year has been full of family events—holidays, visiting cousins, and birthday parties. I remember a moment when children welcomed an invited birthday party star in London—a Spiderman. Michelle’s cousin Zoya was showing him her jump rope skills, which Michelle had not yet mastered. I could see Michelle’s intense expression until she seemed to have made a decision. She went closer to Spiderman and said seriously and proudly: “And I can speak three languages!” We hope our children will always feel proud of their linguistic accomplishments! If our children and grandchildren value their ability to speak more than one language, then that’s the best reward for our efforts.

Columnist Olga Steklova is a retired EAL teacher at ISB and trilingual herself. She shares tips for raising multilingual children as she observes her own grandchildren. To read more columns, click on the Ask Olga! category below.

Tags: Ask Olga! · Mother tongue at home · Multilingualism

Raising Multilinguals “How?” A Followup Workshop

October 17th, 2019 · No Comments

How can parents nurture native language besides speaking it with their children and enrolling them in classes? Find out by joining us on November 14 for the workshop Raising Multilinguals How? Unlocking the World Through Language-Rich Experiences.

In this workshop, a followup to Raising Multilinguals, we will explore how families can promote literacy (reading and writing) and rich conversation, in support of the family language plan.

Parents of students in PreK through Grade 12 are welcome! The workshop will be held in the MS/HS Library’s Literary Lounge. If you have questions, please write: nativelanguage@isb.ac.th

Tags: Family Language Plan · Mother tongue at home · Parent Workshops