[all illustrations ©Nilu Kuhpour]
Further down, you’ll read where we got this quote from. For now, let’s focus on what it means.
In 2020, our framework for international cooperation is designed by the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key characteristic is the awareness and acknowledgement that all countries face similar issues, leaving behind the artificial dichotomy of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries. With this change of perspective comes a whole new way of interacting with one another on a global scale in a respectful, equal and reciprocal way.
It’s been well-documented by social researchers of the Contact Hypothesis that certain conditions such as the pursuit of common goals can facilitate the generation of positive intergroup contact, and even reduce prejudice. Another key condition – there are five in total – is intergroup cooperation.
The Learning Week was packed with many good practices and inspiring ideas. We learnt plenty about overcoming some barriers that are presented by multilingual realities in the classroom.
- Cooperation is key. Everyone has a role to play in creating a safe, meaningful and positive multilingual learning environment: teachers, school leaders, teacher trainers, parents, the school’s community, political leaders…
- Teachers do not need to be multilingual, but they do need to create safe spaces for learners to use their mother tongue to feel confident about their identity, and to get a better grasp on the learning materials.
- We need to acknowledge the equal value of every language, and no longer prefer one (dominant) language over another.
- There is no 1 perfect recipe: multilingualism deserves a flexible approach.