Highlighted Articles

Teaching and Learning through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years (Part 3/3)

February 28, 2016


This article is part three of a guest-author series by Eithne Gallagher: The Glitterlings and Interlingual Classrooms: Teaching and Learning through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years

Part one can be found here, and part two here.

What is Oxford International Early Years: The Glitterlings?

The Glitterlings is an Interlingual story and play-based English Language course which is the first of its kind. Interlingual Teaching and Learning is, in fact, the essence of the course and what is unique about it. The Glitterlings programme is aligned to the successful Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) which originates in the UK. The EYFS combined with the Interlingual Teaching and Learning Goals (ITLGs) ensure the needs of young learners are met in a creative and dynamic way that allows the child and the teacher to become involved in a mutual learning process where each one learns from the other. Learning is not the sole domain of children: teachers have to become learners as well. To this end, teaching and learning goals are grouped together to facilitate the Interlingual approach and to provide a more genuine setting for mutual learning to take place.

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Glitterlings poster

Parental Involvement

The Glitterlings New Word Book, along with the ‘write-in space’ in the Story books, allows parents and children to connect key words and concepts from the course to their home or second language. Connecting learning to students’ home lives is a core component of effective instruction.

Interlingual teachers hold parent meetings to inform them about interlingual teaching and learning and discuss the tasks that parents can fullfil such as:

• Taking part in language related activities in the classroom;

• Retelling the stories in their home language;

• Translating classroom materials;

• etc.

By sharing knowledge with parents, teachers can bring about change that will benefit the child as an individual and improve the school community as a whole. Every parent is a valuable resource that teachers and children can count on to diffuse and extend the multilingual, multicultural ethos of the school.

In Glitterling environments children know that their home language is valued and respected and they learn that there is a place for all languages in the classroom.

The Joy of Multilingual and Multicultural Learning

The Interlingual Glitterling classroom empowers children for lifelong learning and enables them to act effectively and powerfully in their personal lives and on the global stage. The nine stories are based around exciting, global themes that are charming, relevant and engaging for children. The Glitterling characters are curious, delightful, fun-loving polyglots that come from ‘two stars left of the moon’. They help children discover the joy of learning about multilingualism and multiculturalism. They challenge them to think beyond the limits of the classroom walls and introduce them to a world of languages beyond their own and the language of instruction.

A Global Child

The Glitterlings Interlingual classrooms are places where, through cultural awareness and respect for other languages, the ideas and responsibilities of ‘world citizenship’ are nurtured and developed. There is cultural and linguistic authenticity in everyday play. Glitterling classrooms are places where international mindedness is seen in action, internationalism is felt and Interlingual children learn who they are in the context of the classroom and the broader society. They learn to work within an international framework of tolerance and respect.

The Multilingual Lens

Cummins says (2015), ‘Inspirational pedagogy becomes a feasible goal when we interpret curricular expectations in light of the funds of knowledge represented by our students and their communities and expand the instructional space within our classrooms by teaching through [an Interlingual,] multilingual lens.’ This involves school and literacy experiences that students are likely to remember throughout their lifetimes.

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We can change our way of thinking through changing what happens in classrooms. Communication expands becoming more inclusive and democratic through the ‘emerging, inspirational pedagogy’ of Interlingual teaching and learning in Glitterling classrooms.

Through such genuine experiences with other languages in the formative years of schooling we can set a trend of international mindedness that will be a step towards our world becoming better, more genuinely democratic, pluricultural and plurilingual.

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eithneEithne Gallagher is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years’ experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee; she is a regular presenter at international school conferences and has delivered workshops and lectures for teachers, administrators and parents across the world.

Her writings on ESL & Mother-tongue issues have been widely published in educational journals and magazines and she has published a book entitled Equal Rights to the Curriculum in which she argues for school reform to meet the educational needs of all children growing up in a multicultural society. Eithne’s most recent work is a story-based Early Years programme for International Schools and Pre-schools: The Glitterlings was published by Oxford University Press in October 2015. Eithne provides support and consultancy for schools wishing to implement inclusive, ESL and mother-tongue policies.

Eithne is the mother of three bilingual children and lives with her family on a hilltop outside Rome.

* The Bibliography for this article series can be found here.

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Highlighted Articles

Teaching and Learning Through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years (Part 2/3)

January 17, 2016


This article is part two of a guest-author series by Eithne Gallagher – The Glitterlings and Interlingual Classrooms: Teaching and Learning through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years

Part one can be found here.

