By Susan Pucci
On April 17 and 18, over 50 parents, staff and leadership personnel participated as learners in two workshops: Raising Multilinguals and Raising Readers.
Do you speak your Mother Tongue to your children at home? Do you use your Mother Tongue 100% of the time or do you mix two languages? The Raising Multilingual Workshop investigated how participants use their Mother Tongue at home.
Unesco believes in the importance of encouraging and preserving native languages at home. The ASF school vision states: "The American School Foundation, A.C. is the preeminent English-speaking college preparatory school that prepares its diverse student body by design to be the leaders of tomorrow." Further theorists and researcher state that the key to learning an additional language is the strength and the ability in their first language. Jim Cummins states: "The level of development of children's mother tongue is a strong predictor of their second language development."
Participants were engaged and open-minded through this interactive workshop, and many parents and participants came away with a reconstructed view of how important it is to actively support home language expansion and development.
The Raising Readers Workshop was a great success. Meet our newly self-appointed Reading Ambassadors of ASF! Wow, these participants rocked! Engaged, vocal and sharing ideas with other, these participants were super charged to learn extra strategies to boost reading engagement at home.
Take-aways from the workshop included supporting the LOVE of reading, reading pictures, using details to tell the story (words come later), re-reading the same book is great and how informational books are a super big trend for academic success. Further, it is okay to read a book in your non-native language (English or other), yet have discussions and talk about the book in your native language (Spanish or other).
The Reading Ambassadors of ASF, were some of the most sparkling, eager and communicative participants the workshop presenter had ever seen. Keep reading to/with your kiddos!