How can you use language as a means to make school more inclusive?

Ages: 5-18

Description of the practice

This mainly concerns children with a lower socio-economic status and linguistically deprived children.


  • Country: Netherlands

Example of Implementation

At the class level, you can map out the language variation in the classroom in various ways, for example by means of language schemes and language portraits. You can do this together with the student, so that the student has a say in mapping his or her language world. A language scheme, according to Frederike Groothoff (2020), is an overview with different boxes in which you answer certain questions together with the student: What are the country(s) of origin of a student? Where did the student live? What language(s) do the parents of the student speak? And the siblings? Which languages ​​does the student hear indoors? What language do the parents speak to each other? What language do the parents speak with family, in person or on the phone? Which languages ​​does a child come into contact with through multimedia (games, movies, songs, etc.)? Does the student attend a home language school? And what is the student's skills per language in terms of understanding, reading and writing? Another didactic tool that you can use is making a language portrait. Students can express their language identity in a silhouette by indicating different languages ​​with colors. In this way you can give the student the lead in making their language identity visible (Dressler, 2014). In the conversation around the language portraits you can also talk to the children about what their dreams are for the future. Which language would they like to learn (further) and why?

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