28.A.ECa, 28.A.ECb, 28.A.ECc, 29.A.ECa, 29.A.ECb, and 29.A.ECc.)
Keep in mind that it is important for children to maintain their home languages as they learn English.
- Learning in both languages may keep a child from falling behind in some areas.
- Keeping a child’s home language helps preserve family ties.
- Knowing more than one language can be an asset later in life.
Make the classroom a place where all children feel they belong and are valued.
- Never allow teasing or isolation that could make a child feel unsafe or unwelcome.
- Put posters and pictures on walls related to all the children’s cultures.
- Provide some books and games in the home languages of all children.
- Label objects in the classroom using children’s home languages as well as English.
- Create a picture chart showing basic needs—eating, drinking water, and entering the bathroom—along with appropriate words in English. Children can point to a picture to communicate their needs, then repeat the words that the teacher uses.
- Use projects and other inquiry-based activities to encourage all children to participate.
Plan ways to bring the children’s home languages and cultures into the classroom.
- Learn at least a few words in each of the home languages that you expect to have in your classroom. Ask your local library for help or look for free translation Web sites.
- Find someone to provide some subject instruction in each child’s home language.
- Play music from each child’s culture and home language.
- Ask parent classroom volunteers to read some books in each child’s home language.
- Invite children to teach words from their home languages to the class.
- Encourage children to share objects or games from their home cultures.
Help children to understand and use both English and their home languages.
- Create routines that help children anticipate what will happen next even when they don’t understand all that is said.
- Use visual aids to illustrate words used in class.
- Reinforce English words they are learning with ongoing activities over several days.
- Promote child-to-child conversations.
- Encourage children to talk to their families about what they do at school.