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in the next few weeks we shall have a child starting our setting whose 1st language is spanish. i have started learning spanish but obviously this is going to be a long task any ideas how i can help him feel welcome and incorporate his language in the day to day running?

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There are a few dual language pieces in the "Dora" or "Diego" magazines which may help with labels and signs.

 

The Usborne website also has Spanish support activities on it, mostly aimed at primary school children.

 

You may be surprised by how many of your children can manage a few words of Spanish if they're Dora/Diego fans!

 

Good Luck,

 

Nona

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I would ask the parent for the key words you think you will need daily. Ask the parent to write them phonetically and make sure all your stasff feel confident using them. We use makaton in our setting which helps all of our children. In our pre-school we currently have 9 out of 12 children who have english as an additional language. It is amazing how quickly they pick it up. Having dual language books is good but only if you have someone to read them or if you think the child might recognise his own language in written form.

Going back to the key words, display them so all staff can see them. If possible you could ask the parent to do some story sessions as well.

Use simple sentences or even single words with gestures or makaton. Try to make sure everyone is using the same approach. It's not as scary as you think. you could learn one of the Dora songs to incorporate into your planning to help settle this new child.

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Sorry, just to add. Our speech and Language therapist recomends one face one language. The key words I suggested should be used if the child is upset or really seems not to be understanding. I am sure the parents of this child are putting him in your care as you are an English based setting. Are you learning Spanish for yourself and it is just so happens this little boy speaks Spanish? I don't think any parent would expect you to learn their language. Then again I don't know where you are based or what kind of setting you are in. Some parents have very high expectations!! :o

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thank you that is a help. im learning spanish for myself although i have tried to kick it up a gear so that i can make the child feel as settled as possible aas quickly as possible.

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Use photos/ visual timetables/ pecs for communication as well.. this works well with our current group of children.. as said having dual language books only works if you can read them.. we did have one mum say when she borrowed one of ours that it was a very poor translation of the story and she preferred not to use them!

 

Inge

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Check also if he speaks latin american spanish or castellano, because the pronunciation of some sounds is different and it might be confusing. Also some words are different.

 

I remember when I had some children once from Zaire, they spoke french but not as I knew it!! No matter how hard I tried with my A level french it just didn't work!

Cx

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Hi there. if it is castillian spanish or castellano as Catma says one good thing about it is the language really is phonic. So once you've got your head round pronouncing all the letters you can work out how to say anything and (if the child pronounces words correctly?!) you could write down things to look up. The BBC has some good online language courses that can be quite helpful. Buena Suerte (pronounced booena sooairtay) or good luck!

 

In the past I've found sharing greetings, counting etc in the child's native language can interest other children too and mean that the child retains pride in their own language and also helps other children value the fact that the child is learning a new language, rather than feeling that they are someone who is unable to talk at all. I suppose how children respond from this point of view will depend on how multi cultural your setting is.

 

I'm working at counting in Polish just now as we have a few children who have started nursery who are finding it hard to integrate, I've been in our numeracy area this week and being able to support early counting bilingually seemed to be a breakthrough moment in enabling one little boy to feel brave enough to join a game and attempt to speak some English too. His lovely smile was very rewarding!

 

AOB

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