Multilingual Education

National Simultaneous Storytime 2024 Teaching Resources

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual campaign that aims to encourage young Australians to read and enjoy books. Now in its 24th year, NSS will take place on May 22, 2024, and brings together thousands of children across the country to share in the experience of reading the same book, at the same time, with their peers.

In anticipation of this exciting event, it is crucial that teachers and educators prepare adequately to ensure a memorable experience for all participants. To aid in these preparations, a wealth of teaching resources are made available each year by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), along with other educational organizations.

 Recommended Teaching Resources for NSS 2024:

1. Official NSS 2024 Book Guide:

This guide is essential as it provides insights into this year’s chosen book. It usually includes discussion points, key themes, and characters analysis which can help in creating class discussions.

2. Activity Packs and Worksheets:

These packs are crafted specifically for the selected NSS book. They include a range of activities that cater to different age groups and learning stages, ensuring all children can participate regardless of their reading level.

3. Interactive Whiteboard Resources:

Visual aids can greatly enhance the storytelling experience. These might include digital story maps or animated versions of the book, which can be used to prompt comprehension questions and interactive sessions.

4. Lesson Plans:

Detailed lesson plans can save educators considerable preparation time. They align with national curriculum standards and are tailored to integrate the NSS book’s themes into broader learning areas such as English language arts, social studies or art.

5. Multimedia Resources:

Educators will have access to interviews with authors and illustrators, videos detailing the creation process of the book, and related songs or media content which makes for a rich multimedia approach to learning.

6. Parental Involvement Kits:

These kits aim to extend the NSS experience beyond the classroom by encouraging parents to engage with their children’s reading journey at home with tips on reading aloud and questions for family discussion.

7. Accessibility Resources:

Ensuring that every child can participate in NSS is vital; therefore captioned videos, Auslan interpretations, or Braille translations of the selected book may be provided.

8. Craft and Play Activities:

Hands-on activities related to the story can reinforce comprehension and make learning fun. These may include coloring sheets, DIY bookmarks, or role-play scenarios based on the narrative.

In conclusion, leveraging these teaching resources empowers educators to create an engaging environment that celebrates literacy while honoring this nationwide tradition of shared reading during National Simultaneous Storytime.

How to Challenge Advanced Bilingual Learners

In today’s globalized society, bilingualism has become increasingly essential. More and more students are mastering multiple languages, which benefits not only their education but also their future careers. However, educators must find effective ways to challenge advanced bilingual learners and help them continue to grow in their language skills. This article presents several strategies for motivating and challenging these students to reach new heights in their language learning journey.

1. Differentiate instruction: Vary your teaching methods and materials according to the needs of your advanced bilingual learners. This could include providing supplementary texts at a higher reading level, offering opportunities for independent projects or research, or even allowing students to choose their own topics for essays or presentations. Differentiating instruction enables students to engage with content that is both challenging and relevant to their interests.

2. Encourage peer collaboration: Advanced bilingual learners can often learn just as much from one another as they do from formal instruction. Set up group activities that require students to communicate and collaborate in both languages, such as discussions, debates, or problem-solving tasks. This will not only encourage interaction among learners but also give them the chance to practice their language skills in a real-world context.

3. Prioritize higher-order thinking skills: Encourage advanced bilingual students to think critically about the content they engage with in both languages by incorporating activities that emphasize analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Assign tasks that push students to make connections between different ideas, themes, or cultural contexts; challenge them to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments or sources; and require them to come up with creative solutions or original insights.

4. Utilize technology: Embrace tools like online dictionaries, translation software, and apps designed specifically for language learning (such as Duolingo or Anki). These resources can help advanced bilingual learners deepen their understanding of grammar rules or vocabulary and allow them to track their progress over time. Incorporating technology into language learning can also make the process more engaging and enjoyable for students.

5. Organize cultural immersion experiences: Encourage advanced bilingual learners to engage directly with the culture associated with their second language. Arrange for guest speakers, field trips, study abroad opportunities, or cultural events that will expose learners to authentic settings where they can put their language skills to use. This type of experience helps to deepen students’ appreciation for the language and culture, providing invaluable motivation and context to their studies.

6. Provide continuous feedback: Offer constructive feedback on advanced bilingual students’ progress in both languages. Regularly assess their written work, oral presentations, or conversation skills, and provide specific guidance on areas for improvement. This not only helps learners understand where they need to focus their efforts but also serves as an essential motivator on their path to continued proficiency.

In conclusion, challenging advanced bilingual learners is crucial for their language development and growth. Educators must employ a variety of strategies tailored to individual students’ needs and interests while fostering a supportive environment that encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and constant improvement. By doing so, teachers can help nurture lifelong language learners who are ready to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.

