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© Eithne Gallagher 2012 - 2016 Last reviewed / updated April 2016
In today’s ever smaller world ... … schools need to be orientating their curricula towards nurturing tomorrow's Global Citizens.  This means implementing a thoroughly inclusive teaching approach that recognises and supports all languages and cultures present in the school.  It is only by instilling in our students a deep respect for all the world's societies and ethnicities that they will grow into truly Global Citizens - and it is only through the example set by parents, teachers, administrators and the school community as a whole, that this can be achieved. The words "Bilingual" and "Multilingual" limit our focus to the linguistic abilities of the individual student.  We need a new concept.  We should be creating a classroom atmosphere, indeed a school-wide atmosphere, where all the school's languages and cultures are constantly present and respected.  This moves the focus from the narrow view of just linguistic ability to the wider, more encompassing perspective of true international mindedness. We need "Interlingual" classrooms and schools. The "Inter" prefix brings the notion of everyone being open and responsive to learning about other languages.  In the Interlingual classroom children not only learn their own mother-tongue but learn about all the other classroom languages as well. Interlingual classrooms... View ESL students' cultural knowledge experiences and mother-tongue languages as precious resources Allow ESL students to participate actively in all academic areas because the teacher and the instruction affirm their identity Welcome ESL parents into the classroom as valuable resources Recognise the different discursive practices of students with different language experiences and build on them See translanguaging as an important and legitimate practice Please see the resources page for more on inclusive, Interlingual classrooms. 
Eithne Gallagher Interlingual consultancy for truly International Schools
... is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee, she is a regular presenter at international school conferences and has delivered workshops and lectures for teachers and administrators across the world.  Her writings on ESL & Mother-tongue issues have been widely published in educational journals and magazines and she has published a book entitled Equal Rights to the Curriculum in which she argues for school reform to meet the educational needs of all children growing up in a multicultural society. Eithne provides support and consultancy for schools wishing to implement inclusive, ESL and mother- tongue policies.    Eithne is the mother of three bilingual children and lives with her family on a hilltop outside Rome.
Eithne Gallagher RSA Dip. TEFLA
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