Community Village

 

Download resource

Please enter your details to download this resource
Login
Family studying in mother tongue

We are all faced with very different learning situations at the moment and home learning has become the current norm. The challenges it poses are significant. Parents often have limited time available to support learners, limited understanding of where to start, sometimes a lack of technological know-how in accessing online classrooms - or even a lack of access to an online environment altogether. These issues are exacerbated amongst parents with limited understanding of the school language. Whilst some parents are well ahead, their language-learning counterparts are facing the huge task of supporting a child who is learning in a language they aren't confident in speaking themselves.

The importance of the mother tongue

There is a large body of research showing that the use of mother tongue benefits second language development. Learners are more likely to be successful in English (or any language) if they use what they know in their mother tongue to help them with their new language (Cummins, 2000). 

"In the process of learning English, children's primary cultural and linguistic identities should not be submerged, nor should the process of learning a new language and culture be a one-way journey away from family and community."
Gibbons, 2015.

The impact of using mother tongue to discuss learning at home

Working from home provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to support the development of a learner's home language. The chance for learners to discuss learning in their home language provide learners with:

  • additional confidence in their school work, in both languages
  • additional vocabulary in both languages​
  • valuable time spent thinking and working in their home language, using this as a support for articulating themselves in English
  • support in reading in their home language (perhaps on curriculum topics)

​Our Parent Information Card, which gives parents some key questions they can ask in their home language, can be downloaded by clicking on the button below.

References:

Cummins, J (2000) Language, Power and Pedagogy Bilingual Children in the Crossfire.​ Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

​Gibbons, P. (2015) Scaffolding Learning: Teaching Second Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Further learning - Blog

Created: Sun 2nd Feb 2014

Instantly translate printed words using an app!

Check this: Word Lens 

Created: Mon 6th Nov 2017

Academia Británica Cuscatleca (ABC) in El Salvador joined the Learning Village in April 2015.  However, they weren't fully active across Upper Primary until Communication Across Cultures came to their school in February this year to give an inset on EAL. 

Since then, they have used the Learning Village to support learners with accessing some of the basics of English as well as the curriculum content needed to help them to be successful in their lessons.

Image of a waterfall
Created: Wed 3rd Jan 2018

"One look is worth a thousand words." Barnard (1921), Chinese proverb.

Images are powerful as they can usually be interpreted regardless of the language spoken.

Have a look at this image:

Someone sitting alone isn’t always negative. A title can make all the difference. For example, ‘Hope!’ What does this picture mean to you? ‘Alone!’ Now what does it mean?