Current · Sprach- & Leseförderung · Internationales 02/21/2020 · HO

Appreciate and promote multilingualism

In kindergartens and after-school clubs many family languages come together on a daily basis – this is an invaluable resource. But how can children be promoted in their multilingualism - and why is this so important?

Den Sozialraum einbinden - FRÖBEL-Kindergärten und Horte sind gut vernetzt und binden z.B. Familienangehörige als Vorlesepatinnen und -paten ein. Hier liest der Neuköllner Bezirksbürgermeister Martin Hikel eine Geschichte von Janosch vor. (Fotocredits: FRÖBEL e.V./Bettina Straub)
Integrating the social space - FRÖBEL kindergartens and after-school care clubs are well connected and include family members as reading aloud mentors, for example. Here, the Neukölln district mayor Martin Hikel reads a Janosch story. (Photo credits: FRÖBEL e.V./Bettina Straub)

On February 21 2020 the International Mother Tongue Day took place. Exactly 20 years ago UNESCO declared this day to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as multilingualism. And kindergartens and after-school clubs are places of diversity par excellence. 

Dr. Gudrun Rannacher, Managing Director of FRÖBEL Bildung und Erziehung gGmbH: "The task of early childhood education and care services is to create and maintain a welcoming atmosphere and appreciation for all families with their cultures and languages. Therefore, FRÖBEL is committed to early language education in many family languages". 

However, the different families in individual centres sometimes speak up to 20 languages. Even multilingual teams usually do not manage to cover all family languages. Why is it useful and important to promote children in their family language? How can the promotion of multilingualism be successful in kindergartens and after-school clubs? Annegret Kieschnick, consultant for pedagogy and quality development at FRÖBEL, and Laureen Schiefelbein, centre manager of the FRÖBEL-Kindergarten Highdechsen in Berlin-Neukölln, answer these question in the video below.

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Children's Book Boxes: A Fröbel project for breaking down barriers to reading aloud

The children's book boxes are book exchanges in converted telephone boxes. They are currently being set up nationwide in public spaces in front of Fröbel kindergartens and daycare centers. By mid 2022 there will be 50 of them. With this project, we support the promotion of language and reading skills for families by providing an easily accessible range of children's books in many languages directly in the vicinity of Fröbel facilities.

The children's book boxes are an initiative of Fröbel e.V., Stiftung Lesen and the German Library Association with the kind support of the Navidad Foundation and book publishers.