- Learning more than one language is good for the brain. Research by Thomas and Collier show that bilingual children develop better thinking skills.
- It is extremely important that your child continues to develop their first language(s). If their home language is strong, they will find it much easier to learn languages.
- Learning a new language can be tiring and stressful. Your child needs to go home, relax and enjoy the security and comfort of being able to converse in the home language.
How to help your child learn English
- Play games and read books.
- Read books that are interesting to your child. The text can be read in English but all discussions about the book could be read in your home language.
- Children can use the internet to listen to songs and stories.
- Watch suitable TV programmes and DVDs.Where possible, use sub-titles in English. This will help your child’s listening and reading.
- Ask teachers to send home information about topics that are going to be taught in the classroom the following week. You can prepare your child by discussing this work in advance and this will improve your child’s understanding when they are learning in the classroom and also help the learning of English.
- Invite English-speaking children for a play date. Your child’s friends in school will have an important role in developing English social language skills.
Caroline Scott – Teaching English as an Additional Language 5-11
Colin Baker – A Parent and Teacher’s Guide to Bilingualism