Separation of Languages
Research indicates that bilingual/multilingual children develop their languages best when there is a clear separation of the languages. There are three main ways to ensure there is a clear separation. Consideration should be given to the age of the child when making a decision about which one to use and their capacity to understand concepts of time and space.
- Separation by person – operating a one-person one language policy. Each adult always talks to the child in the same language.
- Separation by space – identifying different rooms for different languages
- Separation by time – identifying different times of the day for different languages.
Regardless of the method chosen, children should be allowed to respond in whichever language they chose to use.
It is worth noting that children who are being raised bilingually from birth may start to speak later than their mono-lingual peers. This is especially the case for boys. It is common for parents to stop using one of the languages at this point. However this is not necessary as the bilingual learners soon catch up. It is also common for bilingual learners to go through a stage of developing their own words and language. Again, this is nothing to be concerned about.
STORY BOOKS IN 30 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AT KINGSWOOD LOWER
At Kingswood lower site we celebrate the fact that 45 different languages are spoken by our children. We are aware that many parents learn to speak English alongside their children and are not always able to read in English.
We now have story books in 30 different languages at Kingswood lower and parents can come to the atrium, during Parents-in-to-Read on a Friday, and read to their children in their mother tongue. This is really important for 2 reasons: firstly, it is very important for children to hear ‘story language’ in the language with which they are most familiar because they will absorb it and then apply it to stories when learning to read, and, secondly, it is very important for children to see their parents as readers.
All the books are ‘dual language’ so each book has the story in English as well. Please come and enjoy these new books on a Friday.
This has been very well received and we hope to roll it out across all sites in due course.