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Wise Words

location_on Denmark

Brug Dine Sprog - Use Your Languages!

Wise Words is an awareness campaign which aims to identify all linguistic resources, or "language portraits", found in a school or a classroom. By informing students, parents and teachers about the advantages of multilingualism, Wise Words wants to increase language awareness and cultural understanding, and demonstrate the breadth of including all students' linguistic resources in the teaching!

Shortlisted
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Overview

HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

2015

Established

-

Children/users

1

Countries
Organisation
Not-for-profit
Target group
All
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
We want to give students a greater awareness of the power of multilingualism!
Gro Caspersen

About the innovation

Knowing many languages is a gift. Use it!

Recent research suggests that multilingualism is one of the best ways to keep the brain alert. Those who are multilingual tend to be better at multi-tasking, have a better memory and be more accurate in their language use. This is the basic premise of the Wise Words initiative. 

Yet, multilingualism can still be viewed as something negative and some students may still feel ashamed of or stigmatized due to their multilingualism - and this is where Wise Words wants to step in!

"When bilingual students are referred to as 'problematic', it's often more about cultural background than language", says Gro Caspersen, who back in 2015 started the Wise Words campaign to focus on the strength of having many languages. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to give students, parents, teachers, and educational leaders alike, a greater understanding of the advantages of knowing languages!

Wise Words is about identifying the linguistic resources, or the "language portraits", found in a school or a classroom, and incorporating these languages into the actual teaching. By doing this, the campaign helps to improve multilingual students' self-esteem and sense of pride in their linguistic and cultural background. As part of the campaign, students recount their own experiences of being multilingual, and what type of challenges and opportunities they have faced.

Wise Word thus aims to show new ways to increase language awareness and cultural understanding, and subsequently to provide better opportunities for education and work!

Gro Caspersen, founder or Wise Words, was awarded the Politikens Undervisning Særpris (Politiken's Special Education Award) in 2018 for her great commitment to make all students, no matter language or cultural background, feel included and welcomed in their school environments. 

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