The language diversity in society and even within families is widely spread. This influences the process of language learning. This project addresses non-formal language learning in the multilingual home. In this context we are concentrating on motivations and beliefs in the family about language use and learning. We aim to empower parents and by extension the whole family to manage language use at home and to create a positive and stimulating environment.
Multilingual families should be reinforced to create an optimal environment for language learning and well-being. They should create an open atmosphere in which decisions on language maintenance /shift are considered and are debatable. They should reinforce the mutual understanding between different generations and a positive approach to language learning. They should be able to handle negative attitudes and reinforce the positive ones.
Professionals (educators, social/medical workers, teachers etc.) working with multilingual families are confronted with family members which sometimes struggle with the multilingual context they live in or who express negative connotations towards the home language and/or language of integration. These professionals should be able to help clients to express the attitudes and bend them in a more positive direction with the agreement of the family.
Our expected outcomes
- A digital app used by multilingual families with support of professionals.
- A user’s guide and film to sustain professionals with practical instructions for using the app and with more background information
- Training for professionals
- May 2018: International Conference: ‘Languages@home: empowering multilingual families’ in Brussels
The chosen approach is ‘User centred Design’. Multilingual families and professionals will be involved from the start and through the whole project. In collaboration with these stakeholders the project will evaluate through different stages of information, exploration, build and testing. The final product will be free available for use.