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What Every Parent Should Know About Bilingualism. Yanira Alfonso, EDS ESOL Teacher Hopkins Elementary School . An informative video about how you can more effectively help your child in school and a guide for teachers. Introduction . Video Content:.

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what every parent should know about bilingualism

What Every Parent Should Know About Bilingualism

Yanira Alfonso, EDS

ESOL Teacher

Hopkins Elementary School

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An informative video about how you can more effectively help your child in school and a guide for teachers.

video content
Video Content:
  • Relationship between bilingualism and learning
  • Benefits of bilingualism
  • Conditions that facilitate bilingualism
  • Bilingualism and achievement strategies
  • Recommended Readings & References
will my child s performance in school be affected by being bilingual
Will my child’s performance in school be affected by being bilingual?
  • Work with majority language peers in a majority language classroom
  • Bilingualism is not valued by the school
  • Yes, your child may fall behind in school.
  • Bilingual child’s language has to match the complexity level of the curriculum
my child seems to be underachieving at school is this because of bilingualism
My child seems to be underachieving at school. Is this because of bilingualism?
  • No. Bilingualism more likely leads to cognitive advantages than disadvantages.
  • Under-achievement blamed at lack of exposure of the majority language is incorrect.
  • Fast conversion to the majority language may cause more harm than good.
    • Denies the child’s skills in the home language
    • Denies identity and self-respect of the child
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Will learning to read in a first language interfere with reading in the second language or the other way around?
  • No. It greatly helps children to learn to read in the second language.
  • Literacy skills transfer.
  • Language boundaries are helpful.
    • Dad can read in one language, mom in another.
will learning a second language interfere with development of the first language
Will learning a second language interfere with development of the first language?
  • No. Definitely not.
  • Mixing words may occur in young children.
  • Effects are generally positive.
if the two languages have different scripts will learning to read and write be a problem
If the two languages have different scripts, will learning to read and write be a problem?
  • No.
  • Learning to read in a different script helps learning to read in another language.
  • Some skills still need to be learned.
  • But some skills still transfer.
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We have just moved to a different country. Should we speak that country’s language in the home to help our children?
  • No. Artificial switch in language will not help.
  • Switching country and language difficult for child.
  • Level of conversation will change.
  • Conceptual growth of children may be hindered.
  • Infants or very young, children do not need their parents to speak to them in the majority language.
what may happen if the majority language overtakes the minority language at home
What may happen if the majority language overtakes the minority language at home?
  • Much will be lost.
  • You deny existence of your first language, yourself, your past, your family history and traditions.
  • Heritage, family identity, subtle psychological processes that hold families in unity, the cultural cement that holds minority families together, will be lost.
  • Loss of the minority language may divide the family.
in teaching your child your native language you transmit
In teaching your child your native language you transmit:
  • Something about yourself
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Your heritage and the extended family
  • You are able to give your child more rather than less.
will my bilingual children have a problem of identity with two different cultures
Will my bilingual children have a problem of identity with two different cultures?
  • Maybe.
  • Important and sometimes problematic issue.
  • May develop different identities in different context.
books on child care and child development warn me against bilingualism how should i react
