Resources when home language isn't English
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    Default Resources when home language isn't English

    I'm here to draw on your experiences of looking after a child whose home language isn't English.

    The child has just turned 2 and has been coming here for a few months now. At home her parents speak to her in their language and here I obviously speak to her in English. Her communication skills are good. I use a lot of non verbal communication with her - facial expression, hand gestures, tone of voice etc, and she understands a lot of what I'm try to convey. She takes my hand to take me to something she wants and points at things she can't reach. She interacts well without needing me to understand what she's saying.

    Her speech is very clear although I don't understand the words if she says something in her home language. The letter sounds are all very clear though and parents tell me she uses lots of word at home. She has started to use some English words here, which is great. So overall I have no worries about her S&L development.

    What I do wonder about are the resources I should be providing for her. I know at one time childminders would get books in the home language, put up posters, picture cards etc, but I've always been a bit sceptical about that. If the child can't read and if I can't read books in that language, I've never seen the benefit. If the child spoke a language I could read and pronounce then I'd have no problem doing it, but I don't see the point of me attempting to read a book in a language that I can't pronounce.
    How do you promote the home language? Do you use books and posters? Do you do anything else or do you just concentrate on speaking English?

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    When I had a child who’s home language wasn’t English I got some books from the library. I also leant some of there home language words. Wouldn’t know them now! But other than that that was it, he spoke English with me.

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    i've never had a child who didn't have english as a first language.

    I agree, i've always thought that putting up posters/etc in native language isn't that helpful, especially if child isn't old enough to read! I would carry on as you are, with lots of opportunity for the child to communicate.

    I do have picture books in several languages and a few stories, sometimes we have a try at saying the word, but more usually we talk about how the writing looks different in the book. I do have a couple of 'say hello around the world' type of books, and the children enjoy saying Hello in all the different languages. ( I'm not very good at languages, but I can just about manage hello. ) I did have a CD of songs in different languages, but would probably use Youtube now. Could you perhaps find Youtube videos of stories being read in the child's first language? ( could the parents point you in the right direction? ) Not so much that you 'need' to, but more so that the child sees that you value their own language, and for the other children as well ... almost for them to experience what it is like for the child learning english with you? It might be nice if they had a simple song that you could all learn?

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    So far we’ve learned Mummy, Daddy, hello and goodbye. The 3 year olds are fascinated to know this child speaks another language at home. They’ve heard her parents talking to her and they’re amazed by it. The mum has sent a few treats for the children to share as well, which is wonderful. They’re learning so much from her being here.

    I asked mum to let me know what mindee’s favourite songs are so I’ve found them on YouTube. Finding a story in the home language sounds a good idea as well. It doesn’t sound as if I’m missing out on anything obvious, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing

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