11 nov. 2015


The many benefits of bilingualism

We live in a world of great linguistic diversity. More than half of the world’s population grows up with more than one language. There are, on the other hand, language communities that are monolingual, typically some parts of the English-speaking world.
In this case, bilingualism or multilingualism can be seen as an extraordinary situation – a source of admiration and worry at the same time. But there are communities where bilingualism or multilingualism are the norm – for example in regions of Africa. A Cameroonian, for example, could speak Limbum and Sari, both indigenous languages, plus Ewondo, a lingua franca, plus English or French, the official languages, plus Camfranglais, a further lingua franca used between anglophone and francophone Cameroonians.
On a smaller scale, we all know families where bilingualism or multilingualism are the norm, because the parents speak different languages or because the family uses a language different from that of the community around them.
How difficult is it for a child to grow up in such an environment? And what are bilingual children capable of? Well, they are capable of quite a lot, even at a very youngage. They can understand and produce expressions in more than one language, they know who to address in which language, they are able to switch very fast from one language to the other.

27 ago. 2015


How to enthuse the unenthusiastic pupil

By Jim Baker on Thursday, 30 April 2015 10:00 Teaching & Learning
A teacher could well have some great teaching strategies, but pupils need to be engaged. Veteran teacher Jim Baker discusses the methods that have worked for him over four decades.
To solve this problem of enthusing the unenthusiastic pupil we must first ask ‘Why is the pupil unenthusiastic? Two reasons for this lack of enthusiasm are:
1) Being preoccupied with ‘outside’ issues. 2) Not finding the teacher ‘entertaining’ - hence my reply “entertainer” when asked what I do.
There is not a lot we can do about 1) above, but there is about 2).