Well, what a year we have had! We have been taking stock after the website’s first year of operation and collating the feedback we have received, so we wanted to share with you some of our insights.
From the site launch in January 2021 to the end of February 2022, there were over 2,800 downloads of activities from the website – no small achievement! The project team would like to thank you for engaging with us and to everyone who has taken the time to send feedback or be featured on our blog. The most popular activities by far have been the Language Portraits and Rivers of Reading, followed by Calligrams, 100 Feathers and the guidelines for setting up a multilingual library. The 30 days wild activities proved very popular in the summer and October’s COP26 activities proved so too.
Overall, feedback from all activities has been very positive. Here are just some of the things that teachers have said:
- They liked that it was easy to use due to workload (calligrams) and well planned – “I was really impressed with how everything was there for us” (100 feathers activity)
- Language portraits encouraged children to talk about how languages form part of their cultural identity. It provided very good sharing opportunities, and the children became the ‘experts’ by sharing their heritage language knowledge. The activity increased the confidence of quieter students to speak in their home language.
- The Rivers of Reading activity was instrumental in making connections between the classroom and home life, and the reading which children do outside of school. It allowed quieter/harder to engage children to share their experiences, and children were able to bring together home and school languages.
- The Calligrams activity did not dig deep into the children’s abilities in their home language but prompted discussions and greater awareness of the challenges encountered by EAL children, for example, non-EAL children had a richer vocabulary.
- The Rivers of Reading activity would be a good way to involve parents/guardians in their child’s learning and to make connections with school but has been hampered by covid-19 restrictions.
- EAL pupils benefited from activities by increased confidence and self-esteem, as they could see their heritage language was valued.
- EAL children liked to be able to use their home language, and it increased awareness of other cultures for non-EAL children.
- One school commented that the Rivers of Reading activity was more difficult with KS1 pupils.
- Everyone said that the children enjoyed the various activities. One teacher said it “fired up their imagination” when talking of the 100 Feathers activity.
- The 100 feathers activity was described as an ‘eye-opener’ as it offered a window into the experiences of some children. One teacher found that it unlocked some negative feelings in some children but was helpful to understand what the children had been through.
- Most teachers who provided feedback said they would use the activities again
Teachers said that the activities could be improved by:
- Greater cross-curricular links
- Sound links on the PowerPoints to indicate how a word sounds in other languages
- More specific and detailed evidence of what works in different classrooms (this was very early feedback so we hope we have improved over the year)
It is only by you getting in touch that we are able to change and (hopefully) improve activities so we thank you for taking the time to comment.
As you know, the activities available on the Lost Wor(ld)s website are free to use due to the funding received from AHRC. As a condition of funding, we must report on the extent of the impact and how it has supported teachers with multilingualism in their classrooms. Completing the feedback form or emailing us your feedback helps us to do this. We believe that these are useful resources for teachers, so if you agree, please tell your colleagues and spread the word. If you have used any of the activities and would like to tell us how it went, please don’t be shy, we love hearing all about your wonderful multilingual news!