Adding English

Adding English for Young Learners

If you are wanting your young child to get ready to learn English as an additional language, here are some tips to help support multilingualism and to help students be successful at school.

“The level of development of children’s mother tongue is a strong predictor of their second language development.” Jim Cummins

–>Mother Tongue (Home/Native) Language Development:

It is encouraged that parents to speak their native language ALL THE TIME and  provide rich language experiences for your child in your native language.

  • Read, read, read to your child in your native language
  • Use large vocabulary in your native language
  • Play thinking and strategy games in your home language! (20 questions, I am thinking of an animal….)
  • Ask open-ended questions in your home language! (How would you describe this character? Tell me about what you ate for lunch today?)

–>English Language Development:

It takes many years of exposure and interaction in a language to develop academic fluency in a second (or third) language.  A strong native language makes transfer for learning faster, fun and more successful!

At home:

  • Practice the English alphabet
  • Listen to songs, poems, nursery rhymes, chants in English
  • Provide lots of English language books (the library has a great selection), yet when sharing the books-have conversations about the story in your native language

–>Experiences in English:

Language is built through exposure, experience and practice.  Providing authentic rich experiences for students is a wonderful and natural way to build vocabulary, social skills and make connections.

  • After school activities. Fun and skills in English
  • Play dates and social time with peers in English
  • English Tutoring at this age is not recommended

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