The “Multilingual Families” project is an important project that is targeted at preserving the languages and culture of the 47.3 million immigrants living in the European Union and the many families with parents with more than one language. These people represent a linguistic treasure house for Europe and one that must be preserved to enhance the linguistic and multi-cultural diversity of Europe.
To preserve this treasure in to the second generation, the children of immigrants and linguistically diverse parents, is vital as a continuing linguistic resource.
Children who are multilingual are also a strong beacon to their monolingual peers that bilingualism, or multilingualism is obtainable. The difficulty is to support and inform immigrant or multilingual parents how and why to raise their children multilingually in an informal setting.
The “Multilingual Families” project provides this support to parents in 3 ways by answering the questions:
- Why – should we support children’s learning and continuing use of the family language?
- What – can we do to support them?
- How – do we implement real language support so that they learn the family language and retain it?
It has gone further and provides support materials to teachers, immigrant groups, in fact all stakeholders, that work with immigrants and multilingual parents, so that they can disseminate the project resources to immigrant and multilingual parents and support them by answering questions and obtaining materials.
Finally “Multilingual Families” has also created resources for the children, to show them directly why having 2 or more languages, and family languages, is something to be proud of and that has huge value in their lives.
The resources produced are in more than 17 languages.
If you are an immigrant family, teacher or stakeholder and would like to get involved in this project please go to our Contact page.