8 Top tips where English is an additional language

8 Top tips – where English is an additional language

Here are some great tips from Linda Stone, Head of Curriculum Standards at Enfield Council.

1. Speak to your children in your own language – it is important that you maintain a language that you can both communicate freely in and enabling your child to be bilingual is good for their learning, their brains and their future careers.

2. Read with your child regularly – in either English or in your own language.  If you struggle with reading in English, just listen and ask questions, in your own language, about what your child has read.  You can also spend time talking about any pictures in the book. These questions will work for most fiction/story books:
Tell me what has happened so far/what you think this book is about (before you begin reading)
How does what we have read moved the story forward (when you are reading)
What do you think might happen now (once you have finished)

3. Don’t just read books, try magazines, comics and newspapers, too – in English or your language.  They will enable you to talk about real events and explore the world.

4. Talk to your children about what they did at school – get them to tell you 2 things they learned in 2 of the subjects they studied.  You might need to help them with some of the vocabulary in your language, but that is good for their own language development.

5. Ask your children about their favourite subject - get them to explain why they like it.  Ask them to teach you something they have learned (even if you know it!) it will help them to embed what they have learned.

6. Make sure that your children get plenty of sleep -  be aware that they might be more tired than usual.  Learning, and speaking a new language all day is very tiring.

7. Be even more patient and supportive than usual with your children - learning in another language is hard and struggling to communicate at school will be difficult for them, which might make them frustrated and more grumpy than normal.

8. If you are at all worried about your children, talk to their teacher – they will be happy to help you.  You can take a friend with you for support or to translate, if you need to.

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