Communication in the native language is one of the European Union’s key competencies for lifelong learning. The migration crisis across Europe is bringing new pupils into schools, especially children, who do not speak the language of their teachers, but who will in the near future become multilingual.
These children find themselves at a disadvantage in this situation, due to a lack of training, translation and knowledge of migratory movements they are facing. We know from research on multilingualism the importance of not creating a linguistic break in a migratory journey, in order to facilitate inclusion and successful learning.
There are tools and games, designed to facilitate the arrival of migrant
children in their host class. Only a few advocate the promotion of their native language, and we want to see this approach normalised as soon as possible.
The challenge of DAY ONE IN EUROPE is to develop tools enabling those involved in education to use the native languages of migrant children as a resource for all pupils, and not as a marker of difference.