We explained how EAL is organised, and let the parents experience a taste of an EAL lesson first hand by involving them in some typical EAL activities. We also explained the importance of speaking your home language together, and gave some tips for helping your child at home.
Here are some tips from our presentation:
These will be useful for many parents, not just those with children currently receiving EAL support:
- Using your home language is very important. Use it as much as possible and at every opportunity. Ask your child about their school day, encourage them to talk about their lessons and what they did at lunch time using your home language. Do not feel pressured to use English, especially if you are not a confident English speaker. Your child has plenty of opportunities to speak English at school. Learning a language is also exhausting, so they need a break!
- Reading is significant to child language development and wider literacy skills.
- Ensure you have a daily reading routine. Children need something to look forward to each evening, and it should be the enjoyment of reading with you.
- Keep reading their favourite book. As you read together, ask your child questions about the story (What has happened? What will happen next? Which characters do you like, and why?)
- Make sure you have plenty of first language books, magazines etc. around the house.
- Be your child’s #1 fan. Listen to them read their books in English, even if you don’t understand what they are saying. This shows encouragement and praise for their efforts.
- If you are going on a journey, trip or holiday, make sure your child has a book or magazine to read or look at the pictures.
- The main goal should be that reading becomes their free-time chosen activity, rather than playing on the computer or watching TV.
- Play dates with other children can help develop your child’s social English, especially if their playmate is of a different nationality. Speak to other parents, and organise play dates regularly.
- Encourage your child to join after-school clubs where they can use and develop their English in an authentic environment.
Don’t forget to visit our EAL blog, where there are plenty of activities for children and parents:
If you would like to see the presentation once again, please click the link below:
Ms Jane McAdoo, EAL Leader