There was a time when many educators as well as parents believed that dual language learning could prove to be a major hindrance in a child’s development of English language skills. But research has shown that children who have a different primary language can use it as a foundation for their English learning. Validating and encouraging their language and culture can play an important role in helping them master new skills while strengthening the ones they already have.
Dual language learners are children below the age of five who are learning English while simultaneously mastering their native language. And if you have a dual language learner in your home, here are a few things you can do to help them:
Teach them more about your culture
An easy way to make dual language learning more effective is to teach your child about their native culture. Ask them to read up on the food, music, history, and so on, so that they can feel a deeper connection to their heritage.
Encourage them to learn vocabulary in both languages
It is important for dual language learners to learn vocabulary in English as well as their native language because it is a skill that does not transfer. Make sure, however, that you also teach them about context and provide them with opportunities to use these newly learned words in their everyday life.
Use play-based projects
If you want to make the learning process fun for your little one, use play-based projects that will keep them engaged. For instance, you can ask them to make themed projects that allow them to use their new vocabulary as well as concepts they learned during their language training.
Read books that represent your cultural heritage
You can find a wide range of books that celebrate myriad cultures from around the world. Provide your child with access to such books so that they can see their representation in media. This can be a crucial moment of empowerment as well as an opportunity to connect and engage with who they are.
The Family Learning Company offers a wide range of resources for dual language learning, including a family learning software that is designed to build reading and writing skills. Family learning offers an amazing opportunity for parents to learn along with their kids. If the parents aren’t fully literate, it will engage them in the exact same process that their children are going through. Give them a parallel experience learning reading, writing, social and emotional skills to better their own lives, and to model learning for their children. Or, let them compete with their children to see who can master their reading and writing skills faster. Either way, let the parent-child relationship carry the burden of providing the motivation, engagement and persistence that it takes to become truly literate.
If you want your child to benefit from dual language learning, our software is an excellent choice for you.
Reach out to know more.