Deborah Perrin- Committee Member
Deborah has been a primary school teacher and advisory teacher in multilingual schools all her professional life –both in the UK and in the Netherlands. She taught in UK state education before moving to the Netherlands and working in international school education. She worked with schools with very different student communities, refugees, faith schools, ‘bilingual' in composition and those with a mix of nationalities. She is currently enjoying a new challenge of teaching Year 7 and Year 8 new to English students.
An advocate for cultural and linguistic inclusion in schools for student well-being and affirmation of identity underpins her work.
Whilst teaching full time in the UK, she gained a Master’s in Education that focused on Language and Literacy and Child Development in a Social Context. She feels fortunate to have trained in Partnership Teaching and Collaborative learning by Stuart Scott early on in her career as both have been invaluable in teaching ELLs and working with colleagues.
She was one of the earlier members of NALDIC and is delighted to see that a growing partnership with international education is developing.
In her time so far at the British School in the Netherlands, the school has grown from one primary school to three and one secondary to two. She leads a team of EAL teachers across the three campuses and works in close collaboration with the Head of Secondary EAL. Translanguaging as a teaching and learning strategy is a key development priority, one that Deborah believes should be an expectation and not a choice.
Although not bilingual herself (she continues to aspire to this with her two additional languages of French and Dutch) she is delighted that her two children are bilingual in English and Dutch and confident users of spoken French.
The experience of being a migrant and living in a culture and language other than the home language is a daily reminder of what many children and their families’ experience. Understanding the cultural differences that make us all individual is an ongoing learning experience for Deborah.