Inspirational Pedagogy

Inspirational Pedagogy was coined by Cummins (Cummins and Early, 2015). He describes it as the kind of instruction that you would like your own child to receive. It involves school and literacy experiences that students remember throughout their lives. Cummins explains the concept of inspirational pedagogy in the following points:

• Students are academically engaged and intrinsically motivated;

• Students are generating knowledge, producing literature and/or art, and acting on social realities;

• Students’ intellectual work is being shared with a meaningful audience (peers, parents, teachers, partner classes, etc.);

• Students’ identities are being affirmed within the context of academic learning.

Communication becomes more inclusive and democratic through the ‘emerging, inspirational pedagogy’ of Interlingual teaching and learning.

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Getting Parents or Carers Involved

Effective Early Years teachers help children develop strategies for the identification and resolution of conflict and research tells us that practitioners who engage parents are the most effective in doing this. Sometimes, parents or carers believe that the best way for non-English language background children to integrate into school life is to jump into English and leave their home languages behind. They may even feel that support for their home language will slow their children down in acquiring English. Sadly, this belief is misinformed. Even though we always want to respect families’ views, it is our responsibility to demonstrate the power of current research and best practice. It is crucial that parents or carers are involved in the Interlingual approach. We can help show them the benefits of this approach and explain that respected research demonstrates that children need a strong home language as a foundation to build on. Providing home language support is the way to achieve academic success in English. Children need to know they are accepted for who they are in our classrooms. Allowing them to use their home languages and inviting parents to be part of this educational process contributes to creating in the child a feeling of belonging, of inner well-being and security.

Teachers can facilitate the process by helping children connect key words and concepts from the classroom to their home or second language. This will ensure the Interlingual classroom empowers children for lifelong learning and enables them to act effectively and powerfully in their personal lives and on the global stage.

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The librarian at ESF International Kindergarten TsingYi Hong Kong reading Ling A Ling learns a Lullaby a Glitterling story about a Japanese child who misses Japan and her Grandma. The Glitterlings show her that Japan doesn’t have to feel so far away.

Communication and Language

Involving children in critical thinking rather than giving the child knowledge to learn and regurgitate is also a crucial step in the language acquisition process. Children naturally investigate in order to learn, they want to experience things and to ‘have a go’. We know that learning language starts with the child and is controlled by the child. The motivation to communicate comes from within and as a result of other children and adults activating their natural curiosity and moving language development forward. All young children need relevant and appropriate experiences coupled with the support of caring, sensitive and knowledgeable adults in order to learn and develop.

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eithneEithne Gallagher is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years’ experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee; she is a regular presenter at international school conferences and has delivered workshops and lectures for teachers, administrators and parents across the world.

Her writings on ESL & Mother-tongue issues have been widely published in educational journals and magazines and she has published a book entitled Equal Rights to the Curriculum in which she argues for school reform to meet the educational needs of all children growing up in a multicultural society. Eithne’s most recent work is a story-based Early Years programme for International Schools and Pre-schools: The Glitterlings was published by Oxford University Press in October 2015. Eithne provides support and consultancy for schools wishing to implement inclusive, ESL and mother-tongue policies.

Eithne is the mother of three bilingual children and lives with her family on a hilltop outside Rome.

* The Bibliography for this article series can be found here.

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Highlighted Articles

Teaching and Learning through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years (Part 1/3)

December 7, 2015


This article is Part One of a guest-author series by veteran international school teacher Eithne Gallagher – The Glitterlings and Interlingual Classrooms: Teaching and Learning through a Multilingual Lens in the Early Years

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Building a better world for future generations is essential for the continued existence of humanity. Education can no longer simply reinforce conformity among homogeneous populations or promote homogeneity among diverse populations. We need a new educational paradigm. As Jim Cummins (2008) points out:

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The building blocks for a better world must be seeded in Early Years education. We must enable children to see themselves as agents of change who are capable of understanding world views and universal values. Children should be aware that they all have a diverse cultural, ethnic, gendered, linguistic and racial identity because they will then be better equipped to accept that others are the same. As Skelton (2002) says, “I am different and have a right to be. You are different from me with the same rights but we can live together.”

