The UN celebrates International Mother Language Day on February 21st every year. At MIS, we celebrate the whole week to embrace our diversity! We call it Home Language Week. This week celebrates all the languages we speak along with the cultures we represent and gives us a chance to share it with our wider community.
Home Language Week at MIS has been exciting this year. We are back on campus and sharing this week with our community has been wonderful. Keeping in mind our language policy, the ELA team designed activities to give learners a chance to share their home language through all modes of communication; namely: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and presenting.
Our week started off with students celebrating their identity at MIS! “We are the Eagles” was written on feathers in their home languages and was used to create our MIS eagle. This not only gave our learners a chance to share vocabulary in their home language with friends, but also helped them utilize translanguaging skills to re-write a phrase in their home language and understand the meaning of it in English. “Wir sind die Ader”, “우리는 독수리(ulineun dogsuli)” are some examples we saw!
Music has been an intricate part of all languages. They convey emotion, meaning and moods. ELA students shared a piece of music in their home language during ELA class. Translating the meaning, conveying what the singer is communicating and why this song is special to them was a highlight of this activity.
Reading is an integral part of language development. We challenged our ELA learners to choose a book in their home language from our library. After reading it aloud with a friend they had to use their translanguaging skills and write a book review in their home language. This review offered them a chance to advocate for a favorite author, share a favorite story or even share a book that wasn’t a favorite. The reviews were shared with our community and were widely appreciated.
Our younger learners spent the week using story cubes, story sequencing cards and picture clues to share and write stories in their home language. The joy and pride were visible on each learner’s face as they shyly but proudly shared their story in their classroom.
Last but not the least, we ended our Home Language Week by playing games in our home language! From “Oranges and Lemons” to “Kumaya, Kumaya Ta Mul Jhi Pora” to “akkad bakkad bumbe bo” rhymes and recitals were heard across the playground celebrating our joy for the languages we share.
We are so grateful for this multilingual community at MIS. This week has been exciting, and we look forward to continuing to integrate these home languages within our curriculum.
We will be working with Ms. Helen to give you another blog post in the coming weeks to highlight more learning from this important week, so watch out for the next installment in mid-March!
Primary ELA team