day 219: strong current

A good speech therapist will encourage a bilingual student to continue learning her home language when she is at home.  The mother and father should take a strong lead in engaging the child in that language that they feel the most proficient in.  A strong lead.  A strong example of language usage.

At school we will teach the child in English, and the child will become fluent in both, eventually.  This still amazes me.  It is like a magician's trick.  I will reach my hand into this hat and pull out a cute little brunette girl that can spit out any English idiom that your little blond sister can!  And she will do it with confidence and certainty.

But we will never ask the parents to only use English at home.  These kids need to hear a lot of words.  They need to be read to.  They need to be talked to.  By mothers and fathers who feel good about their own culture and language.  So please, no apologies about the lack of English at home.  You help with the flooding of your own words, and I will help with the flooding of mine.  And your child can build the boat all by herself. 


Robin | March 26, 2010 at 12:34 AM


Dona | March 26, 2010 at 1:00 AM

Amazing. We have children interpret for their parents at the library. It amazes me. Do they know how brilliant they are?

Joanie | March 26, 2010 at 9:57 AM

I wish everyone believed this.

kanishk | March 26, 2010 at 2:41 PM

It amazes me.
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amber_mtmc | March 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Like Joanie, I really wish people more people felt the same way. I am worn out from all the disparaging remarks sent the immigrant's direction, purely because they don't know English. Arrrrgh.

Jenny | March 26, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Well said!

Luann | March 29, 2010 at 6:16 AM

Great post. Joan and Amber took the words right out of my head.