Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language-Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language-Heo Yewon
WRITTEN BY
Yewon Heo
02 March, 2023

Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language

Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language-Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language-photo_2023-03-02_08-32-40
Why multilingual learning at Northbridge starts with the mother language
With more than 40 different nationalities and 20 languages represented, Northbridge International School Cambodia welcomes and values all linguistic and cultural backgrounds brought by the students, the parents and the school community. Our mission is to inspire dynamic, respectful and compassionate global citizens, and we believe that our multilingual school environment helps accomplish it.

Mother language as starting point  

Not only do we value the various languages spoken in our school community, but also we strongly encourage students to develop a knowledge of the mother language(s). Research shows that children learn best in a language they already understand (UNESCO, 2016).

 

We, teachers, witness every day in the classroom that students’ mother language serves as a scaffolding strategy for language skills development and content learning. In other words, Students’ mother language forms an essential starting point in language learning. 

 

A multilingual world  

21st of February was International Mother Language Day. International Mother Language Day is celebrated all over the world to raise awareness of linguistic diversity and multilingualism around the world. 

 

During our primary assembly last week, we recognized and celebrated all the different languages we have here at NISC. These statistics were also shared with the students, and they had a chance to ponder the importance of maintaining mother language:

 

  • 7000 languages are spoken around the world. 
  • 3045 (42%) are endangered.  
  • 40% of children do not have access to education in a language they understand.  

Continue to support your child’s mother language 

To sum up, a strong mother language foundation is the key for successful multilingual education. At Northbridge, students are encouraged to draw on all their linguistic and cognitive resources by bringing their languages, cultures and previous life experiences.

 

The best way for parents to support their child’s mother language development is to spend time with their children. Give your child a chance to talk about his/her school work in mother language. Discuss the material and the key terms with your child. This will aid your child on his/her journey to become multilinguals.