Supporting bilingual/multilingual students in schools requires a strong partnership between the school and the parents. It is critical that the school understands the nature of school-based bilingualism, the challenges it creates for learners, and best practice for supporting them within the school. The parents also play a crucial role, and need to understand how to support their children at home. Clear and accurate information and agreements that are shared by both partners will ensure the best possible results for the children.
Schools have a duty to understand their bilingual students, and parents have a duty to understand their responsibilities as well. To build successful partnerships, I have designed a school-parent programme that involves both parties in creating common understandings and agreements. This includes a basic understanding of school-based bilingualism, as well as how to provide support across the four areas of challenge: cognitive development, content learning, literacy, and confidence/socialisation, as well as the basics of Family Language Planning.
The “Parents and School as Language Partners” session is offered in all schools and kindergartens that I provide professional development for, as well as on a stand-alone basis for other community organisations. If you are interested in knowing more about this session for your school or organisation, please contact me for details of arrangements.