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Using puppets to create an open language policy in the classroom

Rebecca Nolan

DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY

Often times children are unsure as to when to use their home language in school. Teachers can unknowingly send mixed signals as to when it is appropriate and when it is not, which may result in children not using their L1 at all.

Inhibition of their mother tongue may contribute to feelings of shame. It i s important as a teacher to create an atmosphere in the classroom that welcomes and encourages home languages at all times.
One way to foster this environment is to introduce puppets! Puppets are an excellent way to make children feel as though their home languages are welcome. Whether it be introducing a puppet who is visiting from another country (for example, Claude from France) or a puppet who loves hearing other languages, children will sure love the engagement with the “guest” in their class.

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