Language Friendly School

What is a Language Friendly School? 

A Language Friendly School is a school where all languages spoken by the pupils are welcomed and valued.

A Language Friendly School is a bottom up whole school approach. There is no blue print of what schools must do. Rather it starts with what schools need and what they can realistically accomplish. Also, it expressly targets all the stakeholders: school managers, teachers but also parents and especially children.

Why should your school become a Language Friendly School?

There are many benefits associated with an education that takes into account children’s mother tongues or home languages:

  • Children learn better and faster in a language they can understand (preventing delays in learning)
  • They enjoy school more, they feel more at home
  • Children tend to show increased self-esteem
  • Parents participation is increased. Parents can help with homework and can participate in school activities
  • Studies have reported that when children take advantage of their multilingualism they also enjoy higher socioeconomic status, including higher earnings
  • On average, the schools perform better,reporting less repetition
  • Finally, schools report children stay in school longer

By joining the network of Language Friendly Schools you become part of a global community of teachers, parents and community leaders who value the cultural and linguistic diversity of our children. You will have access to innovative ways of supporting multilingual children and providing them with the best opportunities to achieve their educational goals.


A Language Friendly School for All Children

In 2015, 193 countries signed on to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to ensure that all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality education by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal no. 4). The central theme of the Sustainable Development Goals is Leave No One Behind.

A key but often neglected issue in addressing education inequalities is the language of instruction. Despite extensive research evidence showing the benefits of an education system that includes the home languages of the pupils, an estimated 220 million children worldwide continue to lack access to education in a language they understand.

Join us!

Visit the Language Friendly School website to discover more about the project!

The Language Friendly School is endorsed by Dr. Jim Cummins (University of Toronto) and was nominated for the European Language Label in 2019.

The Language Friendly School is a global education innovation. logo