HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Language Explorers is Mother Tongues’ award-winning language awareness initiative for primary schools. Language Explorers activities are designed to raise awareness of linguistic diversity in the classroom and in the community and to promote an interest in language learning. Here you can see us our work in practice https://vimeo.com/512161798/568bc8d3d0
How does your innovation work in practice?
Language Explorers has been designed to:
encourage children to embrace all languages positively
nurture children’s understanding of linguistic diversity in the classroom and in the community they live in
enable children to build on prior knowledge and experience of language and language learning
encourage children of different languages and cultures to be proud of and to share their heritage
Parents are encouraged to act as language ambassardos. They are then invited to be part of a storytelling project, where they tell a story in their mother tongue, teach keywords and expressions in their language and involve all children and teachers in the process of linguistic and cultural discovery.
During the school closures we have collaborated with the national broadcast on a podcast involving parents and children talking about their mother tongues [https://mothertongues.ie/rte-podcast/]
How has it been spreading?
We initially started this project in Dublin schools in 2018, but we have since trained teachers around Ireland in implementing this approach. Since 2020, we have been delivering webinars for teachers and we have built a database of lesson plans on our website Language Explorers and on the Mother Tongues database.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
This project can be started by communicating with parents about the importance of their involvement in the school life. Parents can be invited to join the class, watch the teacher tell stories, and then adapt the stories in their own language. Parents' volunteering and participation can be rewarded with a certificate or an award ceremony.