“In my cheeks there are two different languages. In the right cheek there is Spanish, in the left one there are the Italian words.”  (Carlos, 5 years old).

“There’s a mess inside my mind and words fight each other: at times one language wins; other times another language wins.” (Karim, 7 years old).

“Where have the words my grandma taught me ended up? They were inside my belly; have they flew away?” (Elena, 8 years old).

“There is a machine in the brain that puts the words in two places, so when I want to talk in African, I speak African, and when I want to speak Italian, I speak Italian” (Mamadou, 5 years old).

(source: Favaro, 2013 – see also Case 1 – Children drawing their multilingual self)


This activity can contribute:

  • giving voice to children’s representations and affects regarding their bi-/multilingual competence;
  • increasing teacher’s awareness about how children represent themselves and imagine their bi-/multilingual mind;
  • enhancing reflection on the relationship between L1 and L2.


Children are asked to make a (digital) drawing on how they imagine their bi-/multi-lingual mind and where the different words/languages are located. Once they have completed this task, they are asked to explain the meaning of their drawing and their choices in placing the different languages.



Drawings, descriptions and recordings could be added to a Forum.

Themes: Exploring and understanding one's multlingual self and Promoting multilingualism in the classroom

Resource type: What can you do

Tags: bilingualism and multilingualism

Age range: 8+

Available in: Czech, English, and Italian