Many students and families in our Churchlands PS community can communicate in two (or more!) languages. It is so important to maintain first languages skills (often referred to as mother tongue, home or heritage language) as it has great benefits to the child. Families do this in different ways – sometimes only speaking English out of the home, or one parent always speaking in their first language. Meals together may be decided to be in either English or the first language, depending on the occasion.
Children often code-switch (mixing their home language and English in the same sentence) as they build their language skills. Children usually maintain oral language skills in their home language but decline in reading/written skills.
I found this article very interesting when bringing up children in a bilingual home and wanted to share it with you. Raising a bilingual child in Australia: Benefits, facts and tips (sbs.com.au)
Remember that your child may borrow from the languages section in the library. Under the Harmony Arch, we have a collection of bilingual books in many different languages. We add new books to this collection every year!
Mrs Sasha Key – EALD/ESL Teacher