Another aspect of the whole ESL/ELL issue is considering ESL and the mother tongue—one of the major concerns facing non-Anglophone families and sending agencies. Traditionally the majority of these have been in Continental Europe and Scandinavia, but more and more families are coming from Asian, Latin American, and sub-Saharan African countries. This may appear to complicate things for sending agencies, families and TCK schools alike, but the good news is that positive steps in the right direction can benefit everyone as so many of the concerns—like ESL and mother tongue—are shared.

The final responsibility to ensure that all children learn their mother tongue rests with the parents, but Carola Keil’s article below ESL and Mother Tongue outlines real ways in which TCK schools and sending agencies can, and should, help.

Carola Keil contributed the article below based on a presentation at the international TCK education event in September 2007 in the UK. The article was published online at Educare in the December 2007 issue.

Permission to copy, but not for commercial use.