Support your childs mother tongue! What does mother tongue mean to you?
Importance of Mother Tongue Part of the roots of your children; cultural identity Link to family, friends and country Necessary for children to reintegrate into their home country, national school or university
Role mother tongue plays in educational development? There are 4 steps according to Prof. Jim Cummins, leading researcher in second language acquisition, Ontario University
1.Bilingual learners are the best learners ! By learning two or more languages children gain a greater understanding of how language works Knowledge and skills transfer across two languages (review weekly learning targets) Develop greater flexibility in thinking skills across subjects, due to processing of information through 2 different languages.
2. A strong supported mother tongue does not hurt children learning English Parents worry that being bilingual will hinder their childs progress but these fears are ungrounded. Sometimes they mix languages, but this gets sorted out later.
3.Developing literacy in your MT is an efficient means of developing literacy in second language accelerates the development of reading ability in second language literacy in MT transfers into the second language, even when writing signs are different provides knowledge of the world and helps with school
How parents can support? Mother Tongue at home: –Decide on a family language policy –Reading (have a diverse library), videos, games, friends…aim to be biliterate not just bilingual –Visit home country for extended holidays –Have lots of visitors from home! –Support IPC in MT with research and discussion
4.Mother tongue is fragile and easily lost in early years of school Children pick up playground English really quickly BUT Children can lose their mother tongue as quickly Extent and rapidity of language loss will vary according to how much it is used Can lose within 2-3 years of starting school- retain receptive skills but respond in English to peers and parents
At school: Books for library; donation Come in and read story or teach us some songs! Share your festivals Oral and written translations Language of the month Shell Educational Services may offer an allowance enabling the employment of MT teacher.
EAL at Panaga School Withdrawal and in-class support Survival language! Support with developing vocabulary linked to other school subjects Speaking and listening skills Development of literacy skills (reading and writing)
How can you help your child at home to develop their English skills?
Helping with EAL at home. Have a family rule of when to speak English (car, restaurant, shop, beach?) Radio, television, films, books, music and family games. Label everyday objects in both languages around home. Play dates – organize through parent representatives.
Conclusion Lets work together to develop your childs language learning. We need you to support your childs mother tongue and EAL!
References Bilingual Childrens Mother Tongue: Why is it important for Education Children's Mother Tongue: Why Is It Important http://www.iteachilearn.com/cummins/mother.htm http://www.iteachilearn.com/cummins/mother.htm Krashen Stephen-http://www.sdkrashen.com/main.php3 Website with a large number of books on bilingualism www.multilingual-matters www.multilingual-matters Pollock and Van Reken, (2001) Third Culture Kids Cunningham-Andersson, (2008) Growing up with two languages, a practical guide Colin Baker, (2004)A parents and teachers guide to bilingualism
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