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cleverclowns
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We are in the process of settling in a child who is from Iran. He cannot speak or understand any english, however his parents can. His family speak Farsi - Persian.

 

Can anyone suggest any websites to translate Farsi to English so we can ease him into nursery gently. I have suggested to parents that they bring a family picture in and I am looking for some photo timetables etc?

 

Any help welcomed :P

Edited by cleverclowns
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might be a good idea to speak to his parents and get them to help you compile a list of commonly used words in their family and what the translation, and more importantly, the correct pronunciation is. Do you do home visits? maybe you could write a list together at this time.

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  • A family photo is a really good idea. You could build on this by getting the parents to take photos of the child's favourite toys, his room , any books/ toys, special places in the house/ garden and any 'survival objects or things' - e.g water, drink, toilet, sleep, sad, happy, family friends/ pets/ car..... laminate and keep at nursery
  • Pictures of the route the take from home to nursery. A story of what home is like and his journey to and from nursery. You could also do a similar thing and give this to his parents to use at home - oh and pictures of the staff at the nursery especially him and his key person together. These are great opportunities for talking/ communicating.

I agree with max321 about pronunciation - its really crucial that you get this right lest you impoverish the child's first language skills.

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I also agree that damage can be done if we mispronounce the first language, HOWEVER, whilst I acknowledge (and deliver) that play opportunities in the first language are very important, 100% of our EAL families have told us that they want us to focus on English, not their first language and we have 14 langugaes spoken in our nursery so it is not feasible that we can correctly pronounce the same words in 14 languages, how do other settings manage this? And also with regards to our parents who speak EAL, their prounuciation of English words is often not correct but we get the general meaning, if I told them I didnt understand therefore could not do what they ask then I would be discriminating, yet if I mispronounce their first language I am harming their child's development??? *********sigh***********

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not sure why this post has lines through it? but here it is again!

 

I also agree that damage can be done if we mispronounce the first language, HOWEVER, whilst I acknowledge (and deliver) that play opportunities in the first language are very important, 100% of our EAL families have told us that they want us to focus on English, not their first language and we have 14 langugaes spoken in our nursery so it is not feasible that we can correctly pronounce the same words in 14 languages, how do other settings manage this? And also with regards to our parents who speak EAL, their prounuciation of English words is often not correct but we get the general meaning, if I told them I didnt understand therefore could not do what they ask then I would be discriminating, yet if I mispronounce their first language I am harming their child's development??? *********sigh***********

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Well being a faith group we probably dont have as many EAL as most others do but even we now have Polish, Rumanian, Italian, Tamil, Ibu (sp) Portuguese & one other couple of others I cant remember. So around 8 other languages. Impossible for us to remember and pronounce correctly key words in all these languages- we have an Italian speaking member of staff and a Spanish member of staff (dont actually have any Spanish children!!) Oh and a couple of Gaelic speaking (odd words)

 

Like caffinefreak has said, it is just not feasible to speak to them in their own language and not one single parent has ever asked us to. Without exception they all want their children speaking English.

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....Speak to the child in English in the setting and encourage parents to speak the home language at home.

 

We only encourage the use of the home literacies in our setting to help the child settle in (survival words) e.g tired, sleep, drink, hungry. eta etc. Its not to teach them their home language, far from it. English in the setting, home language at home.

Where parents have EAL and they try and use/teach their child English, the child's language will become impoverished.

 

We always and strongly encourage parents with EAL to strengthen the use of the home language because a child with a strong foundation in the home language will have a better foundation in the speaking and understanding English. If the home language is weakened by parents who have little English the child's understanding of English will be weak.

 

As a practitioner teach the use of English, only incorporate other languages to aid understanding. Like you said how can you possibly learn 20 languages? Dont forget the power of pictures in aiding communication. In my experience, I have always spoken to children in English and very rarely have had to ask for a list of words from parents or create books. Its extreme situations like managing a child's behaviour or in the first weeks of settling a distressed child. Otherwise before long they are laerning from observing their peers.

 

Rightly so that parents want their child to learn to speak in English. The only issue I have is when parents who cant speak English or have very little English insist on teaching and speaking to their child in English!!

 

I may have come across these already, found them really useful:

 

 

http://www.naldic.org.uk/Resources/NALDIC/Teaching%20and%20Learning/Documents/EYFSStrategies.pdf

 

http://www.naldic.org.uk/Resources/NALDIC/Teaching%20and%20Learning/ealeyfsguidance.pdf

 

 

If you would like the research, I have tons of journal papers I can forward to you that you can share with your parents/ staff (who have EAL) who may insist on speaking English to their child at home. ;)

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"1.8 For children whose home language is not English, providers must take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home. Providers must also ensure that children have sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS, ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin Year 1. When assessing communication, language and literacy skills, practitioners must assess children’s skills in English. If a child does not have a strong grasp of English language, practitioners must explore the child’s skills in the home language with parents and/or carers, to establish whether there is cause for concern about language delay."

 

So you do what is reasonable, you support their learning of English but you also recognise their competencies in their own languages. I was in a school reception class this week and the children had all learned the different ways that children in the class said hello - and all used them in answering the class register, with the teacher using the one the child selected to greet the next child....It was normalising the use of other languages which I see as important.

 

I'm unsure where the theory that "mispronouncing" words harms a child's language development comes from...I've studied working with EAL children for years and never seen that - is there any reference point to share?

I've found in practice that mostly children just laughed at my mangled attempts to pronounce something - although I'm pretty good at hello in Cantonese now because of a very patient 4 year old. Equally because I used spanish (very rusty spanish) with my South American families they were more likely to use their home language in the setting possibly because it had "permission" because I used it too.

 

Cx

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