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Intercultural reading animation in Switzerland

Ambassadors of language and culture for multilingual events


Intercultural reading animator

Intercultural reading animator, © SIKJM

Many family and community centres, libraries, creches, child daycare centres, kindergartens or playgroups in Switzerland already offer events held in many languages and they integrate their little visitors’ first languages into their activities. Bilingual children thus experience an appreciation of the language they are used to speaking at home - and German-speaking can discover the diversity of languages in an enjoyable way. Such initiatives are supported and promoted by SIKJM, which lists experts in the field, so-called reading animators. These individuals are ready to visit institutions on individual occasions, and advise them in setting up intercultural programmes. Activities can include multilingual events or activities held in other languages, such as storytelling or play hours involving children, either with or without their parents, but also information and workshop meetings for parents. The website also presents ideas to inspire a lively exchange.

Ambassadors of language and culture
Intercultural reading animators are ambassadors of reading and culture, trained and supervised by SIKJM in the framework of the project “Schenk mir eine Geschichte - Family Literacy”. The need to have acquired some degree of practical experience as well as attending a special course if they wish to act as reading animators. So far, the experts are available to all institutions located in the canton of Zurich. By spring 2012, they will also be available in Basel and Solothurn. A list of experts can be accessed at www.sikjm.ch in the category of “Leseförderung/Projekte/Interkulturelle Leseanimation”.

Ideas for “intercultural reading animation”
The intercultural libraries subsumed under the umbrella organisation Interbiblio (www.interbiblio.ch), as well as many community centres and preschools have already gained a vast body of experience in hosting multilingual events. The SIKJM collects the many ideas the respective organisers have developed, and brings them together on its website www.sikjm.ch, adding further ideas and presenting them to the interested public. SIKJM thus wants to trigger an exchange of experience among the relevant institutions. You are welcome to suggest further ideas.

About Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media SIKJM
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (Schweizerisches Institut für Kinder- und Jugendmedien SIKJM) is concerned with research and documentation in the field of child and youth literature as well as reading promotion. SIKJM possesses branches in French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland; it is supported by the Federal Office for Culture, the State Secretary of Education and Research and the canton and city of Zurich. SIKJM is maintained by the Johanna Spyri Foundation and the Johanna Spyri archive is integrated into SIKJM. Further information: www.sikjm.ch

Therese Salzmann
Reading promotion staff (Mitarbeiterin Leseförderung)
Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media
Zeltweg 11
CH-8032 Zürich
Tel.: 043 268 39 03
E-Mail: therese.salzmann@sikjm.ch
Internet: www.sikjm.ch

Public relations:
Jeannine Horni
Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media
Zeltweg 11
CH-8032 Zürich
Tel.: 043 268 39 08
E-Mail: jeannine.horni@sikjm.ch
Internet: www.sikjm.ch

Translated into English by Gwendolyn Schulte (DIPF)