Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Supporting Child From Non-english Speaking Family


shortica
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello - can anyone offer help with this? I am the key worker for a child who comes to our setting twice a week. When he started I believed he was learning English as a second language as one parent is eastern European and the other is French. I looked for appropriate resources but they were mainly about supporting the languages at homes and inclusion, and at a recent meeting with his mother she was adamant that only English is used at home and that it is his first language. We are respecting this choice, and although the boy is not at the same stage as his peers, he is making good progress and we have no concerns about him. He is happy, settled and his comprehension is good, but his mother feels he could be doing better. My problem is that I suspect his delay is because her language is ok but not fluent and her accent is strong (I do not know about his father as we never see him to speak to). We have given them first picture dictionaries and copies of the nursery rhymes we use most as she asked, but it would help to have someone with experience of this situation suggest ideas for a learning journey or IPP. Many thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have loads of children like this ! have you tried speaking a few words in french? whats his reaction? we use makaton to support all our children as we have loads of different languages (and i cant speak all of them yet!) How old is he? i suspect that although they may only be speaking english their enunciation, pronounciation and intonation will all be slightly different than a native English speaker. I would also say two sessions a week is very little in comparison to the time he spends at home...you can only do so much! as to ideas i have very few other than lots of modelling speech and lots and lots of speaking and listening repeatative stories and rhymes are a great way of going...are both the languages at home latin languages? if not then he will probably take longer to assimilate the english as the phonic sounds are so different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work in a bilingual nursery. We have a one person one language policy. The children spend the morning or afternoon with either French or English 'teaching' team.

 

We have many trilingual as well as bilingual children. One girl who is 3.5 years old who came to the UK in December last year from France only has French spoken to her at home. She initially responded to us in French all the time, now she responds in English and uses it spontaneously as well.

 

Other children have gone through the silent period and are now beginning to use both languages to the appropriate staff. It's amazing.

If the child is understanding as I think you said he was then it is not that important that he uses language to respond or in fact that he responds in English. In time he should begin to use language but it is totally normal for children who are immersed in a new language to have silent periods.

 

Using Makaton with all children all the time is a good idea and also activities, songs and stories with repetitive language as it drums the message home.

 

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your suggestions everybody! I found them helpful. I am also going to try and persuade the mother that his slower language development is normal in this particular situation and that she and we will have to cooperate together more to support him in future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The current module of my foundation degree is "communication in a multilingual society". From the background reading I've done so far the implication is that it is important that children are encouraged to communicate in their first language alongside developing a second language, i.e. English. As Wendles outlines it is completely 'normal' for a child to go through a 'silent' or 'non verbal' stage. I realise you say that mum has said she wants only to use English with her child. However, if you were able to outline to her some of the benefits to the child of his bilingualism, including improved cognitive ability, she may well reconsider.

 

Publications to support you include: 'Supporting identity, diversity and language in the early years' by Siraj-Blatchford, I. (2000), 'The Bilingual child: Early Development and Language Contact' by Yip, V and Matthews, S (2004), as well as Tina Bruce (2005) chapters in 'Developing Learning in Early Childhood'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry but i disagree with Sam a bit here (not in the thoery) this family are very definately saying he is only speaking English and therefore that is the language you have to assume he needs support in. I was thinking about my practise in this respect as i wasnt very helpful with suggestions but i think that is because i dont really do anything out of the ordinary :o He just needs more help with his skills, lots of open ended questions/listening and following instructions/books and rhymes/supported play to communicate with others etc i think word dictionaries can be a bit'dangerous' as it puts children under pressure to answer ....and you dont want to end up with a reluctant speaker!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)