Books on child care and child development warn me against bilingualism. How should I react?
  • Many misconceptions exist.
  • Find out information from reliable sources where there is:
    • Informed comment
    • Expert understanding
    • Greater experience and awareness of childhood bilingualism
    • A list of reliable references is included at the end of this video.
people around me are prejudiced should we as a family switch to speaking only the majority language
People around me are prejudiced. Should we as a family switch to speaking only the majority language?
  • No. It will not change racism, discrimination, and prejudice.
  • Bilingualism exists alongside racism, deprivation, poverty, unemployment and disadvantage.
  • Good reason to become fluent in the majority language.
  • Not at the cost of the first or minority language.
should we ensure our child is educated in the majority language to aid employment prospects
Should we ensure our child is educated in the majority language to aid employment prospects?
  • Opportunity to compete for jobs increases with majority language skills.
  • In some cases, it increases even more with a second language in demand by employers.
  • Argument for thorough bilingualism, not for majority language monolingualism.
will my child become equally fluent in two languages
Will my child become equally fluent in two languages?
  • Usually, no.
  • Only a few exceptions exist.
  • Many bilinguals are stronger in one language than another.
what are the advantages of my child becoming bilingual
What are the advantages of my child becoming bilingual?
  • Communicate with a wider variety of people.
  • Experience two or more cultures.
  • Bridge between generations.
  • Bridge between communities.
  • Pass on the heritage language of the family.
advantages cont d
Advantages (Cont’d):
  • Your child will be able to think more flexibly.
  • Advantage in social relationships.
  • Potential for more friends rather than less.
  • Communicate with grandparents and relatives in different countries.
  • Childhood bilingualism widens social, cultural, and educational horizons.
what conditions facilitate bilingualism in the family
What conditions facilitate bilingualism in the family?
  • Children are born ready to be bilinguals and multilinguals.
  • Plenty of stimulating language experiences.
  • Opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write in both languages.
  • Quality communication between parents and children.
conditions that facilitate bilingualism in the family cont d
Conditions that facilitate bilingualism in the family (Cont’d):
  • One parent one language.
  • Child learns one language at home and the other language in a playgroup, school, or community.
  • Teenagers participate in out-of-school events in their minority language.
conditions that facilitate bilingualism cont d
Conditions that facilitate bilingualism (Cont’d)
  • Parents encourage writing, when child can hold a crayon or pencil.
  • Writing is developed in stages:
    • Squiggles
    • Copies letters
    • Relates sounds to letters
    • Puts sounds together to spell like-words (inventive spelling)
    • Starts writing words
    • Starts writing sentences and then stories
conditions that facilitate bilingualism in the family cont d27
Conditions that facilitate bilingualism in the family (Cont’d)
  • Child is taught to read in the dominant language first and then in the second language.
  • Important to help the child feel a growing competence in reading.
  • The most important thing is that reading be a pleasure.
conditions that facilitate bilingualism cont d28
Conditions that facilitate bilingualism (Cont’d)
  • Young children
  • Pick up language very easily.
  • More likely to pick up appropriate pronunciation of both languages.
conditions that facilitate bilingualism cont d29
Conditions that facilitate bilingualism (Cont’d)
  • Some children learn to be bilingual faster than others,
  • Depending on:
    • Ability and aptitude
    • Child’s interest
    • Complex number of factors affect the rate of bilingual development
what family conditions are less likely to facilitate bilingualism
What family conditions are less likely to facilitate bilingualism?
  • Minority language parent away from the family.
  • All day Majority language nursery or preschool.
  • Early exposure to majority language.
  • Teenagers reject minority language.
alternatives for working parents
Alternatives for working parents:
  • Minority language weekend school
