Teaching Multilingual Classes
In Odisha we have a lot of students from tribal areas, but many teachers do not recognise the languages and knowledge that these students bring to class. I wanted to find a way to support teachers in ensuring the inclusion of all their students in class.
My colleagues and I found the TESS-India OER ‘Multilingualism in the classroom’.
My teacher educator colleagues and I decided to run a workshop with local teachers to try out some of the activities in the OERs. We used the ‘Running an effective participatory interactive workshop’ guidance notes to help us plan the event.
We began the workshop by showing a video on involving all learners to set the scene. We then used Activity 1 as a prompt to discuss some of the challenges teachers face in their daily practice. It was interesting to compare their experience with that of the teacher in Case Study 1.
Next we did the language survey. The range of languages and dialects represented among all the workshop participants was fascinating. Doing the activity also highlighted some of the issues that might arise when undertaking it with students.
The teachers left committed to carrying out the survey in their classrooms.
In a follow-up workshop, we used the ‘Pause for thought’ as a prompt for teachers to share their experiences of undertaking the survey and to reflect on their students’ reactions to it.