Supporting bilingualism at home
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the gift of two (or more!) languages. Here are some ideas on how to foster and maintain your home language with your child:
- Read books with or tell stories to your child in your language
- Talk about the stories you have read together
- Play rhyming games and sing songs from your language/culture together (Example: I'm thinking of an animal that rhymes with hat: cat)
- Play around with the sounds in your child's name. Ask him or her to say words that begin with the same sound- like José, jugar, jabón.
- Encourage your child to write in your language
- Keep print material written in your home language in your home such as books, greeting cards, magazines, and newspapers
- Expose your child to games, puzzles, and music in your home language
- Encourage your child to use your home language to tell you about their day, stories they heard, stories they create, etc.
- Expand your child’s vocabulary in your language by teaching him/her new words, pointing out and naming objects, and helping him/her improve pronunciation
- Visit the public library regularly to check out books and other resources in your language
- Help your child with reading in English by pointing out similarities and differences in letters, sounds, print, etc. in your language and English when possible