Home Learning and Support for Parents and Children with English as an Additional Language
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By Lorelli Mojica

The impact of this pandemic has been felt by all children, but children who are new to English or are new to the UK will have felt an impact differently. Help support parents and children with EAL with these simple tips and activities.

Child learning English at home

All practitioners and school staff are working extremely hard to meet the needs of every pupil, to give the best possible provision and opportunities for home learning. It is now, more than ever, that schools have needed collaborative support from the child’s key adults at home to ensure successful learning outcomes.

Many parents have felt anxious about home learning for various reasons. For some parents of children with EAL, additional worries about home learning may be due to:
  • Unfamiliarity with expectations in the UK school system
  • Difficulty in understanding and supporting their child with the tasks set due to limited English skills

The Bell Foundation website has produced a simple breakdown that explains the UK school system in 18 different languages, which will be very useful for parents newly arrived in the UK.

Home Learning Using Home Languages

Another worry of parents may be that their child will lose the early English skills that they have already acquired. They may also feel that their children are missing out on important speaking opportunities to develop their English. Make parents aware of the importance of using their home language and the benefits that this has to build the foundations for their child’s language. Research has shown that children learning English as a second language learn faster and more effectively when they have developed skills in their home language.

Talk Time Together

Promote the importance of parents having conversations with their children. This has always been important, but now, when social interactions are limited, it is vital. Not making time for conversations in a child’s strongest language will hinder the child’s progress in learning a second language like English. Encourage parents to help develop their child’s language by encouraging them to give answers to questions as simple sentences rather than one-word answers. Encourage them to practise their skills of a two-way conversation.

Listening Not Lost

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  1. Donjojag71
    on 17 February 2021

    Superb!

    Thank you very much for taking the time to remember the EAL learners trying
    to work at home during lockdown. It has been very difficult being disassociated
    from these learners. This resource will be so helpful in may ways. I can take
    ideas and hopefully develop them in the best way possible. I'm sure the learners will love
    the activities.

    5out of 5