Students stuck in the Anglobubble?

“If it’s not happening in English, it’s not happening.”

Professor John Hajek

This is the way Professor John Hajek describes the attitude of those who exist within ‘The Anglobubble’ – a place where the English monolingual mindset dominates. This may ring true for the school you work in. 

The monolingual mindset is perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face as Languages teachers – it affects the attitudes of our students, their parents, our school leaderships, our governments. Whilst we can’t control (or at times even impact) the attitudes of many of these people, we can work on trying to dismantle this mindset with our students. 

Sparkling Interest: Fun Facts about Multilingualism

One way of doing this is by calling it out and pointing out some key facts around monolingualism. Do your students realise that 94% of the world’s population speak a language other than English? Do they know that 75% of the world doesn’t speak English at all? Helping students to realise that being a monolingual English speaker is in fact not ‘the norm’ might be enlightening for some learners (and may bring on some enthusiastic nodding from the many students who speak other languages already). 

Igniting Passion: Cultivating Language Learning

For most students, whilst these facts may be an interesting wake up, this alone won’t be enough to truly ignite their interest in Languages.

That’s still up to us to cultivate as talented, imaginative and passionate Languages teachers. The best way to do this is to provide opportunities for students to use the language in fun, collaborative ways. Singing and laughter in the Languages class. Discussing topics students actually care about. Giving students opportunities to think in the target language and to use the target language in fun, creative ways. 

Unlocking the Multilingual Potential

These are some of the hallmarks of a multilingual environment and some of the reasons our founder, Elio wanted to create an exciting new resources for language students. Our resources are full of fun, engaging ways for students to learn languages. If you’d like to find out more about us, check out our story or if you’d like to see our Avanti Tutta or Peko Peko resources, take a look here. 

Do you struggle with the monolingual mindset in your school? What activities, approaches or stories have you used to help promote a more multilingual environment?  


P.S. If you’d like to see our resources in person, we’ll be at a number of Languages teaching conferences in Term 2. 

First up will be the NSW Japanese Teachers Conference in Parramatta on the 3rd May. Next up will be the MLTAT Conference on 18 May. At this conference in Hobart, our founder Elio Guarnuccio will be delivering a presentation on re-energising your Languages classroom and one of our authors, Kelly Harrison will be delivering the keynote on the topic of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). 

We’ll also be in Queensland for the MLTAQ conference in June and the NZALT Conference in Auckland in July. 

Stay tuned for more conference updates. We’d love to meet you in person.