Working Together: Promoting the Benefits of Multilingualism (October 2017, IB Global Conference, The Hague)

The support of multilingualism is at the heart of the IB which insists that schools provide opportunities to both learn new languages, and maintain the development of first languages. However, whilst the value of multilingualism at a cultural and social level is understood by educators, the cognitive and academic benefits of continued first language development tend to be less emphasised. This presentation provides an overview of the linguistic research pertinent to our students and offers a pragmatic model for supporting language growth, in turn nurturing a collective understanding of multilingualism.

ECIS ESL & Mother Tongue Conference Round Table Discussion on Multilingual Children and Language Disorders (March 2017, ECIS ESL and Mother Tongue Conference, Copenhagen)

International schools have significant populations of multilingual children with complex language and educational histories due to families’ often- frequent relocations. This round table will explore some of the unique characteristics of high socio-economic, transient, multilingual children by posing discussion questions that come from recent sociolinguistic research on language variation and exposure, as well as psycho- and clinical- linguistic research. We will discuss how international educators work with families and clinicians to diagnose language disorders in multilingual children, as well as highlight the various factors that can contribute to both over-and under-identification of language disorders in this group. In addition, we will analyse the role of teachers in supporting the needs of multilingual children with suspected language disorders, and the many professional challenges they face.

Inquiry and Language Teaching: Embracing a Conceptual Shift (October 2014, IB Africa, Europe and Middle East Regional Conference 2014)

Notwithstanding the fact that IBO PYP documentation affirms that planning should be informed by a concept-based approach and that teaching and learning should be inquiry-driven, many specialist teachers working in the PYP remain unsure as to how to engage with the complexities of the PYP conceptual framework and how to employ an inquiry-based approach to their subject. This presentation will help educators who are trying to move towards aligning Language B and EAL stand-alone curricula with their school’s Programmes of Inquiry.

Language Development of Children in Multilingual Settings, and Sociolinguistic Factors that Can Contribute to SLI Over- and Under-Identification (July 2015, Language Variation and Assessment, CSLS, University of Bern, Switzerland)

First Language Maintenance and Family Language Plans (September 2015, Nederlandse School De Alpentulp, Zug, Switzerland)

Identification, Assessment and Support of EAL pupils with Special Educational Needs (October 2007, Swiss Group of International Schools Special Educational Needs Conference, Switzerland)