Myrna - Director EarlyBird

Delve deeper into the world of multilingual education with our exclusive interview with Myrna, director of EarlyBird, who shares her valuable insights and experiences on bilingual education.

Can you explain as simply as possible what your work entails?

In addition to my work as director, I advise and guide childcare and primary schools in setting up and implementing a quality English programme. I provide in-service training and develop materials, including the preschool programme Benny's Playground. I regularly collaborate with universities and colleges for research on our methodology and with publishers.

What do you like most about your work?

The most enjoyable part is seeing enthusiastic toddlers and students, who enjoy learning a new language naturally.

Do you think speaking multiple languages is important? And if so why?

It goes without saying that I am a huge advocate of speaking multiple languages. Mastering multiple languages is a gift that has many socio-cultural and economic benefits. It makes it easier to communicate with people of different cultures and thus get to know them better. Which in turn contributes to greater empathy and understanding.

What’s one thing that all parents should know about language acquisition?

Almost every child goes through a silent period when they do not talk in the 'other' language, but they do listen and learn.

Would you advise parents to teach their children multiple languages? If yes, why?

Every parent with a language other than the school language should also teach his/her child this language, as it is part of his/her culture. In addition, multilingualism has many cognitive advantages.

What tip would you give to parents considering teaching their child multiple languages at an early age?

Provide a language-rich environment where there is a lot of speaking and reading aloud in your first language.

About Myrna

Myrna Feuerstake, director EarlyBird, expertise centre for early foreign language education English and world citizenship.

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