SCILT’s Polish through Art project, developed in collaboration with Bilingualism Matters, showcases through art, a multilingual approach to language teaching. A multilingual approach recognises that each learner has their own individual repertoire and opens the classroom door to languages and experiences learners bring to the classroom. This approach to language learning and teaching does not require that a teacher knows all the languages their pupils speak, on the contrary, it accepts that each learner has a different individual repertoire so the process of learning will look differently for each of them.
Scotland is a multilingual country that welcomes many diverse languages, cultures and people. In 2020 there were 168 languages spoken in mainstream Scottish schools. Polish is the second language, after English, spoken by most pupils in Scottish schools. It is followed by Urdu, Scots, Arabic, Punjabi and Chinese. Such inclusion of local languages not only makes all our pupils feel welcomed in Scottish schools and, by extension in Scotland, but it teaches that all languages are valuable.
In early summer 2021, SCILT began to recruit teachers for the Polish through Art project. We were looking to recruit teachers, both from mainstream schools and Polish complementary schools, to pilot a multilingual approach to language learning and teaching by using art and art-based activities with their learners. Since early autumn, we have been working alongside and supporting teachers from Cradlehall Primary in Inverness (Highland), Portsoy Primary (Aberdeenshire), Bowhouse Primary (Falkirk) and the Polish Complementary School in Glasgow, who were exploring and implementing this approach in their schools. The teachers have been carrying out art-based activities with their pupils who learned Polish greetings, basic vocabulary and interesting idiomatic expressions whilst exploring the languages they know and the languages that are of interest to them. Each piece of art created by the pupils is a reflection of their multilingual and multicultural identity. The creativity displayed by the pupils is insightful and inspirational and every individual masterpiece exhibited in the online gallery is unique to them.
We hope you enjoy browsing the online gallery and we thank all our wonderful artists for supplying such a super selection of artwork.