Susie Mallett

small66711@aol.com

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Culturally integrated too



'The streets on my N-scale layout'


The wheels on the bus go round and round

‘Come on, who wants to sing a song that you sing at home with Mum or Dad?’

That is what my colleague and I asked our multi-lingual group of 3 to 5 year-olds during the last fifteen minutes of the recent block of sessions in the integrated Kindergarten.

We had five children with us and five languages so we expected to hear German French, Arabic, Russian or Turkish.

Tears in my eyes

We had one hand go up and what joy it was to hear the five-year-old Russian girl sing, in perfect tune, with wonderful English pronunciation and with all the actions, several verses of The Wheels of the Bus go Round-and-Round! We had actually expected a Russian song from her so to get a delightful performance of this popular English children’s song was a bonus to round off another lovely morning at work. It was extra special for us as we considered the difficult start that this child has had in her life. She is now thriving in our Pető/Montessori integrated, and international, Kindergarten.

This group changes each year, children come from the crèche or from home and others go off to school but, however many changes there are, the group seems to get more international and multi-lingual than ever. At the moment there are five Pető children and two conductors, this gives us a total of seven people with seven languages, with all but one speaking German as their second language.

Life is certainly interesting in our work.

As well as disability becoming something not at all unusual for our little ones being foreign is not at all foreign to them either, if you know what I mean.

In the whole group of fifteen children we also have a child with one Mum from Tanzania and another with Dad from South America.

Out of ten members of staff there are also many countries represented. Hungarians are in the majority, with four and there are three Germans. There is a lady who is French, another from Irak, and me.
I think it is about time we put on a show that presents the international-ness of our integration, perhaps we wiill then hear the Russian children's song that we were hoping to hear this week!

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