Native Language @ ISB

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


March 27th, 2019 · 1 Comment


March 27, 2019, is the first International Day of Multilingualism. Founded by a network of language professionals, including Dr. Thomas H. Bak of the University of Edinburgh—clinical research fellow in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and Co-Director of Bilingualism Matters, long linked in this blog’s Bookmarks—the day celebrates “the multi-layered, multi-lingual way that humans actually use languages in our everyday lives.” The date commemorates the date on the Rosetta Stone, which corresponds to March 27, 196 BC.

The official website states, 

Everyone is a linguist. People talk. It’s just what humans do. As a species we have evolved over thousands of years and adapted to speaking more than one language very easily. 

But somehow the dialogue has changed over the last couple of centuries and speaking more than one language is commonly perceived as irregular, or special, when in fact more than two thirds of the world’s population speak two or more languages in their daily life. We’re not talking about the incredible polyglots who speak ten or more languages. Just the day-to-day use of language that is as much as part of our normal day as, say, enjoying a cup of coffee.

Ways to take part are listed here and include a hashtag: #multilingualisnormal

The hashtag was shared with ISB HS students in their email bulletin today. 

Happy International Day of Multilingualism!

Tags: Multilingualism