If your child's first language is not English, he or she can
still become an excellent English reader and writer. Your
baby is on the way to successful English reading if she is
beginning to learn many words and is interested in learning
to read in her first language. You can help by supporting
her in her first language as she learns English. Talk with
her, read with her, encourage her to draw and write.
other words, do the same kinds of activities just discussed,
but do them in your child's first language.
When your child first enters school, talk with her teacher.
Teachers welcome such talks. They even have sign-up times
early in the year, though usually you may ask for a meeting
at any time. If you feel that you need some support in
meeting with the teacher, ask a relative, neighbor, or
someone else in your community to go with you.
When you do meet, tell the teacher the things that you are
doing at home to strengthen your child's speaking and
reading in her own language. Let the teacher know how
important you child's reading is to you and ask for support
for your efforts. Children who can switch back and forth
between languages have accomplished something special. They
should be praised and encouraged as they work for this
Anil Vij is the creator of the ultimate parenting toolbox,
which has helped parents all over the world raise smarter,
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