Interlingual Teaching and Learning

In today’s ever smaller world schools need to be orientating their curricula towards nurturing tomorrow’s Global Citizens. This means implementing a thoroughly inclusive teaching approach that recognises and supports all languages and cultures present in the school. We need “Interlingual” classrooms and schools. The “Inter” prefix brings the notion of everyone being open and responsive to learning about other languages. In the Interlingual classroom children not only learn their own mother-tongue but learn about all the other classroom languages as well. Interlingual classrooms are places where children are allowed to use their languages as cognitive tools. They can transfer skills, concepts and learning strategies across languages.

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A Glitterlings “Big Book” engaging the EYs class at Marymount Int. School Rome. The children are learning what the word ‘polyglot’ means.

Interlingual teaching and learning takes as its starting point the practices of bilingualism, which include translanguaging (using languages flexibly, shifting and mixing them in the learning process), and transliteracy in the individual, and expands these practices for the benefit of the individual and the Interlingual community. Garcia (2009) argues that translanguaging has much value for bilingual children. It gives them a voice and builds on their home language practices. It also creates authentic language awareness activities for monolingual children by stirring the natural linguistic curiosity that is inherent in all young children.

Children need to experience a sense of belonging in Early Childhood settings so there is a seamless flow between children’s homes and school. We know that children achieve greater educational outcomes when they learn in a setting that embraces their language and culture (Fleer, 2002) and values prior learning experiences.

Teachers should be careful that young children are not silenced because they are not encouraged to use their home languages. Research has shown that children need to construct and reconstruct their lived lives in playful contexts and they also have to find their lives mirrored and referenced in the texts they encounter in the early years.

Administrators and teachers must become informed about the relevant research on multilingualism and take responsibility for implementing practices that address both students’ language learning and academic needs. Principals and Vice Principals have the role of evaluating teachers and to do this correctly they need to be informed on what effective practice for multilingual learners looks like. Teachers need to build language objectives as well as content objectives into their planning. School leaders have a crucial role to play in creating a collaborative ethos of critical enquiry and setting up the circumstances for teachers to plan effectively.

(Stay tuned next month for Part Two of this guest-author series on interlingual education)

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eithneEithne Gallagher is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years’ experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee; she is a regular presenter at international school conferences and has delivered workshops and lectures for teachers, administrators and parents across the world.

Her writings on ESL & Mother-tongue issues have been widely published in educational journals and magazines and she has published a book entitled Equal Rights to the Curriculum in which she argues for school reform to meet the educational needs of all children growing up in a multicultural society. Eithne’s most recent work is a story-based Early Years programme for International Schools and Pre-schools: The Glitterlings was published by Oxford University Press in October 2015. Eithne provides support and consultancy for schools wishing to implement inclusive, ESL and mother-tongue policies.

Eithne is the mother of three bilingual children and lives with her family on a hilltop outside Rome.

* The Bibliography for this article series can be found here.

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Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #23: Kerry Tyler Pascoe (An int’l school director working at The British School Quito)

March 29, 2013


Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Kerry Tyler Pascoe:

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 10.03.39 AMTell us about your background.  Where are you from?

I am an Australian who calls Brisbane her hometown but I currently resides in Quito, Ecuador where I am the Director of The British School Quito.

I am an educational leader, motivational speaker, international educator and businesswoman who has nearly twenty-five years experience in education in the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. In 2006 I founded my own business, Teepee Consulting, through which I have had the opportunity to facilitate positive and effective change within learning communities around the world, through the delivery or leadership and professional development and coaching programs.

I obtained my undergraduate degree in education from the University of South Australia and I hold a graduate Diploma in Management. I have been an invited speaker at a range of international and national conferences speaking on such topics as, positive, effective and ethical leadership; positive staff development, appraisal and retention programs; higher order thinking skills; creating cultures of excellence; curriculum development for 21st century learners; and capability building in education teams.

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

I got started in international education in 2001 shortly after the birth of our third daughter. The then European Council of International Schools had a position advertised for ‘model teachers’ in an international school in Romania. Having had some experience in consulting at that point, and having a partner who was also an educator and consultant, I decided to take the leap and move our family overseas.

Which international schools have you worked at?  Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.

Before moving to Ecuador I have lived in Peru, Russia, Romania, Australia and the UK but I have worked with many other schools in Asia, South America and Europe as a consultant. In Russia I was the Deputy Head of the British International School Moscow where we loved the culture, history and art of the city and the country. If you love architecture and history this is a great country to visit and live in.

