Home Language Materials in School Libraries

student in library

As part of the Government Foreign Languages Strategy, PPLI has facilitated both primary and post-primary schools in acquiring school library materials in different home languages spoken in our schools through the School Library funding scheme.

Having home language materials in school libraries is a way to support literacy, help students maintain their home language and enhance inclusiveness.

Students will benefit hugely if they can maintain their home language. Languages add to their skill set, open doors in education and careers, connect them to their heritage and culture, and support diversity.
With the new Leaving Cert curricular languages Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Chinese students can also benefit educationally by ensuring they keep a good level of their home language.

What are the schools saying about their new home language materials?

‘There was a wave of excitement at the range of books acquired.’

‘We have found the acquired language books from your funding a tremendous help to our school’s diverse language range.’

‘We acquired a large number of dual language books across 12 languages to meet the needs of our diverse student body. The books allowed us to open a ‘Home Languages’ section to our library and begin building a body of books across all the various languages spoken by our pupils at home.’

‘The books have been of huge benefit for new pupils who have limited English so that they can engage in the fun of library time alongside their peers without the anxiety of not being in a position to read English.’

‘The books have made a huge inroads for some of our students.’

‘The books have been a valuable addition to our school library. They have been promoted during school assemblies with children reading aloud and translating to their peers.’

‘The Home School Liaison Teacher made contact with all parents initially to see what languages they would like to see.’

‘A multicultural day highlighted all the books used in displays as part of showcasing the projects children had created on the home countries of the children in the school.’

‘During weekly reading time first and second years are encouraged to read and borrow books in their home languages. Students with younger brothers and sisters were identified and the idea of reading to them in their home language was promoted.’

‘We have promoted and showcased the books during World Book Day and made a bookflix board with recommendations with different flags to show what was available. It has been a great success.’

‘Funding allowed us create a dedicated section for books in languages other than English in the school library, which has been very popular with our girls who speak languages other than English at home. The most popular book with the secondary school girls was ‘The Three Body Problem’ by Liu Cixin in Mandarin; the most popular books for primary school girls are translations of Roald Dahl in Spanish and French.’

‘Once the books arrived, we displayed them in the center of the Library and promoted their use through a schoolwide Mother Language/International Day celebration.’

‘Have used the books during well being week in line with literacy for drop everything and read. The 4th year Language Literacy in Numeracy team created a list of all books in the various languages. And organised a loan system excel sheet which they were maintaining.’

‘On world book day we were especially fortunate to have parents read stories that represented the various languages and cultures. We had one of our amazing 3rd Class children volunteer to read in Hungarian!’

School libraries are places of discovery, learning and fun. Access to books, games and comics in different languages is exciting for all students when they can try out new foreign words in dual language books, have a game of Snap in French or learn about their peers’ cultures.

‘This is a wonderful resource to have in a school.’