Sharing Space with
English and French
How to Create a
Multilingual School Environment
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy
and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry
of Education
Sharing Space with
English and French
 The World in our
Classrooms
 Why Support Community
Languages?
 Making Space for
Community Languages
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
The World in Our Classrooms:
immigration
 Canada has the largest per capita
intake of newcomers of any country in
the world
 Ontario receives most newcomers to
Canada
 The federal government plans to
increase immigration by 30-40% in
order to meet Canada’s economic and
employment needs.
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Toronto Star, September 24, 2005
Ottawa to throw open doors to immigrants
Canada to welcome 100,000 more immigrants each year
Sault Ste. Marie is ready to welcome 6,000 new immigrants
Globe and Mail, October 31, 2005
Canada opens door for 700,000
Ottawa to unveil revamped immigration rules to cut backlogs
Volpe: "We are producing more jobs than the labour market has workers
for… We're desperate for immigration."
The five-year plan announced this fall includes:
• An increase of up to 100,000 additional newcomers each year
• An annual target of 300,000 by 2010
• Incentives to encourage more newcomers to settle in smaller
towns and communities across Canada
The World in our Classrooms:
linguistic diversity in Ontario
 Ontario has always been multilingual
 20% of the children in Ontario’s
English-language elementary schools
have a first language other than
English (EQAO, 2005)
 Some of these students were born in
Canada, into immigrant, francophone
and Aboriginal communities, while
others have arrived as newcomers
from other countries
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
The World in our Classrooms:
languages in Ontario
 English and French have special status
as official languages and languages of
instruction
 Ontario’s linguistic heritage also includes
several Aboriginal languages, many
African, Asian, and European languages,
and some varieties of English such as
Jamaican Creole.
 These languages have a role to play in
schooling, alongside English and French.
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
The World in our Classrooms:
unrealized potential
In most multilingual schools only the
student population is multilingual: after
the students have gone home there is
little evidence of the many linguistic
communities they come from.
It is hard to argue that we are teaching the whole child
when school policy dictates that students leave their
language and culture at the schoolhouse door.
Jim Cummins, 2005: p. 38
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
The potential of multilingual
schools
Multilingual schools offer exciting
opportunities to draw on the linguistic
resources of the community, even if few
of the teachers speak any of the
community languages.
All our classrooms are actually or potentially multilingual and
the sooner they are all actually so, the better. All our children
need the cognitive and cultural enrichment that
multilingualism endows and so do all teachers.
Nora McWilliam, 1998
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Why Support Community
Languages?
 The most appropriate medium for instruction
 An essential means of communication for
families and communities
 A source of cultural identity
 A foundation for learning English
 A tool for thinking and learning
 An intellectual asset to the individual
 An economic asset to the nation
 A positive image of language learning for all
students
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Making Space for
Community Languages
Raising the profile of
community languages in the
school environment
Using students’ languages in
the classroom
Using community languages to
connect with parents
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Raising the profile of community
languages in the school environment
 Hire staff with proficiency in a
community language
 Provide multilingual library
resources
 Create multilingual signs, notices,
and announcements
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
With permission from the Peel District
School Board
With permission from the Toronto District
School Board
Raising the profile of community
languages in the school environment
Encourage students to use their
own languages when it is natural
and appropriate to do so
Involve students as a resource:
ambassadors, tutors, website
support; Community Service and
Co-operative Education
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Raising the profile of community
languages in the school environment
Involve parents in creating and
selecting materials in community
languages
Include community languages in
special events
Create display material that
communicates positive attitudes
toward linguistic diversity
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Languages for Peace
Mapping Students’ Roots/Routes
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Raising the profile … by connecting
with International/Heritage
Languages
 Promote the Heritage Languages
program to all students and parents
 Expand the menu of language courses
 Visit Heritage Language classes
 Consult HL teachers about students’
linguistic capacities
 Design some joint projects
 Display students’ work from the HL
class
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
With permission from the Toronto District School Board
With permission from the Toronto District School Board
With permission
from the Toronto
District School
Board
With permission
from the Toronto
District School
Board
Using Students’ Languages in
the Classroom
Incorporating students’ languages
into classroom routines
Using students’ languages for
instructional support
Incorporating students’ languages
into the curriculum
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Incorporating Students’
Languages into Classroom
Routines
Names and introductions
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy
and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry
of Education
What’s your
name? Teach me
how to say it.
