As I am engaged in a process of “re-branding” English Language Learners as Multilingual Learners in my school, I need to be proactive and take every opportunity I have to spread the word of this new terminology – to all stakeholders.
I have a poster on my classroom door which says “Welcome to the Student Learning Community”. I’m going to get the students to create a new one that says “Welcome to the Multilingual Learners Community” and have them add translations in their first language also.
I made my first attempt this year to change the name of our ELL Support class to Multilingual Learners Support class. Although I was able to make changes to the course description in our Course Selection handbook, so that it now focuses much more on their needs as multilingual learners, the name was not changed. Well, I’ll be trying again next year.
At a recent school social event, a member of the school board approached to make small talk. We got onto the subject of what I taught and she expressed admiration for how our students learn in a language which is not their first language, so I took the opportunity to explain why I think multilingual learners is a much more all-encompassing term for them.
On my Twitter account, which I use for work purposes, I refer to our students as multilingual learners whenever I have the chance.
Bit by bit, little by little, I’m hoping to change the way people think about our students.