Myth 1: Learning two languages causes language delay.<br />Brain tissue density: language, memory, attention<br />More neural activity in language processing<br />
“These studies have also demonstrated that knowing more than one language does not delay the acquisition of English or impede academic achievement in English when both languages are supported.”<br />
Myth 2 : Total English immersion is best<br />Loss of first language<br />English dominance<br />Poor communication with extended families<br />Lower academic achievement in English<br />
Myth 3: Because we can’t speak all the languages of our children, we should provide English-only instruction.<br />“Even when teachers do not speak the child’s first language, there are many specific teaching practices that will support native language development.”<br />
“...children who receive systematic learning opportunities in their home language from ages 3 – 8 consistently outperform those who attend English-only programs on measures of academic achievement in English during the middle and high school years.”<br />
Ok, so now we know why, let’s move on to how?<br />
Supporting Home Languages<br />“Supporting the child’s home language is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity.”<br />“…children who learn literacy skills in their home language are likely to transfer those skills effectively to English.” <br />(Nemeth, K, 2009; Meeting the Home Language Mandate: Practical strategies for all classrooms; in Young Children ~ March 2009) <br />
Maintaining home languages<br />Read, read, read in your own language (ICDL)<br />Bilingual dictionaries (translation apps)<br />Read in your language<br />Always use your own language at home<br />Read in your language<br />Become a bilingual parent volunteer<br />Use Skype to stay in touch with family and friends<br />Read in your language<br />Share ideas with each other<br />
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