In international schools, where many cultures and languages converge, a common language in the classroom can significantly improve an EAL / ELL student’s wellbeing and feeling of acceptance. Supporting EAL / ELL students’ wellbeing can be achieved with FlashAcademy®.
The importance of nurturing EAL / ELL students’ native languages
In today’s educational landscape, the significance of nurturing proficiency in a student’s home language can be valuable. Beyond the immediate concern of English language acquisition, fostering a strong foundation in the native language holds profound implications for a student’s overall development, wellbeing and future success.
In the context of cultural identity, maintaining proficiency in a student’s own language is a powerful affirmation of their heritage. It allows students to preserve and celebrate their cultural identity, fostering a sense of belonging and pride. This contributes to positive self-esteem and a more robust sense of identity.
Mastering emotional expression
The ability to express emotions is a fundamental aspect of mental health and personal growth for all students. When students are encouraged to express their emotions bilingually, it enhances their language proficiency and also nurtures a deeper understanding of their own emotions.
Language serves as a powerful tool for emotional expression, allowing individuals to articulate their thoughts, feelings and experiences. For EAL (English as an additional language) / ELL (English language learner) pupils, who may be navigating the complexities of a new language and cultural environment, having the opportunity to express their emotions in their home language provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and authenticity.
Other wellbeing benefits of bilingualism
Research indicates that bilingualism is associated with cognitive advantages, including improved executive function and problem-solving skills. When students are supported in expressing themselves proficiently in both their native language and English, they develop a cognitive flexibility that extends beyond linguistic capabilities. This flexibility enables them to approach challenges with a broader perspective, fostering creativity and adaptability in their academic endeavours and future professional pursuits.
In essence, nurturing proficiency in English language as well as a student’s home language goes beyond linguistic considerations; it is an investment in their emotional wellbeing, cognitive development and cultural identity. By providing the tools and encouragement for EAL pupils to express themselves bilingually, educators can support EAL / ELL students’ wellbeing. Contributing to the cultivation of a resilient, emotionally articulate and culturally empowered generation, laying the groundwork for a future where linguistic and cultural diversity are celebrated!