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Is it important for young English language learners to read dual language text?

It can be helpful for learners to read texts in both languages. It can provide a quick reference to aid comprehension and fosters an appreciation of the languages. It can be used creatively as a shared reading teaching tool in a bilingual setting. However, it is not a necessary part of learning the language. Often young learners will read one language and ignore the other. Additionally, if the majority language is English, this tends to reduce the desire to read in a minority language. Controversially, English quite frequently becomes the favoured language of choice due to its dominance/status in environments where English is widely used.

Further learning - Blog

Created: Wed 6th May 2015

This morning my 4 year old woke up and said, "Mummy, there are two languages, child's language and adult language". I asked her what she meant and she explained that when her friend was crying the teacher told her to read her the "owl" book. She then said, "The teacher reads the words but the child changes it." A young child may not be able to read, or retell the story using the actual words but often can retell it in their own words. A bit like a translation, as my daughter illustrated. The key factor is not the actual words, but the story behind the words.

Created: Wed 11th Oct 2023

I have taught ESOL (English for speakers of other languages who live in an English-speaking environment) for over 15 years. Many of my students have recently moved to England. Their reasons for learning English have varied greatly; from learning it out of necessity to learning it just for fun. Likewise, their learning backgrounds have been vastly different. Some students have had very little or recent education, while others have had higher education.  

Behaviour assessment using smiley flashcards
Created: Wed 15th Jun 2022

Getting behaviour 'right' is crucially important for all schools. Ensuring that we have a 'fit for purpose' behaviour policy that caters for all pupils throughout their schooling - including EAL pupils - is vital for the feel and culture of our schools, as well as for allowing pupils to feel safe and be in the right environment to learn to their full potential.