Strong parent involvement is so important for English Language Learners, for success in school and life in general. These students and their families often face a unique and significant hurdle that many other students don’t — the language barrier. Family members who have limited English ability or don’t speak English at all, simply feel they can’t be supportive of their child’s education. The good news is, they can be.
Here are several ways you can encourage parents to support their child’s mastery of the English language:
- Encourage parents to speak and read in their native language. Children who are fluent in their native language find it easier to learn the English language structure.
- Along with storytelling, parents can sing songs or take a picture walk through “wordless” picture books and discuss possible storylines.
- Reinforce the idea of engaging in meaningful conversation at home. Encourage dinner table discussions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. This will help develop language skills.
- Finally, don’t underestimate the value of television. Suggest that parents watch educational TV shows with their children. These programs not only promote English language literacy but also benefit both children and parents in language development.