Your child benefits when you speak your first language. How?
- It is easier for children who speak their first language well to learn English.
- Children with strong language skills do better at school.
- Your child will be able to communicate with family members and others who speak your language.
- Both your child's self-esteem and sense of cultural identity will be enhanced.
Your child's language develops most when you speak your first language. Why?
- You can better explain ideas, concepts and thoughts to your child.
- You can challenge your child by using more advanced vocabulary.
- You can share jokes and other word play.
Talk, talk, talk!
- Talking together in your first language is one of the best ways to help your child get ready to read.
- Talk about activities and surroundings throughout the day. Ask your child questions.
- Tell stories about your family and culture. Discuss special family events, photos, recipes or traditional clothing.
- Sing songs and rhymes.
- Encourage your child to retell a favourite story or make up a new one.
Read and play with your child in your first language
- Share books with your child.
- Read the same stories over and over. Children enjoy and learn from repetition.
- Make your own first language dictionary using pictures from old magazines.
- Ask questions which encourage your child's participation in stories, such as "Why is that happening?", "What do you think will happen next?" or "What does this picture show?"
- Keep reading time fun so you'll both want more.
Be a good role model!
- Let your child see you enjoying reading and writing in your first language.
Should I use English with my children?
There may be times when you both want to practice English. But the most important thing is to talk and read a lot, in whichever language is most comfortable for you.