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Meet our very first certified language friendly teachers

Multilingualism and supporting language learners across our communities is understandably very import at the Dutch International Schools, which cater for a very diverse group of international students. Earlier this month the multilingual learning team from Optimist International School travelled to Estonia to attend the last part of the ALCOR, Erasmus + project; focusing on digital tools and parental involvement, as a means to maintain and develop language repertoires.

By Valentina Spyropoulou, Multilingual Learning Specialist and group teacher, Optimist International School

Our team, together with Dr Ellen-Rose Kambel, Exec Director Rutu Foundation and Co-Founder of the Language Friendly School, joined colleagues and experts from the other participating countries, shared knowledge and practices and enjoyed an intensive exploration of several digital tools, visited schools focused on multilingual / bilingual learning, and created their own resources and lesson plans.

Exploring digital tools and parent involvement

For example, we discussed how we can effectively evaluate and use ICT in and out of class not only to support our students’ linguistic repertoires, but also to create a bridge that connects home and school within this process; working along with parents and students to celebrate languages together. We explored different features of Translation tools, such as Microsoft Translate, and Google Translate, but also a plethora of other digital apps that allow us to create maps of our linguistic and cultural heritage, amongst others. 

The whole team returned inspired to put everything they have learned into practice, and even prouder of our journey as a school to make sure we embrace the children’s full identity, culture, and language backgrounds, heritage and preferences.

The ALCOR Project

The ALCOR project is an Erasmus+ project, which started in the winter of 2021 and will run until the summer of 2023 with the objective of encouraging multilingual learning and parental engagement of migrant and minority students. The team consisted of educators and stakeholders (part of a network of 6 partner organizations coming from 4 European countries – Croatia, Estonia, Italy, and the Netherlands- NGO’s, universities, research centers, and others.

Within their engagement to the project, our Multilingual Learning team invested in their professional development on the topic of multilingualism and parental engagement and were prepared to train colleagues too.

Although training about multilingualism and how to be more language friendly is already a big part of our school day to day function, our team is very happy to be the first batch of certified ‘Language Friendly Teachers’ and even more motivated to lead the way in our school.

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