How to Support Bilingualism in early Childhood
Bilingualism is very important. Although most people speak English in this country, there is not really a national language in the United States of America. However, speaking more than one language will, without a doubt, get you father. Many children that enter early childhood centers have another primary language. Although it is very important that all the children learn English, it is just as important that they do not lose their first language. Besides being able to keep close to your roots and communicate with your family, being bilingual can open doors professionally. This in itself is a great reason to make sure schools support bilingualism.
Accepting the child’s first language is a great step to show respect for the child and his culture and family. This acceptance is important in the early years, especially when the child first enters preschool / daycare. In showing tolerance and acknowledgement to the primary language, the child will feel comfortable in the classroom and this will make the transition to go much smoother. This article continues to explain ways in which educators and school staff can support bilingualism. Preschools and daycares play an important role in the lives of the children. The seeds we plant about bilingualism will grow forever in that child. As we accept and learn, so will the children. If we were to treat this in a negative manner, the children will perceive it that way as well.
Getting to know the families in our centers is imperative. Knowing what language they speak and where they come from is a sure way to make them feel secure and comfortable. As stated in the article, the attitudes of the staff are essential to supporting bilingualism. Making sure that staff members speak both English and another language (majority at center) is the first step in having a bilingual school/program. It is never “ok” to simply disregard the native...
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