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Information for Parents in Many Languages
Information for Parents in Many Languages

Talking with Your Child in Your Home Languages​

A resource for families with children in Kindergarten​

As a parent of a child learning a new language, you play a vital role in helping your child maintain your home languages. Research shows that speaking two or more languages benefits children’s well-being, language and literacy development, thinking and reasoning, and learning skills.

Children who speak multiple languages:​

  • Develop a strong sense of identity
  • Connect to their cultures and communities
  • Gain confidence and develop positive self-esteem
  • Develop strong family relationships
  • Can transfer literacy skills from one language to another
  • Can apply reading and writing strategies learned in their home languag when learning to read and write in an additional language.
  • Can think in flexible ways
  • Can share thoughts and ideas with family members using complex language
  • Develop planning and problem-solving skills
  • Take risks in their learning
  • Focus effectively on relevant information

Use your home languages with your child

To support oral language development:​

  • Talk with your child when playing together, and discuss activities that you do
  • When doing daily tasks together, talk about what was done first, next and last
  • Encourage your child to explain to a family member how to play a game or do an activity

To support literacy skills:​

  • Read with your child every day and talk about the story, such as what the story reminds you of
  • Help your child learn to read in your home languages
  • Provide opportunities for your child to see you reading in your home languages
*Adapted from Supporting English Language Learners in Kindergarten, 2007

Help support the development of your child’s languages at school​

Speak with and share information with your child’s Kindergarten educators often. You can:​

  • Share your child’s strengths and interests with them
  • Share learning experiences with the Kindergarten team that your child has engaged with outside of school
  • Ask how they are supporting your child’s English language development
  • Ask how they are building on your child’s home and community languages
  • Ask how play supports your child’s oral language development
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