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Hello All,

We have a child starting in September who has some English, but is fluent in Japenese. Her mum told us today that she will get frustrated if she says things in English e.g. when looking at colours - if her mum says yellow, she gets hysterical and doesn't want to do it - similarly with other objects.

I would like to get everything in place for September, so wondered if anyone has any ideas for best duel language books, equipment etc. to make life easier for her for when she starts. Any other tips would be much appreciated.


Thank you



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The best tip I can give is not to push her to say things until she is ready. however frustrating that may seem. she will have to go through the stages of first silence then understanding but not saying then saying words she is comfortable with. she will say things when she feels happy saying those words. lots of praise when she say the right words. I have learnt a foreign language and it is horrible to be put on the spot. Don't think of it a a foreign languge but as the same as a young child learning any language. use the same principles. give her 6 months and she'll be chattering like any other child. good luck.

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Thanks Steph,

This will be the first child we have had in the group that isn't fluent in English. It's quite exciting really (shame I won't be there!!!), but I want the rest of the staff to be confident in knowing that I have given them the best start to support her. As you said, she may be quiet, we have varying degrees of speech difficulties within the group already, so will just work with her along the same lines and with plenty of mum's support.

Thanks again



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we often havie several children with different languages 4 different ones at present, can be a very interesting session!!


Give the child time to settle into the group with no pressure, allow time to learn people, routines, etc. use signs and gestures to help.

Use good english, by that i mean clear and simple when takling to her. Children learn language well from good role models.

Do not make her speak english...allow her time and she will eventually want to. Providing her language skills are good in her first language (ask mum)

Ask parents for a few works in her language which you can use with her and the others. we always find head shoulders knees and toes fits in with most languages never tried japanese though (ask parents for words and write them phonetically)

encourage parents to continue her own language at home so she can remain in touch/aware of her own culture

We also often do a picture board / page of colours, numbers and one of other familiar and important phrases we may need in both languages with pictures to help us with some of the communication problems


enchanted learning japanese picture dictionary


Allow her to use her own language and we find using simple phrases such as hello and goodbye in their language helpful with them. Discuss with children about lanuages and explain thqat she still has to learn to speak to them but that she may be able to understand what they are saying even if they do not understand her yet. (we have several chatterboxes in portuguese and malayalam at present they tell you lots but often cannot work out what they tell us, now thier language is sprinked with english words and phrases and it is easier)


Hope this helps a bit,


dual text books Mantra Lingua

they have some in japanese.


Good luck with the preparations



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