Multilingualism and diversity in the Austrian educational system are viewed as a challenge rather than resources and opportunities. The educational system operates predominately monolingually in German, although the lives of many children are multilingual. Linguistic diversity is a resource and asset that must be seen and promoted in society, starting in schools.
STARTKLAR - ready to take off
Region: Lower Austria, Vienna
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Non-formal education, Awareness raising, Education institutions
Project owner: STARTKLAR - STARTKLAR "Ready to take off"
Responsible person: MMag. Janine Fischer
STARTKLAR - ready to take off implements programmes and community-based outreach to promote linguistic diversity in the Austrian education system. The association cooperates with schools, kindergartens, municipalities, and parents. Children are taught in their spoken languages in playgroups. The project also provides consultations and lectures to support multilingualism in schools.
STARTKLAR - ready to take off works together with schools, kindergartens, and educators to support disadvantaged children and families marginalised and excluded in the educational system. Our organisation’s cooperation and projects directly in schools and kindergartens strengthens the impact of our language programmes in the community. Educators, students, and their families also meet and exchange through round table discussions and workshops.
Our organisation contributes to creating an education system that recognises multilingualism as an asset and norm which reflects the reality of students and their families. The programme builds self-confidence and the joys of kindergarten and school while improving the students’ language skills. The playgroups and courses led by STARTKLAR also are a supportive space to learn and improve German and other languages.
Our project’s playgroups, parent consultations, and teacher training programmes can be transferred to other regions. STARTKLAR recently expanded to 16 communities in Lower Austria and Vienna. Multilingual support and education in schools can be implemented universally across all languages. Children growing up monolingually also benefit from multilingual exposure and awareness.