Multilingual school library (Regina Assumpta School)

In the Regina Assumpta primary school in Anderlecht, investments have been made in the development of a multilingual school library, partly thanks to subsidies from the VGC. The school vision on multilingualism and language skills development was also updated, which has an impact on school operations. This is reflected in various projects and initiatives.

Storytelling bags, mobile reading furniture, ‘BookFlix’ and reading carts…

Many students at Regina Assumpta Primary School have a home language other than Dutch. They grow up in a multilingual context in which Dutch is the school language. Linguists indicate that a thorough knowledge of the mother tongue is essential for the smooth acquisition of other languages. That is why the school does not want to simply ignore the students’ starting capital – their own home language. Even for the youngest starters, the home language is given a place in the classroom.

As a school, Regina Assumpta is convinced of the great importance of reading. Students who like to read a lot develop a broad vocabulary and insight into grammatical structures more quickly. That is why RAS is fully committed to encouraging reading and creating reading pleasure.

To this end, we collaborate with neighborhood partners such as the Dutch-language library of Anderlecht, but the development of our own multilingual school library is also an important step in this regard. The school offers picture books, informative books, reading books, comics, etc. in more than 10 languages! The offer is (of course) tailored to the home languages ​​of the students, but also to the classroom operation. For example, booklets that are discussed in class are also given in story bags in their own language. This has a double advantage: the students can process the content at home in their own language, but it also increases parental involvement. It gives parents the opportunity to discuss current classroom topics with their child. We invite parents during e.g. the reading week, poem day, the youth book month,… also in the classroom by them, for example. to have a book read to you in your own language.

The bilingual books – which combine Dutch with another language – are also a success with the students. They can be read by the student themselves in the two languages, but are also ideal for reading together with a fellow student or with a brother, sister or parent at home.

Older students are now also better guided than ever towards a tailor-made offer. Books that relate to current classroom themes and interests are rolled into the classroom on reading carts. Students can regularly chill out on the mobile reading furniture (which was developed by FIX with the support of the VGC) and of course they can also visit the school library to read or borrow their favorite book. The teachers of the reading team even provide a real BookFlix offer, where a number of books are spotlighted and promoted per age category!

More than ever, multilingualism has its place in the school. This was also a new thing for the teachers. That is why the school was guided by language skills experts and supporters of the Brussels Education Center (OCB) to develop the new vision and the associated actions.