Address the question they still have about learning a second language. You do not necessarily need to provide them with an answer, but you may want to provide information related to what you have learned.
Three ways to support children learning a second language in the classroom:
- Children are like little sponges that absorb all kinds of information that is thrown their way. We must take advantage of that and provide children with a literacy rich environment where they can explore letters and sounds visually.
- It is also important to expose them to the language. Speaking to children in a second language will help them grasp the language faster. Practice makes perfect, therefore having constant communication with our children will be key to their success in learning a second language.
- The more a child knows the more he or she will be prepared for their future. A person that know more is worth more. “Linguistic and cultural diversity is an asset, not a deficit, for young children.” (NAEYC, 2009) Music is a great way to introduce a new language. Since melodies tend to stick around in a child’s memory we could take advantage of that by introducing educational music to our children.
Two ways to support the families of children learning a second language:
- Families are very important because they are around children the majority of the time. Learning a second language can be fun and beneficial for everyone. Socializations are something that we do in Head Start twice a week and families really enjoy it. It consists of getting families together and allowing them to converse with one another and learn from each other as well. These meetings can help parents relate and share experiences and strategies to learning two languages.
- Another way to help families of children who are learning a second language is by sending home fun projects that everyone can participate on. Perhaps having the family come up with a picture collage of a country that speaks the language that the child is attempting to learn. Having the family help the child present the project can be a plus.
One example of a resource you can use to help plan for children learning a second language, with a summary and justification of your choice:
- The local library is a great way to introduce children to a second language. Literacy is very important and immersing a child into the world of books will help the child to start forming connections between the two languages. As a teacher we could have pamphlets that provide the information of the local libraries and also suggestion of books that might help a child through the process of learning a second language.
One question you still have about learning a second language:
- Many people might still struggle with how to teach your child a second language. One of the most common questions is how early to start teaching a second language to a child. There might not ever be a completely wrong or right answer.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009). Responding to linguistic and cultural diversity. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/di…
Piper, T., (2012). Making meaning, making sense: Children’s early language learning. [Electronic version]. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.