From Early Years pupils starting their first modern multinational class learning environments to mature student refugees who have travelled to different countries for the first time under completely different circumstances – it could be said that a mixed, multicultural backdrop for education is the way forward in so many ways.
While the modern world’s populations become more and more jumbled in its major cities, new identities are formed and old cultures learned by those who may not have had the opportunities in their own “back yards”. International schools across the planet are becoming increasingly popular as industries spread to new pastures, making travelling parents search for the correct schools and colleges for their children.
Here at Explore English, there are normally many students from neighbouring Asian countries striving to begin, improve or as much as master the English language as a platform for career goals. The scope for new internationals learning here has increased over the past year, as more students from increasingly various lands come to be educated.
This can be a “plus point” for teachers as well as students. Teachers have to be open to learning throughout their careers and being introduced to a culture they perhaps haven’t met previously can open the eyes of learning for us, as well as creating a more cosmopolitan classroom. It is always a pleasure, as an educator – to learn a new greeting from a different language. Hopefully we are entering an era where people use makeshift sign language and point at items to be understood – are leaving us.
With Melbourne at the forefront of Australia’s learning communities, it surely is the best time to be a student in a totally multinational city. As the city holds so many mini-cultures in its suburbs and streets; both for food and drink; as well as language, there may not be many cities in the Southern Hemisphere with the range of diversity as we have here. There is enough, with ever-improving facilities – to make learning as enjoyable as the city’s tourism.
All-in-all, there are benefits for all in international learning areas. You may be served a coffee by a student from Colombia, some delicious spring rolls from a selection of East Asian nationals who are learning here. Or, you may even be a teacher who finds somewhere new to add to the list of countries to visit, through discussions with your students. In 2016, from Melbourne to Manila, London to Lima; there are so many reasons to be cheerful to be involved with learning – it may just turn out to be what makes the world go around.