Dr. Bronagh Catibusic-Finnegan
National College of Ireland
This paper is linked to the paper Supporting language acquisition in multilingual environments.
By using and creating dual language (home language and L2) texts, children can develop literacy skills in both their home language and the language of instruction. These ‘plurilingual’ approaches increase children’s language awareness, so using many languages can be a positive learning experience for all (Catibusic-Finnegan, Bronagh, 2017)
Recognizing children’s home languages is an important aspect of intercultural education . Educators should encourage migrant parents to maintain their home languages and enable families to support their children’s vocabulary development through meaningful conversations, story-telling, reading, and play. Children’s linguistic and cultural identities should be affirmed by creating inclusive environments, where words in all languages become foundations for learning. (Catibusic-Finnegan, Bronagh, 2017)
Creating storysacks with parents and children in your classroom is an excellent way to encourage parental involvement, develop the home learning environment and promote literacy. It is an inclusive activity that can be done with all parents. It is especially useful for supporting the home language of children who are acquiring the instructional language. Families can choose culturally recognisable and familiar materials to add to their storysack.
Get some ideas of how to plan, do an review a storysack activity by reading this document: Story sack instructions