Who gave
you your
name?
Do you have a
nickname?
Would you ever
change your name?
Do any of your
names show
that you are a
boy?
Does your name
have a meaning?
In what language?
What else can
you tell me about
your name?
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
This is Dmitri. He is a
new student from
Russia and he doesn’t
speak any English.
Dmitri, you can sit
with this group.
Oh no… let him
sit somewhere
else!
What a
loser…
Groan…
Moan…
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
This is Dmitri. He is a new student
from Russia. He speaks Russian and
now he is going to start learning
English, with our help. Maybe he
will teach us some Russian. Which
group will look after Dmitri for the
first few days?
OK Dmitri, you
can come and
sit with us.
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
In this class you will all learn a lot of
science. Some students are learning
English at the same time. That’s quite a
challenge, so I expect the rest of you to
help. What would be some good ways to
help? Discuss this in your groups…. Make
sure that you hear the suggestions of
students in your group who are learning
English
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Incorporating Students’
Languages into Classroom
Routines
Names and introductions
Greetings and polite expressions
Language etiquette
L1 writing samples
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy
and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry
of Education
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Using students’ languages
for instructional support
 The Ottawa-Carleton First
Language Tutoring Project
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy
and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry
of Education
The Ottawa-Carleton First
Language Tutoring Project
 Program for students in grades 7 and up with
significant gaps in their schooling.
 Tutors proficient in English and Somali, Albanian,
or Arabic were hired and assigned to 6 schools
where specific groups of newcomers were
experiencing difficulty because of limited prior
schooling.
 Tutors taught a target group separately, teamtaught with the classroom teacher, ran homework
clubs, and supported the target group within a
variety of mainstream classes.
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Using students’ languages
for instructional support
The Ottawa-Carleton First
Language Tutoring Project
Tutors and volunteers
First journal entries, outlines, and
rough drafts in L1
Translation dictionaries and
vocabulary notebooks
Same-language partners
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Incorporating Students’
Languages into the Curriculum
Learning about each other’s
languages: e.g., names, proverbs,
idioms, script systems
Dual language books:
http://thornwood.peelschools.org/dual/index.htm
Dual language projects
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Incorporating Students’
Languages into the Curriculum
Posters/brochures:
–Field trips: e.g., Our Trip to the Zoo
–Civics/History: citizenship-awareness
posters for the class
–Physical Education/Family Studies:
health and nutrition posters
–Science: environmental awareness
posters
–Geography: publicity brochures on cities
or regions of Canada
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Other projects:
Something Special To Me
(recount and explanation)
Children’s Nonfiction Books:
e.g., “How Your Body Works”
(Grade 11 Biology)
Multilingual Poetry Café
(concepts about poetry)
Language Surveys (mathematics,
language, social studies)
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Our Multilingual Classroom
Cantonese
Croation
English
Farsi
Tamil
Twi
Urdu
Vietnamese
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Connecting with Parents and
Community
Reception and orientation:
Kindergarten Registration
Peel Welcome Kit
Welcome to Kindergarten
Family Reception Centres
www.settlement.org
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Connecting with Parents and
Community
Parent networks
Parent and community volunteers
Newsletters, report cards, field
trip forms
Family activities
Parent-teacher interviews and
meetings
L1 use in the home
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
How can I help
my child?
Should we use
English all the
time at home?
You might want to use
English at home some of the
time, but it’s also important
for your child to continue
continue to develop in your
language. This will help you
to have good communication
with your child. Also, strong
skills in her own language
will help her to learn
English.
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
Realizing the Potential of
Multilingual Schools
All students can benefit from immersion in
a multilingual environment:
– English speakers may be encouraged to learn
other languages
– Celebrating linguistic diversity can foster more
open attitudes among various cultural groups, and
help to ensure that all members of the school
community feel valued, welcomed, and included
– Support for students’ languages can enable
English language learners to build on their first
language skills as they develop literacy in English
Elizabeth Coelho, November 2005: Literacy and Numeracy
Secretariat, Ontario Ministry of Education
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