Research has shown that mother tongue promotion and bilingual schooling have apparent positive effects not only on the development of mother tongue but also on children’s abilities in the majority school language and overall achievement in school (e.g. cf. Cummins 2001 [1]; Collier & Thomas 2017 [2]).

Although at first the AVIOR project intended to diversify existing bilingual study materials by adding additional languages, in the course of the project it turned out that there are very few unlicensed bilingual study materials. This circumstance initiated the creation of complementary materials, which were translated into 15 different language combinations. Bilingual study materials were compiled in very diverse combinations (Croatian-Boyash, Dutch-Polish, Italian-Arabic, Greek-Turkish, German-Albanian, and others). Considering the demographic situation in Estonia, it was decided that the combination most needed in Estonia is Estonian-Russian for children aged 4-8.

The created study materials were piloted in both educational institutions and cooperation between schools and families.

The experience of piloting AVIOR materials showed that materials which use both the child’s other tongue and the language of studies help not only the child’s proficiency in the language of studies but also the child’s vocabulary and literacy in its mother tongue. Teachers from several countries pointed out that the usage of the children’s mother tongue increased their confidence and turned out to be of great emotional importance. Bilingual materials allowed a discussion with the children over the importance of different languages and increased their tolerance towards speakers of other languages. As the materials were understandable and age-appropriate, it was relatively easy for teachers to integrate the AVIOR materials into the classroom. The usage of those materials increased the participation of parents in the classroom and gave parents assurance that educators are valuing both the native language and culture of their child.

See also

Vaata lähemalt projekti kodulehelt.

[1] Jim Cummins. (2001). “Bilingual Children’s Mother Tongue: Why is it important for education?”, Sprogforum. 19.

[2] Virginia P. Collier & Wayne P. Thomas. (2017). „Validating the Power of Bilingual Schooling: Thirty-Two Years of Large-Scale, Longitudinal Research“. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 37. 1-15. 10.1017/S0267190517000034.