Supporting your Child’s Language Development Woodfield Nursery School What are the advantages of being bilingual? If your child uses more than one language they are bilingual. It is an advantage to be able to speak more than one language, and it should be considered a special skill. Why…? * your child can think about their ideas in two languages * your child can communicate with more people in the community and in the wider world * your child will stay connected to their family * your child will feel secure in their identity * your child will therefore have more self confidence * your child will therefore do well at school * your child will be able to learn other languages more easily How can your child learn English? Did you know…? If a child knows and uses their home language well, they will learn English much more easily. If your child understands an idea or concept in their home language, (e.g. describing the weather) they will easily pick up the English words that means the same thing. If parents use English instead, children will lose their mother tongue. Neither language will progress and the child will have problems in both languages. How can you help your child to talk at home? > Use the language you know best and feel most comfortable and confident with. > Keep speaking to your child in your first language, even if they answer in English. > Read with your child in first language; tell the story using the pictures. It is important to let your child hear new words. > Sing songs and rhymes in your first language. > Involve your child in what you are doing. (e.g. cooking, cleaning) Talk about what you are doing. > Play with your child, at their level, talking about what they are doing. > Talk about shared experiences, e.g. days out, visiting family, shopping. > Encourage your child to feel proud of their home language. Praise their efforts made in both languages. > Don’t worry if your child uses English words when speaking their home language, or vice versa. They are not confused, simply making use of all their language. How will coming to nursery help develop your child’s language? Children naturally learn a language very easily in a quality early years environment, where they are… ~ doing real things that matter to them ~ learning through hands-on, practical activities ~ exploring and investigating Being in such an environment like nursery is ideal for learning language, as it motivates children to talk. We will support your child by introducing new ideas, concepts and words in their home language first, if appropriate. This will in turn help them understand them in English. We will model how to use good English through everyday routines, play and experiences. We will play alongside your child, listen to them with interest and talk to them about their actions. We will share daily stories, rhymes and songs. We will ask questions that promote your child’s thinking. We will value your child’s language and culture, helping them to feel good about themselves. We will work with you as partners in your child’s education, discussing what is best for your child.