We are delighted to announce the publication of intercultural guidelines that were put together by Professor David Little and Dr. Déirdre Kirwan. They are based on work led by Déirdre, when she was principal of Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní), Blanchardstown. The idea of putting together the guidelines (in the context of Action 2.E.6 in Languages Connect) arose because while their work generated significant international interest it has been relatively unknown in Ireland so we have been eager to ensure that Irish principals and teachers would also have access to the learning from it.
They are designed to help principals and teachers in primary schools respond to the opportunity of integrating the home languages of EAL pupils in the activities of the classroom and develop pupils’ intercultural learning and they incorporate many very practical ideas on how to do this. We hope that you will find them useful in the context of fostering positive attitudes and appreciation of cultural diversity in the classroom and beyond, as well as fostering an interest and curiosity in learning further languages and in intercultural communication.
The main benefit of the intercultural guidelines is that they show how significant advances can be made in primary language education without a requirement to invest special funding or additional resources. The guidelines explain how within the approach of the integrated primary languages curriculum, it is possible to provide for the full inclusion of pupils from immigrant families by encouraging them to make active use of their home languages in the classroom.
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