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ASH Students Investigate What Leads to Successful Multilingualism

As an international school, multilingualism is always a buzz word and hot topic around the ASH campus and amongst our community. Last week we shared learnings from specialist and educator Eowyn Crisfield from her workshops at ASH earlier in the month (click here to read more about these).

This week we are sharing some research conducted by our grade 8 EAL (English as a second language) students in Ms. Forde's class. The purpose of this research was to “gain an understanding of the factors that influence successful language learning, as well as to experience the research process.”

The students started the research process by thinking about their own language learning experience and reflected on these in a questionnaire. Their results demonstrated the positive factors that impact their learning:
 
  • Feeling comfortable and relaxed
  • Enjoying trying out a new language
  • Being well-organized
  • Enjoying the challenging
  • Confidence
  • Risk-taking
  • Not being afraid to make mistakes

And the negative ones:
 
  • Being afraid/worried at making mistakes
  • Being shy
  • Not taking risks
  • Feeling scared
 
Armed with this knowledge about their collective influencing factors, the students developed the methodology for their research. They each interviewed a parent about what it means to be multilingual and they each spoke to a multilingual member of staff here at ASH, to see if they too were influenced by these factors.

After these interviews and analyzing the data and information they concluded; “the mindset of persistence and risk-taking has a direct impact on successful language learning. This outweighs academic strategies such as reading, writing and listening in becoming comfortable in another language. No-one mentioned learning grammar! Students showed more pride in being multilingual than adults.”
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University preparatory program for ages 3-18. Fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

American School of The Hague