View Full Version : English as second language

26-08-2015, 11:13 AM
How can I help a LO who has English as a second language develop her vocabulary in her home language? She started with me at 22 months saying a couple of words in English and now at 26 months she is saying lots of words in English and starting to join 2 words together. She is saying a couple of words in her home language. Her mum has given me some key words in her language and a few books. The books aren't that helpful to me as they don't show the pronunciation. I bought a simple book which has pronunciations but she isn't interested as the pictures aren't very appealing! There are hardly any kids books available in her language and no CDs with children's songs. We have looked at nursery rhymes on youtube. Her mum says she tries to say words in her language but struggles.

Does anyone have any ideas?

26-08-2015, 11:58 AM
Sounds like you are doing lots already. Remember, we are not miracle workers so don't be too hard on yourself. You can help her 'language development' without speaking her own language, as language is more than vocabulary. Just make sure that you have a 'language rich' environment. Lots of age appropriate stories with props, toy telephones, productive interactions with adults/other children, etc etc. Maybe include some sign language alongside general conversation.

If the child is only saying a couple of words in her first language and 'struggles to say them' then this would suggest that it isn't the language that they actually use at home on a daily basis ...? I could be wrong.

You could always get the mum/dad/grandma to record themselves reading some of the stories that you have in your setting so that the child can listen to them at your house. That one takes a bit of work to set up.

Is there anyone at your local playgroup/sure start centre who speaks the same language as the child? Maybe they could help you with pronunciation. x

26-08-2015, 12:17 PM
Her Mum says its the only language she speaks at home - apart from when they read her books in English or she watches TV. Although I have seen them encourage her to speak English by repeating the words she says in English.