Teaching Maths to EAL Children


Educating children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to teaching abstract concepts, such as mathematics. However, with the right strategies in place, teachers can successfully help EAL children develop their mathematical skills in a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

1. Create a language-rich math environment

To provide an effective foundation for learning maths, it’s essential to create a language-rich environment for EAL children. This includes using clear and simple language, incorporating visual aids and real-life objects to support understanding, and demonstrating mathematical concepts through engaging activities. Encouraging the use of both students’ native languages and English helps them make stronger connections between the two and builds confidence in their understanding of mathematical terms.

2. Encourage collaborative learning

Collaborative learning provides EAL students with opportunities to engage with their peers as they explore mathematical concepts. By working together, students can share their different problem-solving strategies and build on each other’s skills. This approach not only supports language development but also enhances understanding through discussion and exploration of ideas.

3. Scaffold learning experiences

Scaffolding is crucial when teaching maths to EAL children. Break down complex tasks into smaller steps, offer guidance and support throughout the learning process, and gradually reduce assistance as students become more self-sufficient. Scaffolding allows learners to build on their current abilities while reinforcing new concepts in a way that supports overall comprehension.

4. Utilize technology in the classroom

Technology has an essential role in supporting EAL children’s maths education. Interactive apps and digital tools can provide engaging ways for children to practice their mathematical skills while simultaneously developing their language abilities. Educational software programs that offer visual support, structured tasks, immediate feedback, and differentiated instruction options help tailor the learning experience according to individual needs.

5. Differentiate instruction based on student needs

Differentiated instruction is crucial when teaching EAL children maths. Assessing students’ current language and mathematical abilities will help in identifying the appropriate level of support and challenge for each child. Providing a range of activities that cater to different learning preferences and ability levels ensures that every student has the opportunity to learn at their own pace while still being challenged.

6. Foster a culture of perseverance and problem-solving

Promoting a growth mindset in the classroom encourages EAL children to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than barriers to success. Emphasize the value of perseverance, effort, and effective problem-solving strategies in mathematics. Encourage students to learn from their mistakes and try alternative strategies when faced with difficulties.


Teaching maths to EAL children requires patience, creativity, and flexibility. By employing these strategies, teachers can ensure that students develop a strong mathematical foundation while simultaneously supporting their English language development. Through empathetic understanding, innovative teaching methods, and a focus on individual strengths, EAL learners can excel in mathematics like any other child.

Cash Awards and Scholarships for High School Singers


The world of music is full of promising talent, and every year high school singers compete for prestigious scholarships and cash awards to pursue their dreams. It is essential to be aware of the available opportunities that can alleviate the financial burden of education and training while also recognizing budding singers’ achievements. In this article, we will explore some noteworthy cash awards and scholarships that high school singers can apply for to continue their musical journey.

1. The National YoungArts Foundation Competition:

The National YoungArts Foundation is a renowned organization supporting young artists in various disciplines, including singing. High school singers between 15-18 years old can apply for this yearly competition to receive cash awards of up to $10,000, as well as valuable experiences like artist residencies, classes, and workshops.

2. Schmidt Vocal Arts Scholarship Program:

The Schmidt Vocal Arts Scholarship Program offers high school singers in grades 9-12 the chance to win scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $8,000 based on their vocal performances. As an added benefit, winners also receive a full-tuition scholarship offer from any partner institution within the Schmidt Vocal Arts Network.

3. Spotlight Awards Program:

The Spotlight Awards Program is presented by the Music Center in Los Angeles and provides finalists with performance opportunities on LA’s premiere stages and over $120,000 in stipends to support their continued artistic pursuits.

4. The VSA Young Soloists Award:

Provided by the Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility, this award recognizes outstanding young musicians with disabilities, including vocalists. Winners are awarded up to $2,500 in cash prizes along with performance opportunities at Kennedy Center events.

5. The NATS Student Auditions:

The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) hosts an annual Student Auditions competition where students compete at regional and national levels for cash prizes from $500 to $1,000. The awards are designed to support music education and professional development.


Pursuing a career in singing can be both fulfilling and challenging, especially as aspiring singers must invest time, effort, and resources into their craft. Thankfully, various organizations recognize the importance of supporting young talent through cash awards and scholarships. As a high school singer looking for financial aid or recognition, make sure to research and apply to the opportunities mentioned above and others that fit your specific needs and aspirations.

