Friday, May 24, 2013

Multilingual Education

Multilingual education has been proven to improve reading and writing skills, enhance the learning experience for the children (and thus also the teaching experience for the teachers!) and improve children's overall learning abilities as well as their confidence (and chances for further education...). In order for people to be able to use this in in a Roma context, people would have to agree to teaching Roma children to read and write in their own language first, before switching those skills to any national language after a year or two.

The reason why this is not happening is that
  1. It is largely unknown and when people first hear about it they think it is impossible and undesirable, so it needs a lot of promotion and explanation.
  2. It is a lot of work at first to get teaching materials in Roma languages, train teachers, but first of all, convince people of the benefits of this and set up teaching situations where this can happen.
Personnel are needed with a vision and with enough time and money to get this started, an investment of at least 2 years. Then supervision needs to happen too, and follow up, with ongoing involvement and training needed for many more years. Who is going to do all this? It needs a team.

For information on multilingual education or to express an interest in joining the team, contact Mary van Rheenen via this blog.

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