  • Minority language nursery school
  • A family daycare with a (Minority) caretaker
  • A Minority language family member caretaker
what can families do to help their children remain bilingual
What can families do to help their children remain bilingual?
  • Accept the challenge; Get motivated.
  • Have a positive attitude towards bilingualism.
  • Recognize that children’s bilingual skills constantly change.
  • Make a Family language plan.
conversation strategies would ensure
Conversation strategies would ensure:
  • Parent language is not too complex.
  • Expansion on a child’s attempt to communicate.
  • Plenty of open questions.
  • Connection of words with objects to convey meaning.
  • Parent to be a good listener and encourager.
i am a one parent family how can i raise my child bilingually
I am a one-parent family. How can I raise my child bilingually?
  • Speak minority language at home.
  • Speak minority language four days, and majority language three days.
  • Use each language in different context.
provide richness of language
Provide richness of language
  • Establish richness of language experiences in a variety of situations.
    • Develop vocabulary
    • Take trips
    • Expose your child to music and drama
  • Make language enjoyable. It is the most important factor.
use the mass media to your advantage
Use the Mass Media to your advantage
  • Watch T.V. or radio, preferably in the weaker language.
  • Minority culture as well as language.
  • Bilingual, bicultural is the goal of bilingualism.
practice the minority language
Practice the minority language
  • Visit relatives.
  • Language school.
  • Educate your neighbors.
  • Communicate do not constantly correct.
establish language boundaries
Establish language boundaries
  • Consistent in keeping languages separate.
  • Have clear expectations about language use.
  • Avoid excluding visitors
    • Explain to them your language rules.
correct mixing the two languages by
Correct mixing the two languages by:
  • Not criticizing your child
  • Not constantly correcting your child
  • Not mixing languages yourselves
  • Constantly encouraging your child’s attitude toward the two languages
what can i do to teach my child how to read
What can I do to teach my child how to read?
  • Talk to your child and ask questions.
  • Buy simple books for your child.
  • Teach your child how to value books.
  • Teach your child that a book has pictures and objects.
  • Teach your child nursery rhymes.
  • Read books to your child everyday.
reading strategies cont d
Reading strategies (cont’d):
  • Develop ‘sight’ vocabulary first.
    • Using pictures alongside words,
      • encourage your child to recognize and read those words.
    • Help your child to recognize words in the environment.
reading strategies cont d44
Reading strategies (Cont’d)
  • Get your child to talk about an experience, while you write it.
  • Copy one sentence two times on a card.
  • Cut up the words for one of the sentences. Have your child put it back together.
  • Give your child the same story with words missing.
  • Ask your child to write the missing words.
reading strategies cont d45
Reading strategies (Cont’d):
  • If it feels normal and natural, yes introduce books in both languages.
  • As long as you keep both languages separate,
    • and give equal exposure to both languages.
reading strategies cont d46
Reading strategies (Cont’d):
  • Stock up on books in each language.
  • Explore the internet.
  • Books in two languages not necessary.
the most important thing
The most important thing!
  • READ TO YOUR CHILD EVERYDAY.
  • Make reading active:
    • Elaborate and explain the text.
    • Relate the story to your child's own experiences.
    • Ask questions about the story.
if my child is under achieving what can i do
If my child is under-achieving, what can I do?
  • Educate in minority language to keep up the academic skills
  • Results will include fluency in the majority language.
how do i find out more information about bilingualism
How do I find out more information about bilingualism?
  • Get informed by reading
  • Order books through major/university bookstores.
  • Visit your local and university library.
a parents and teachers guide to bilingualism by colin baker
A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism by Colin Baker
  • 1995, Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters Ltd. ISBN 1-85359-265-X (hard book)

