Thanks for the diversity

18th September 1998 at 01:00
THE POWER OF BABEL. By Viv Edwards. Trentham Books Pounds 11.95.

History testifies only too well to the problems created by language barriers, ranging from simple misapprehension to out-and-out racism.

Add to that the imperialist tradition, and the unwillingness of the English to learn other languages, and you create an education system that has often viewed linguistic diversity as a problem. But we should stop regarding it in that light and welcome it as a powerful educational resource.

Thankfully, The Power of Babel is a celebration of multi-lingualism, recognising that knowledge of one language can transfer to another. This book is packed with practical ideas for welcoming and integrating children from all races and creeds, and it proves beyond doubt that diversity can actually encourage and accelerate learning for all children, English-speakers as well. The case studies are full of stimulating possibilities that will excite all teachers and enrich every child.

The Power of Babel should be in every school.

Sandy Brownjohn's next book, 'Spotlight on the Victorians', will be published by Hodder amp; Stoughton

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