It’s Not Uncommon for Schools to Have Dozens of Home Languages: Embracing Linguistic Diversity in the Educational System

In today’s increasingly globalized world, linguistic diversity has become the norm rather than the exception. This trend is especially evident in schools, where it is not uncommon to have dozens of home languages represented among the student population. As our classrooms become more multicultural and multilingual, embracing this linguistic diversity is crucial for creating an inclusive and effective learning environment.

The benefits of linguistic diversity in schools are numerous. First and foremost, it fosters an appreciation for different cultures, encouraging students to develop a global mindset and respect for one another’s backgrounds. Learning about different languages and cultures can also broaden students’ perspectives, helping them grow both intellectually and emotionally.

Moreover, research has consistently shown that bilingualism and multilingualism have cognitive advantages. For example, bilingual individuals demonstrate better cognitive flexibility, problem-solving skills, and creativity compared to monolingual counterparts. By supporting students who speak multiple languages or come from diverse linguistic backgrounds, schools can nurture these cognitive benefits in their communities.

Despite these advantages, there are challenges associated with having a multitude of home languages in a single school. One of the most significant issues is communication between teachers, students, and their parents. For instance, when there are language barriers between educators and parents or caregivers, it can be difficult for them to effectively support their children’s learning needs from home.

Moreover, teachers may struggle to address the unique learning requirements of multilingual students due to insufficient resources or training. It can be challenging for educators to develop differentiated instruction that meets the needs of each learner while also accommodating an array of linguistic backgrounds.

To address these challenges and fully embrace linguistic diversity in schools, several strategies can be employed:

1. Implement professional development programs: Providing training workshops that focus on strategies for teaching multilingual learners can empower educators with the skills they need to be successful in diverse classrooms.

2. Hire bilingual teachers and staff: Encouraging a diverse teaching staff that is representative of the student population can foster communication and understanding within the school community.

3. Utilize technology: Technological tools and language apps can help bridge communication gaps between teachers, students, and families who speak different languages.

4. Encourage peer-to-peer collaboration: Fostering collaborative learning experiences among students with varying language backgrounds can facilitate cognitive growth and a greater understanding of one another’s cultures.

5. Offer language support services: Providing after-school programs, tutoring, or language classes that cater to multilingual learners can help support their linguistic development while also strengthening their connection to their cultural heritage.

In conclusion, schools with a high degree of linguistic diversity have the potential to provide an invaluable learning experience for their students. By embracing this diversity and addressing the inherent challenges, educational institutions can work towards developing truly inclusive and successful learning environments for all students, regardless of their home language.

Using Choral Responses as a Tool for Teaching Multilingual Learners

Choral responses are a  tool for teaching a different language to a class. Choral responses are the oral response to a prompt. In the classroom setting, you might hear a teacher saying phrases like “repeat after me” or “say it with me.” These prompts encourage all students to respond together at the same time.

Benefits of Using Choral Response

One of the benefits of using choral responses is that it provides an opportunity to practice a different language. The learning of a language is enhanced by practicing. Students become comfortable saying words and expressions, which builds their confidence in speaking a different language.  

Choral responses also build engagement in a classroom setting. Choral responses require the participation of the entire class. The teacher has to make sure that all students respond to his or her prompt otherwise, it is not considered a choral response. When a teacher encourages students to speak as a group, it becomes an opportunity to practice without fear of being put on the spot. 

How and When to Use Choral Responses

There is an art to using choral responses while in class. Effectiveness hinges on the entire class saying the words together when prompted. As a teacher, you have to make sure that each student responds to your prompt. If only a few students say the words with you, it means that the others are not engaged.

Choral responses are effective when you are introducing new words or phrases. At this phase, explicit teaching and lecture-style sessions are most effective, especially as students learn about vocabulary, syntax, and spelling. The teacher will read the words first, then prompt the class to say them together. If it’s the first time to encounter a word or a phrase, use prompts like “repeat after me” and “say it with me.”

Do not hesitate to use gestures when addressing the class. Raise your hand to silence the group and drop your hand to signal that it’s time to say the word together.

Another opportunity to use choral prompts is when your class is taking up longer texts like essays, stories, and books. Ask the students to read a few sentences together. This is a good opportunity to check if they are pronouncing the words correctly.

Keep in mind: if you’re asking the class to read a word or phrase together from a book, consider that there will be a few students who are just copying what the others are saying and not reading from the book itself.

Final Thoughts

Choral responses are useful when teaching multilingual learners. These help the students practice the language they are being taught. Limit lecture time to maximize the learning opportunity of each student. The teacher should be mindful of how much time he or she spends talking. Students tend to zone out if they get bored. Use choral responses as an opportunity to practice together as a group.  Promote active engagement by ensuring that all students respond to your prompt.