(ORDO NEWS) — The researchers concluded that children from mixed language groups are more motivated in environmental education programs.
The researchers asked 644 primary school children about how motivated they were to help the environment, such as by using reusable water bottles at home or refusing to use plastic straws in restaurants.
The survey was conducted before and after the participation of children in the environmental education program, which was developed at the Duke University Marine Laboratory and which is devoted to the study of the dangers of garbage in various water bodies of the Earth.
After the program, students averaged higher scores on a survey assessing their motivation to act in the best interest of the environment.
Bilingual and polyglot (bilingual and multilingual) students, on average, showed a greater increase in scores than the rest.
“We knew that, collectively, [environmental] programs seemed to encourage safe activities [in relation to nature], but when we dug deeper, much of the program’s effect was explained by the response of children with different languages,” explained study co-author Katherine Stevenson.
“This is reassuring as multilingual children make up more and more of the US population, and we want our programs to resonate with everyone.
It also highlights the important contributions that young people from different backgrounds can make. We need to think about whether students bring the topics of the lessons home? ”Stevenson notes.
“We were interested in the mechanisms of intergenerational learning. We have seen that learning can affect all children involved, but the program may work differently for children who speak more than one language.[Children often] act as interpreters for their families, they may even be more proficient at translating on many levels – linguistically or culturally – and we want to know how this might affect intergenerational environmental learning,” the researchers concluded.
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