ISBN 1-85359-264-1 (paper back book)

  • Much of the advice in this video was taken from Colin Baker’s book. Much more is included in his book. A book that every bilingual family should read.
foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism 2 nd edition by colin baker
Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 2nd edition. by Colin Baker
  • 1996, Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
  • ISBN 1-85359-358-3 (hard book)

ISBN 1-85359-357-5 (paper back book)

raising children bilingually the pre school years by lenore arnberg
Raising Children Bilingually: The Pre-School Years by Lenore Arnberg
  • Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1987.
  • Provides valuable academic introduction to aspects of bilingualism relevant to young children in families, chapters on practical suggestions and some case studies.
  • Particularly valuable for in-migrant parents and those in language minority situations.
the bilingual family a handbook for parents by edith harding and philip riley
The Bilingual Family: A Handbook for Parents by Edith Harding and Philip Riley
  • Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986

This book has case studies of sixteen bilingual families and an alphabetic reference guide.

  • Particularly valuable for those families where there are two majority languages.
  • The book is written by linguists and has valuable insights from a linguistic point of view.
the bilingual experience a book for parents by eveline de jong
The Bilingual Experience: A Book for Parents by Eveline de Jong
  • Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986
  • This book is a survey of parents and their bilingual experience.
  • Representing a variety of parental experience, it lacks in expert advice and a ‘state of the art’ understanding of bilingualism.
bilingual children from birth to teens by george saunders
Bilingual Children: From Birth to Teens by George Saunders
  • Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1988.
  • Saunders and his wife raised their sons and daughters in English and German in Australia. Even though Saunders was not a native speaker of German, and there was little support for German speakers in the community, they raised their children bilingually. From birth, the mother spoke to the children in English while the father used German.
  • Saunders provides a detailed case study with plenty of illustrations, much analysis and is regarded as a classic case study of the development of bilingualism in a family.
one parent one language an interactional approach by susanne dopke
One Parent One Language: An Interactional Approach by Susanne Dopke
  • Published by John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, 1992
  • Represents one recent academic research study on bilingualism in the family.
listen to your child a parent s guide to children s language
Listen to Your Child: A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Language
  • London: Penguin Books, 1986
  • For those parents who want to read more about children’s language development.
  • Best Seller
  • Delightfully written, eminently readable and highly informative from linguistic and psychological research.
foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism by colin baker
Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism by Colin Baker
  • Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1993
  • For those who want a comprehensive introduction to bilingualism and bilingual education.
  • Written as a foundation-level textbook for parents, students and teachers.
bilingual family newsletter by multilingual matters ltd
Bilingual Family Newsletter by Multilingual Matters, Ltd.
  • Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon, Avon BS21 7SJ, England.
  • An up-to-date and most valuable source of information for parents.
  • Write to them for your free sample copy.
references
References

Baker, Colin. 1995. A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism. Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Baker, Colin. 1996. Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 2nd ed. Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Collier, Virginia (1987). Age and Rate of Acquisition of Second Language for Academic Purposes. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 21. No. 4, 617-641.

Collier, Virginia (1989). How Long? A Synthesis of Research on Academic Achievement in a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 23. No. 3, 509-531.

Cummins, Jim. (1994). The Acquisition of English as a Second Language. Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL students. Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association, 36 – 62.

Döpke, Susanne. (1992). One Parent One Language; An Interactional Approach. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Edelsky, Carole. (1986). Writing in a Bilingual Program; Había Una Vez. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Fase, Willem, et. al. editor. (1992). Maintenance and Loss of Minority Languages. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Fishman, Joshua A. (1991). Reversing Language Shift. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Hamers, Josiane F. and Blanc, H.A, Michel. (1989). Bilinguality and Bilingualism. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

references cont d
References (Cont’d)
  • Harding, Edith, and Riley, Philip. (1986). The Bilingual Family: A handbook for parents. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Jiménez, Robert T. (1994). “Understanding and Promoting the Reading Comprehension of Bilingual Students.” Bingual Research Journal, 18: 1 & 2, 99-119.
  • Lee, Patrick. (1996). “Cognitive Development in Bilingual Children: A case for Bilingual Instruction in Early Childhood Education.” The Bilingual Research Journal. 20 No. 3 & 4, 499-522.
  • Linse, Caroline, ed. (1991). “Language of Instruction in the Early Years; Language and Cultural Development of LEP Students in Early Childhood Years.” National Preschool Coordination Project. San Diego, CA.National Preschool Coordination Project. (1991). “Language of Instruction in the Early Years; No-Cost Study on Families” San Diego, CA: NABE.
  • Pérez, Bertha and Torres-Guzmán, María E. (1996). Learning in Two Worlds. 2nd edition. White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers.
  • Schecter, R. Sandra. (1996). “Bilingual by Choice: Latino Parents’ Rationale and Strategies for Raising Children with Two Languages.” The Bilingual Research Journal, 20. No. 2, 261-281.
  • Wong-Fillmore, Lily. (1991). “When Learning a Second Language Means Losing the First.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly., 6, 323-346.
  • Zentella, Ana Cecilia (1997). Growing Up Bilingual. Malden, MA. Blackwell Publishers, Inc.