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How Does Everyone Else Cope


Guest MaryEMac
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Guest MaryEMac

We have for the first time enrolled a child from the Czech Republic who has little English. Mum has a little English and is interested in the playgroup. I know that we can use signs and that she will pick up things from the other children but she will be going to school next year and I really want to help her so that she has a smooth transition. Has anyone got any hints? I would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks, Mary

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We work with the parents and the child , using parents for any translations and words, even if they have little English they seem to be able to help , and are more than willing to.

 

Don't worry about transition to school, better to concentrate on now and how you can help the child with you.

 

Model good English while speaking to the children, using pictures for basic words , alongside language, we use Makaton signs too, as many children go through a silent phase before using English or dual language, and this does at least help them to communicate to some degree.

 

Visual timetables, help a lot,

 

Encourage parents to continue to use first language at home, we get many who say they are only using English at home, or encouraging use at home, Children need to remember and learn both languages , it is important to their culture, some parents do find this hard to understand..

 

Emas this site may be useful

 

Have you a local emas you could contact for help. we have used them in the past and ring for information over the telephone too occasionally.

 

 

Inge

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We had a similar situation in my previous job . The one thing we found really helpful was a list of words ( and how to pronounce them ) of things the child is likely to ask for so we knew what they were looking for , requesting - toilet, Mum, Dad, drink, snack.... . We also had activities such as painting, building, outside play, hometime so that we could communicate and offer the child somethings.

The really good thing is that children of a young age pick up a second language at a lightening speed - everyday he could say new things and their understanding is far far greater than their use of spoken language.

You are probably very sensitive anyway but the child we had parents got very upset once because the Speech and Lang Therapist insisted they speak only in the limited English they had . Both Mum and DAd were upset as they felt their origins and culture were being disregarded-just thought I would mention so you can see full picture . But honestly the little one will come on leaps and bounds being in a pre-school environment and the other children will be fab too in the situation.

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You are probably very sensitive anyway but the child we had parents got very upset once because the Speech and Lang Therapist insisted they speak only in the limited English they had . Both Mum and DAd were upset as they felt their origins and culture were being disregarded-just thought I would mention so you can see full picture .

 

 

I don't blame the parents on that one.. we are always told to never let parents speak only in English at home .. all part of our Emas training we receive.. it is important the child has both languages so they can talk to family and often grandparents who dont speak English.. apart from the culture and identity etc.

 

Wish my dad had done the same with us.. but at the time it was still a bit 'post war' and while he spoke to and family friends in Polish and German, he never did to us... ( he spoke 4 languages fluently!)

 

Inge

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I agree really encourage mum to keep on with first language at home. I worked for 12 years in a mainstream school where over two thirds of our children had english as an additional language- most three year olds entered our nursery class with little or no english, especially if they had no older siblings. A child who is proficient in one language and knows the basics such as colours, numbers etc. finds it much easier to transfer these as it is much easier to learn a concept in your first language then translate it than to try and learn the concept in a totally new language. Having said that - you'll be amazed how quickly the little one picks things up. Songs and rhymes are great! And picture cues for the basics such as toilet, drink, coat with you reinforcing the vocab at the same time will help basic needs get met. We also found, as with all children, but even more so with EAL, make sure he knows the names of staff members and children as quickly as possible. This really aids security in what must be a really daunting environment. English as an additional language is NOT a special need, but there are some great pictorial SEN resources out there which can be used for both. Also contact your library for dual language books which you can read in the setting and then he can share with family at home and if you can learn to say hello and goodbye in czech and maybe teach the other children you'll love the smile you get from him. It really empowers the children (and also makes them laugh if your czech accent is anything like my Bengali one was!). Have fun! Zoe.

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Wish my dad had done the same with us.. but at the time it was still a bit 'post war' and while he spoke to and family friends in Polish and German, he never did to us... ( he spoke 4 languages fluently!)

 

Inge

 

I feel the same, my family are from Pakistan, but never taught any us Urdu or Hindi which they all spoke as fluently as they speak English. Though we picked up some understanding, I often tell my mum how helpful it would be to be able to speak or even understand these languages to help comfort the EAL we have. I think they felt something like new country, new beginning.

Karrie

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Guest MaryEMac

Thanks everyone, she had a good session this morning. We used a lot of visual clues and clear speaking. A friend of mine found this site which I found useful. you can choose which language you want and they have a list of words (hello, yes,no, please, thank you) and when you click on the words , a child speaks them so that you know what they should sound like.

I don't know how to make a link but here is the site.

www.newburypark.redbridge.sch.uk and click on language of the month.

 

Mary

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I had an idea which will be trailed by the setting I Have just left .

 

Story time can be difficult for children with no or little English, and this affects the other children in a group.

 

I know in many places an adult will come for story time and read or translate the story alongside someone reading it in English.. this is fine if you have several children with the same language, but they have only one child with each different language, so makes it a bit impractical.

 

So they will be finding in library or toy library and buying a few books in dual languages to read to the children, but before they do the parents will be encouraged to take them home and read them to the children in their first language, the child will then be a bit familiar with the story when they hear it in pre-school .. they have no idea if it will work, or help at all, but have decided to give it a try..

 

I will keep in touch with their progress and let you know if it works!

 

Anyone else tried this? did it work?

 

Inge

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Yes Inge I have come across this often (pre tutoring) and yes it does work sometimes. However, one spanner in the works is that I used to work with many many families who couldn't read in their own language either, and its really important to know this about your community because sending home a book wriiten in two language a parent can't read can be even worse than sending one home in just English.

 

Weused to run workshops with our parents on how to use pictures in books to tell stories in their own language, becuase many of the cultures represented in our school were story telling rather than story reading cultures. And our parents often didnt realise the importance of story telling on their childs literacy development

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Thanks Mundia.. I know our parents are Ok to read to their children, they have helped us with translation of information , (and some are helping to proof read stuff from LEA!)

 

but will inform the setting to be aware of this problem...

 

Inge

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