ScribJab is a web site and iPad application that tries to encourage multilingualism and appreciation for the multilingual resources of Canada in particular (but children or teachers from other countries are most welcome to contribute as well). Like most educational researchers today, we believe that children learn second languages faster and better if they have a strong foundation in their first language. We also believe that valuing languages other than English or French is important for the development of children who grow up in multilingual homes, whether they know their heritage languages or not.
Children who are not multilingual are encouraged to contribute to the site as well, if they can find some help in translating their stories into other languages. Developing positive attitudes to languages other than English or French is important for all citizens, and through this web site and app, we hope to provide a positive experience for all children with regard to other languages.
We hope you will enjoy seeing your students or children produce stories for the web site, as much as we did. We encourage you to help children as much as seems appropriate with their stories, realizing that for children to feel that they OWN the books will be more important than strict grammatical accuracy or spelling.
If you are interested in further reading about multilingual classroom practices, a new book called Linguistically appropriate practice: A guide for working with immigrant children by Roma Chumak-Horbatsch is an invaluable resource. http://www.utppublishing.com/Linguistically-Appropriate-Practice-A-Guide-for-Working-with-Young-Immigrant-Children.html
For those interested in more bilingual Punjabi English books suitable for young children, see www.homerootsbooks.com where British Columbia author Rapinder Rai showcases the several excellent texts she has written.
ScribJab offers teachers a special section of the website to monitor and organize their own students’ books and comments. When teachers login to the ScribJab website they can create a group and invite their students to join and post books to that group. A group is a great way for teachers to have their students collaborate on stories with other students in the class. Students will see all the books created by other students in the group they belong to. Teachers can use this feature for specific assignments and encourage dialogue between their students. Teachers can also monitor comments from students’ books posted in the group.