“There is something special about the languages we learn early in life”, research indicates.
Worldwide over 7,000 languages are spoken. While linguistic diversity is valued by many countries in the world, 40% of these languages are endangered.
International Mother Language Day is celebrated on February 21st each year in an effort to shine a spotlight on the beauty and power of linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
I have fond memories of cuddling up next to my tata (Serbian for daddy) before bedtime and listening anxiously as he told stories he remembered or even ones he made up. As an immigrant family from the former Yugoslavia, we brought little with us when we came to America. Books were heavy and did not make the journey. Storytelling, however, was a cherished time in our home. My favorite story was Hansel and Gretel.
**a version of this blog post was first published on BookBuzz.
The "English Only Rule"
Recently I read a post on a Facebook group asking whether or not teachers allow their English learners to speak in their primary/native language in class. Now to me, there is no need to think about the answer. It's a no brainer. Do I allow my students to speak in their native language in class?