Presentation/Workshop Resources

Exploring a multilingually-minded PYP classroom

  • How can your students’ language portraits/profiles feed into your planning, creating learning spaces?

  • How can you include your students’ home and family languages and additional languages and literacy in other languages when you plan language engagements?

  • How can you use your students’ languages in your classroom to develop cultural identities and international-mindedness?

  • How can you create a space that promotes the notion that multilingualism is beneficial?

  • How can your students learn their languages, learn about their languages, and learn through their languages?

How Multilingually-Minded is Your School?

IB Global Conference, The Hague, October 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Is Your School?

Some key publications:

Le Pichon-Vorstman, E., Siarova, H., Szőnyi, E. (2020). ‘The future of language education in Europe: case studies of innovative practices’, NESET report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. doi: 10.2766/81169. LINK

Language and Learning in IB Programmes (2014) LINK

How Multilingual is My School Self Audit Tool (2018) LINK

Meier, Gabriela Sylvia. "The multilingual turn as a critical movement in education: assumptions, challenges and a need for reflection" Applied Linguistics Review, vol. 8, no. 1, 2017, pp. 131-161.

Outstanding Schools Conference, March 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Are Our Schools? Multilingualism and Connection to DIEJ:

  • “including linguistic diversity, can increase children´s feelings of confidence, empowerment and belonging,” - Ticheloven (2019)

  • “languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion” - UNESCO, 2021

  • “Children have the right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live, as long as this does not harm others.” - Article 30, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • “...people who do not know English or do not know it well are stigmatized, pitied, and seen as deficient, by some others. In the same way, people whose mother tongue is not a “standard” variety of the language they use are often stigmatized.” - Linguicism, Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

Outstanding Schools Conference, March 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Are Our Schools? Spectrum of Multilingual-Mindedness

Outstanding Schools Conference, March 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Are Our Schools? Multilingual Mindedness is...

  • Most of the world is bi- or multilingual

  • A multilingual language system is one holistic system not several monolingual systems

  • Every language or variation is valued and valuable

  • Multilingualism is a resource to the individual and society

  • Multilingual language systems are organic and vulnerable to attrition

ECIS MLIE Mini Conference, Feb 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Are Our International Schools: Quick Quiz

  1. How many different home languages are spoken by students at your school?

  2. How many different languages are spoken by teachers at your school?

  3. Have you seen or heard a language other than your schools's language of instruction this week?

  4. How many different ‘languages’ can your students study as a subject?

  5. Can your students study his or her home language as a language subject a your school?

  6. Is a commitment to multilingualism written in your school’s documents?

  7. How multilingual is the region or country where your school is? And is multilingualism and all languages seen as positive?

ECIS MLIE Mini Conference, Feb 2022: How Multilingually-Minded Are Our International Schools: Evaluation Tool Questions

Linguistic Landscape - walk around the school

  1. What languages are visible?

  2. Is your signage in one language or many languages and which languages?

  3. Can you hear and see different languages? If so, which and why?

Language Facts

  1. What is the linguistic diversity at your school? Does everyone have this information? Is this updated regularly and shared? Is it used to plan?

School Documents / Policies / Websites / Social Media

  1. What do your key documents say about multilingualism and language learning?

  2. Is intercultural awareness and multilingual awareness in job descriptions or your website?


  1. Do your curriculum language offerings match a) the languages spoken by the students b) the languages used in the country? If not, why not?

  2. Can students study their home language as a subject? Does your school hire professional teachers for this? Who pays for this?

  3. How are multilingual students evaluated/assessed when they have challenges? Does your school use multiple language assessment and evaluation tools with multilingual students? If not, why not?

  4. Can a student study any foreign language he/she wishes? If not, which languages are on offer?


  1. Is there a forum where parents, teachers and students can ask and get answers about multilingualism?

  2. How are students, teachers, parents being advised about what is typical and atypical language development?

  3. What are the wider societal attitudes towards multilingualism in your local area and country? Does your school mirror these attitudes or are they very different?

Listen to me talking about language learning in the IB