Diversity, identity and multilingualism

by Daniel McAuley

As an English language assistant at a school in suburban Paris in 2009, I remember thinking that the way the pupils spoke was far removed from the French I’d learnt at school and university, and that no amount of book-learning could make me understand them. This experience might be familiar to language learners seeing a foreign language used in its natural habitat. If you’re used to Molière, Booba’s a shock. (In any case, he’s better, as he’d tell you himself.)

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Multilingual identity and foreign language learning

by Karen Forbes

A few months ago I was in the park with a friend and her seven-year-old son. As he was playing he started talking to two other young boys, one of whom was Asian. After a while he came back over to us, and his mum asked who his new friends were. He excitedly replied: “They're called Tom and Kevin and they go to my school, but Kevin is from China, I didn't even know I could speak Chinese!” 

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