EAL

English as an Additional Language 

Speaking in your home language

At Ringway we recognise that it is very important for children learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) to continue to use their first language at home.

  • First languages help families share values, traditions and cultural identities. If children can speak and write in their first language, they can make new friends in their community and keep in touch with family and friends in their own country or region.
  • Children who can speak another language can also learn English better because they see when words are similar (or have a similar meaning). They can also use what they know about grammar and pronunciation in their first language to help them with English grammar and pronunciation. This is also the same for learning other languages.
  • Speaking more than one language improves thinking skills, memory and brain health
  • Employers value people who are good at languages so there will be more job opportunities

 

Ways to help you maintain your first language

  • Sing songs, tell stories and share books in your first language
  • Tell jokes, learn rhymes and have fun with language
  • Watch television programmes or DVDs and talk about what happened
  • Talk together at meal times. Use your first language.
  • Stay in contact with family and friends by talking together on Skype or writing messages on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.
  • Borrow dual (2) language books from the library for your child to read

 

What if my child refuses to speak our first language?

It is normal for children to prefer one language over another at different times especially outside of the home. Schools respect and value your first language and it is important for children to feel proud of their language and culture. Explain the importance of being bilingual to your child and keep speaking to them in the language you are most confident in.

 

The importance of reading with your child

Reading in any language is a valuable skill. Reading together in either your home language or in English is one of the biggest things you can do to help your child progress. Here are some tips on reading together in English.

Supporting parents of bilingual children with reading by Rochdale Council

 

Online resources for children learning English

 

Online resources for adults learning English

  • ESOL Nexus – a free website for people living in the UK to improve English and understand more about UK life and work
  • Learn English – a free website with games, stories, listening activities and grammar exercises
  • BBC Learning English – a free website where you can practice and improve your English

 

Guidance for Parents of EAL Students from The Bell Foundation

Guidance for Parents – Arabic

Guidance for Parents – Bengali

Guidance for Parents – Bulgarian

Guidance for Parents – Chinese

Guidance for Parents – English

Guidance for Parents – Gujarati

Guidance for Parents -Italian

Guidance for Parents -Latvian

Guidance for Parents – Lithuanian

Guidance for Parents – Polish

Guidance for Parents – Punjabi

Guidance for Parents – Romanian

Guidance for Parents -Russian

Guidance for Parents -Slovak

Guidance for Parents – Somali

Guidance for Parents -Spanish

Guidance for Parents -Turkish

Guidance for Parents – Urdu

 

 

 

 

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