In Peru I was the Director of Primary and Early Years at 1200+ student school called San Silvestre. This is an amazing all girls’ school in Miraflores, a lovely superb close to the Pacific coastline. If you are looking for a professional and personally nurturing school in which to work, then look no further than San Silvestre. My time there was some of my happiest both personally and professionally. The school has an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning and offers the IB Diploma. The staff are a wonderful team and the school ethos and ‘feel’ is more like a smaller, community school.

Whilst in Peru I led the “Re-Building Childrens’ Lives” concert project designed to contribute to aiding communities, in the south of Peru, after the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2007. I helped to organise, and participated in, a range of concerts and musical events to raise funds for this, and other, important community service projects.

Now I am here in Quito, Ecuador enjoying all that Ecuador and Quito have to offer. The British School Quito is a small but growing school with an excellent reputation and a high standard of academic excellence. We offer the British National Curriculum and the IB Diploma and we are proud to be accredited by both the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We are currently the only school in Ecuador that offers all three sciences in English at Higher Level in the IB Diploma. The school has a truly warm and collegial atmosphere with very supportive parents and an engaged learning community. I am truly enjoying my experience at BSQ.

Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

Whilst South America has its challenges it also have wonderful rewards including its wonderful array of food, superb climate, majestic landscapes and scenery, and bounteous travel and sporting opportunities. However, when we live and work outside of our own countries and cultures there are always things that make us think, huh? or put a smile on our faces. Just recently here in Quito we had to close the school for three days so that the government could move the airport from its old location to its new location! Well that put a smile on a few people’s faces….it certainly wouldn’t happen at home!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

When I am looking for a new school I look at the culture (the feel of a school). How long do staff stay? What do staff say about the school? What retention programs are in place? What do the children say? Are the learners happy, engaged, active learners? If I think the culture is right for me then I ask myself…Why am I right for this community of learners? What can I contribute? If I have an answer that delivers positive outcomes for the learning community then I go for it!

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

The international school teaching experience is – truly rewarding challenging and capability enhancing

Thanks Kerry!

If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here.  If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!

Want to work for an international school in Ecuador like Kerry?  Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in the Ecuador on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:

• InterAmerican Academy Guayaquil (13 Comments)
• Academia Cotopaxi (American International School) (6 Comments)
• Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito (21 Comments)
• The British School Quito (24 Comments)

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Blogs of International Teachers

Blogs of international school teachers: School21C – Conversations about 21st Century Education

January 3, 2012


Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Our 14th blog that we would like to highlight is called “School21C – Conversations about 21st Century Education.”  Check out the blog entries of this international school director who is currently working at International School of Prague.

An entry that we would like to highlight:

Journey to Jordan

“I recently visited Amman, Jordan to attend a board of trustees meeting of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) in my capacity as board chair and Director of the International School of Prague.

It was the first time I had visited Jordan and having read and heard so much about the “Arab Spring” and upheaval throughout the region, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am happy to report that upon my arrival and during my entire stay, I encountered a peaceful, open and welcoming people and society. I found everyone I met to be friendly, warm and happy to discuss any topic, from art to politics.

Ahliyyah School for Girls

While the tour of Amman was spectacular, our visit to the Aliyah School for Girls (ASG) was inspiring and moving. The Ahliyyah School for Girls is primarily for Jordanian girls from kindergarten through high school. The ECIS board was treated to a very warm welcome during an assembly in which ASG high school girls spoke with pride about their school, danced in traditional costumes, presented a theatrical performance and soulfully sang for the audience. After the performances, former graduates of the school spoke about their unforgettable experiences as students at ASG and how the school prepared them well to enter the world as confident women and leaders.

The time spent in Amman and at ASG was a moving experience personally and professionally that I will always remember. While my stay was short, I promised our hosts that I would return one day, to fully experience this special part of the Middle East.”

There is so much we can learn when we visit other international schools around the world, especially international schools that are similar to the one that we are currently working at in our career.  It is also nice to have another co-worker/s to come along with you to bounce ideas off of.  Another perk is that you also inevitably learn more about the host country and culture as you are visiting there, which will help to broaden your cultural understanding of the world…which in turn you can infuse into your teaching practice as you interact with your international students.

Check out the Ahliyyah School for Girls profile page on International School Community.  Currently, there are 8 international schools listed in Jordan on our website, with 7 of them being in Jordan.

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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