The document ‘A Language Policy for the Junior Years’ is now online for public consultation. The policy document for the later primary school years follows on the publication of the Language Policy for the Early Years in 2016.
Minister Caruana said that, “This Policy Document is intended to offer direction and support in the use of languages across the curriculum and the teaching and learning of languages in the later primary school years. The preferred policy is one of multilingualism, giving importance to Maltese and English, and other languages.”
Learning foreign languages is a must in light of changing educational and labour market demands, as well as for growing mobility between countries which favour citizens who are able to speak two or more languages.
The language policy drawn up by the Language Policy in Education Committee of the Ministry for Education promotes the use of language mediation and translanguaging as a means of strengthening languages in the current situation, in which classrooms are becoming increasingly multilingual.
It presents the notion of agency where children, parents, and educators are to be empowered to make informed decisions about the promotion of multilingualism at home and within education settings. Families, schools and the media are called upon to foster positive attitudes towards Maltese, English and other languages and to support language education policies and practices which promote language diversity.
Children are to be supported so that they can engage in activities that promote their use of languages. In schools, teachers are to adopt language mediation strategies to meet the educational needs of learners with diverse language backgrounds.
Minister Caruana explained that, through this consultation document, the ministry is requesting the public’s feedback, as well as public opinion on this policy. The public is requested to review the document and send its feedback on email@example.com until the 30th June 2021.
The document can be accessed on the following link: https://meae.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/MEDE/Pages/Consultations/ALanguagePolicyfortheJuniorYearsinMaltaandGozoi.aspx