Though most teachers of all-English Language Learner classes understand the importance of supporting the home languages of their students, many other educators and community members are less familiar with its importance. I thought it would be useful to bring together a few related resources, and I’d love for readers to contribute more (you might also be interested in The Best Resources For International Mother Language Day) :
I’m going to start off with links to a recent three-part series on the topic that appeared at my Education Week Teacher column:
The Home Language: An English Language Learner’s Most Valuable Resource is from Colorin Colorado.
Fostering Literacy Development in English Language Learners is also from Colorin Colorado and includes a section on home languages.
“But What If I Don’t Know English?” is another great resource from Colorin Colorado, and it’s available in Spanish and and in English. It shares ideas on how parents who don’t speak English can still help their children develop literacy skills.
4 Reasons Parents Should Speak Heritage Languages at Home is a useful article for teachers who have immigrant students.
How has language shaped your world? is an important feature from The Los Angeles Times that shares answers from readers to the question: How has language shaped your world?
I’m probably the youngest kid ever to be kicked out of first grade. Born in Seattle to immigrant parents, I was kicked out one school day in 1952 for not being able to speak English. My parents wanted me to be bilingual in Cantonese and English, but that was not to be. To get me back in school, they had to promise never to speak Chinese in our presence. They kept their promise and I ended up with fractured Cantonese.