Workshop for parents of the Czech School Without Borders - June 2017
Thank you very much for your talk on bringing up children in bilingual and multilingual environments. It's encouraging to hear about the research that has been conducted in this field – we all know that bilingualism requires a life-time commitment on the parts of the children and their parents, so to hear about its fantastic benefits is particularly useful to all of us. It was also fascinating to hear your tips on how to create monolingual situations in which our children can speak their mother tongue, as this is something we strive for in our school. We also welcomed the opportunity to exchange ideas and observations amongst our parents. The talk lasted two hours but we would have stayed much longer had it not been for the fact that we had to pick our children after school!
Lucie Wenigerova, Acting Director, Czech School Without Boarders, London
Talk for Teachers at the Czech School Without Borders
We would like to thank Dr Froso Argyri from UCL Bilingo for her talk on bilingualism organised for our teachers. Froso gave us an overview of what it means to be bilingual or multilingual, explained to us the stages of acquiring a second language, how children juggle two or more languages and how parents’ input matters.
It was a highly informative workshop, delivered in a very professional manner. Froso is very friendly and approachable and she replied to loads of our curious and specific questions.
Thank you once again for a wonderful talk.
Czech School without Borders, London
Workshop for the Hungarian community - October 2017
The workshop on bilingualism confirmed what I have observed during my EAL teaching practice over the past decade: literacy in the first language only benefits a child's literacy skills in English. The skills are transferable and parents should encourage the use of first language as much as possible, because it is usually minimized in comparison to English, as soon as the child enters education. What a lot of parents do not realize until it's too late, is that their child will not be able to switch between languages just as easily as they can, if she grows up in an English environment; just because they are bilingual, their child won't automatically become one. Biliteracy is the only way forward preserving a bicultural life.
Krisztina Fogarasi, an EAL teacher
Workshop for parents of the West Action Primary School - June 2017
I attended Dr Argyri's workshop at West Acton Primary School as a parent and I found it highly enlightening and very helpful especially on how I could retain my kids' mother tongue in the house. I feel emotionally relieved to find out that there is scientific evidence that shows that keeping our family language, not only does not put any obstacles to my kid's performance at the english school, but also it facilitates their learning of other languages. I hope more workshops like this take place so that more parents can access the valuable information given by Dr Argyri.
Mrs D. Manousou, Parent
A workshop for the Parents' Network: South East London - Jan 2017
The Parents’ Network: SE London are very grateful to UCL BiLingo’s Dr Argyri and Dr Mahon for delivering an engaging and informative talk to local parents. The speakers drew a large crowd of around 50 attendees from a range of backgrounds and parents were not disappointed. They had their questions answered and were able to share experiences and gain reassurances and practical advice. The speakers provided easily accessible but well researched analysis of common problems with raising bilingual children and the science of language development. It was a fascinating talk and we have already had requests to re-run the session.
Diana Hawk, Chair of the Parents' Network: SE London
Information Session for Parents, organised by the ICH Mums and Dads Group - November 2016
I am the father of a 7-year-old girl whose birth language was Thai but who quickly acquired English when we adopted her in the UK at age 4. My wife is native bilingual in English/Spanish but up until now English has been both the home and school language, and our daughter has only had minor exposure to Spanish. We are planning to spend next year in Spain (Year 4 of primary school), and I initially had email correspondence with Froso because we were concerned that we had left it a bit late to suddenly immerse our daughter in a Spanish-language school environment. I followed up our emails by attending her talk at ICH in November, 2016 partly to seek further advice, and partly because I'm interested in the subject anyway, and not just as a parent. Although the talk's venue meant that it was an audience of mostly academics, it was a practical rather than academic talk, as the audience consisted of parents in bi-/multilingual households who sought information in raising their children bi-/ multilingually. It is clear that Froso is interested in child multilingualism in all its manifestations in a wide variety of family circumstances. Both the talk and the Q&A session were of interest and relevance to me, even when touching on family situations which were not wholly similar to my own. It was also nice to observe that Froso's academic interest in the subject matter goes completely hand-in-hand with the satisfaction she gets in providing parents with education and advice.
Jim Levin - Financial Assistant, UCL
Training session for teachers and teaching assistants at St Mary's School - October 2016
Thank you so much for leading the fantastic workshops in our school recently. Many of our parents (of bilingual pupils) commented that they were not always sure they were 'doing the right thing' at home but your workshop provided them with lots of information and advice to be able to confidently support their child's upbringing. Similarly all of our staff found their session really interesting and helpful and felt that it equipped them to support the needs of the EAL learners in their class. The wealth of strategies shared were based on up-to-date research findings and were practical and easy to implement in classroom settings. Many of our teachers and teaching assistants have tried out the ideas suggested and have witnessed excellent results.
Thanks again for all your help, Simon Ellis-Callow - Senior Manager/SENCo - St. Mary's School