- Kimberly Thouviner Vangol
- Stuttgart - De
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How do you feel teachers should teach multiple languages simultaneously? How many languages are too many for primary school aged children?
As an international school teacher, I am sometimes split in my teaching theories when teaching languages. For the past five years, I have been teaching in English to children from all over the world. These children come with different language capabilities. The way our school is set up now is the homeroom classroom is primarily in English, but students are allowed to converse with another student in their mother tongue. If the child in my homeroom has no to little English ability they get EAL (English as another language) support by special classes focused on teaching English from an EAL teacher. Once the child meets the language continuum criteria they are removed from the EAL class, get intermediate support in the homeroom class and during this time they also begin to learn the host countries native language.
I am concerned because here the child is just learning English, gets somewhat of a grasp on the language and is then introduced to another language. So now this child is gaining understanding in English but is now being expected to start the process over again with another language.
This is where my concern lies because I know how intelligent and resilient students are but I sometimes wonder: Shouldn't the child get a full grasp and understanding of one language before having to start another? I also see that learning a language is a educational tool as well and now that they developed the skill of knowing how to learn a language they are more likely to grasp the concept. So as an educator I feel torn especially for Asian and Arabic students that are learning a new alphabet system as well.
I would love positive feedback on studies, research, and teaching practice from other international communities. I am interested in researching proactive teaching for global language learning. My goal is to see how others are practicing and what has been successful. This will help with my implementation on language learning for my students. Thank you