Best Practice

Ideas for working effectively with multilingual families

Primary schools have a crucial role to play in welcoming and engaging with the families of multilingual pupils and helping them to support their children’s education and development. Glynis Lloyd advises
Image: Adobe Stock

Multilingual families are a diverse group whose geographical, social, and economic backgrounds vary significantly.

Families speak different languages (and different varieties within languages), have different levels and types of education, may have experienced dislocation from their home because of conflict, and have a range of expectations and understanding about their involvement in their children’s learning, not to mention their rights as a parent regarding their child’s education.

How do primary school leaders ensure their school’s policies and practices are responsive to that diversity, and are welcoming, inclusive, and affirming, so that all families can give their children the best possible support to flourish at school? How can schools become safe spaces that mitigate the effects of racism and exclusion that may exist in the broader community?

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