A little bit of politics

 

Can multilingualism save the world? The notion sounds farfetched, but if an organisation such as the United Nations, no less, cites multilingual education as a way to help achieve their Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, then maybe its not such an outlandish claim. Continue reading “A little bit of politics”

What’s wrong with being an English Language Learner?

I’d be the first to admit to being a language learner. In fact, I’ll freely admit that I’m also an English Language Learner – just a bit further along that road than my students. So why would I rather my students weren’t labelled as English Language Learners? Continue reading “What’s wrong with being an English Language Learner?”

So, define multilingual

For many people, their image of a multilingual person may be a glamorous, jet-setting diplomat, someone who feels comfortable in any number of settings and languages. Or a third culture kid whose childhood is spent on three different continents, for whom starting a new school in a new country is a familiar challenge and an opportunity to rack up another language.

If we turn to the Cambridge Dictionary of English, we find that a multilingual person is someone “able to use more than two languages for communication”. So anyone who is able to communicate in two other languages in addition to their first language is multilingual. Important: nowhere in the definition does it say that you need to be fluent in those languages. Continue reading “So, define multilingual”