Local organiser: Lara Sammut Debono, Education Officer, Migrant Learners' Unit - Ministry of Education and Employment (MEDE)
ECML experts: Katja Schnitzer, Germany; Kristin Brogan, Ireland
Participants: 26 (foreign language teachers, teacher educators, teachers of the language of schooling, school administrators and school advisers)
On the 5th and 6th of March 2020, under the auspices of the cooperation partnership with the European Commission, the ECML and the Maltese Ministry of Education and Employment (MEDE) organised a very beneficial training workshop on Supporting Multilingual Classrooms. It focused on developing a whole-school approach to valuing and supporting linguistic and cultural diversity and multiple ways of collaboration among teachers of various levels and subjects. Education professionals representing public entities attended the workshop. These included education officers, members of school management teams, teachers from both the primary and secondary sectors and community liaison workers. This provided a cross-section of stakeholders working at multiple levels, with the aim of exploiting multilingualism as a valuable resource.
The event demonstrated that all learners, both those speaking the majority language and those speaking minority languages, can be empowered by their own plurilingual identity in a multilingual society. Teachers were encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards linguistic and cultural diversity. The strong point of the training was the practical approach to supporting plurilingual learners in mainstream classrooms. Ideas were shared on how learning can be scaffolded and on how to develop strategies for differentiated learning. The moderators guided participants during workshops on how to apply these principles to their existing school context. The experts referred to existing ECML resources and participants discussed how these could be adapted to their learners’ needs. Formative assessment was addressed and in particular its supportive role in language development in different subjects with the help of a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach. The experts’ delivery was greatly appreciated by the participants attending the workshop.
Lara Sammut Debono, local organiser, 14 March 2020
ECML project website: Supporting multilingual classrooms – EU-ECML cooperation agreement 2019-2020 "Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning"