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Frequently Asked Questions

Virtual Language App

“How can I use my pupils’ languages in classroom when I don’t speak them myself?”

“How can the local minority language be supported and promoted when there are other languages in the classroom?”

“How can teachers help parents to feel more comfortable about their children using their home language at school? “

These are actual questions from teachers who want to create a multilingual classroom where pupils are allowed and stimulated to use their home language(s). Most teachers are very motivated to incorporate their pupils’ languages but don’t know how. Therefore the VirtuLApp team has collected these questions and presented them to experts in the field of multilingualism. In short videos and texts, they give their perspective and concrete ideas about  the creation of multilingual classrooms. The VirtuLApp team hopes that with these videos teachers get inspired and will be able to create their own multilingual approach and encourage their colleagues to do the same.

Read more about the experts here.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Below are the frequently asked questions from teachers, grouped per theme.
    These themes are:
    • Multilingualism at school
    • Multilingualism in the classroom
    • Diversity in the classroom
    • Contact with multilingual parents
    • Use of digital tools
  • Some questions are answered by multiple experts.
  • You can click on the picture of the expert for their answer (video or text).
  • All answers are available in 7 languages. For the video’s, you can press CC to select your preferred language for the subtitles.
    These languages are:
    • English,
    • Español,
    • Euskara,
    • Français,
    • Frysk,
    • Gaeilge,
    • Nederlands
  • Additional information to references can be found in Other Resources

Multilingualism at school

frequently asked questionsanswered by…
How can I encourage my colleagues to incorporate a multilingual approach in the classroom? videovideo
I would like to incorporate different languagesin the classroom, but I am not sure where to start.
What kind of concrete activities take students’ input as a basis?

video

video
Would it help if there were bilingual teachers available to support children in learning their first language for a few hours each week?
video
How can teachers help parents to feel more comfortable about their children using their home language at school?
video
How can students’ languages be displayed in the linguistic landscape of the school?
video
What good reasons are there in favour of the regular use of home languages in schools?
video
How can I share with other teachers that students’ home languages need to have a place in school?
text

text

Multilingualism in the classroom

frequently asked questions answered by…
What can I do to encourage students to use their language if they are not able to fully speak/write it?
video

video
What can help teachers to create an excellent multilingual classroom environment?
video
How can I encourage students to use their language(s) without bringing up sensitive issues (e.g. with refugee children)?
video
My students speak many languages. In terms of time, it seems impossible to pay an equal amount of attention to each and every language.
How can I include all languages, without having this ‘take over’ my lesson?

video

video

video
How can a teacher provide emotional support for multilingual children in order to enhance their learning motivation, especially when communication is too challenging?
text

text
How can we overcome the language barrier when the teacher and the student do not share a common language?
How can teachers give appropriate instruction in this case?

text
Sometimes languages spoken by students have a different status (for example, in some situations speaking French has a different status to speaking Guechua). How can this be balanced in school?
video

video
Some students feel ashamed of their home language. How can teachers help them to overcome that shame and to develop more positive feelings about their home language?
video
How can I learn more about the work that other teachers do in promoting multilingualism?
text
How can Irish be supported and promoted along with the other languages in the classroom?
video
How can Frisian be supported and promoted along with the other languages in the classroom?
video
Hoe kin it Frysk stipe wurde tagelyk mei de oare talen yn ‘e klasse?
video
How can Basque be supported and promoted along with the other languages in the classroom?
video
How can teachers facilitate children’s well-being in the multilingual classroom?
video
How can students’ language experiences (for instance, their linguistic biography) be incorporated into the classroom?
text

Diversity in the classroom

How can you avoid stereotypes when working on diversity?
text
Sometimes, students seem unwilling to learn the host language,
especially if they know that their new home may not be permanent. How can a teacher deal with this situation?

text
How can I involve students who are reluctant to talk about their language or culture?
text
How can a teacher handle potentially sensitive topics, such as the culture and the religion of different students?
How can teachers draw out these cultural aspects appropriately?

text

Contact with Multilingual Parents

How can teachers help parents to feel more comfortable about their children using their home language at school?
video
Is it a good idea to ask children to translate when we experience difficulties communicating with their parents?
text
How can we promote the use of home languages through the medium of the local minority language, rather than through the majority language?
text

Use of Digital Tools

The choice of technologies available is enormous and I do not have time to check out each application in order to see if
it is appropriate for my lesson.
How do I make a selection from all the digital tools that exist?

text