Bilingualism and Home Language

Definitions

Bilingual: The ability to communicate in two languages.

Home Language: The language used in the home, or in the native country/area.

Importance

Research is showing that learning two languages at an early age helps with math and reading in English. One way this is happening is that by learning two languages, and using them in the correct settings makes looking at and and studying the sounds and rules of each more carefully. This skill generalizes into other academic areas.

Impact

Sociocultural

One of the biggest impacts comes from having to use English all day, with little or no time for the home language. Often children start losing ability in their native tongue in favor of English, but without the skills learned for their home language, it is more difficult to learn English than if both are used.

The cultural impact comes with the difficulties in continuing communications with family and people in the community.

There is also the idea that the home language is less important than English, or not valuable at all.

Importance of Leadership

Leadership is important: to organize and plan the bilingual instruction
to help the families with communication between them and school.
to keep the importance or each and all languages in the forefront.
to work with families and communities in educating the students.

Evaluating Home School Partnerships

The best way to do this is to observe the interactions of the students and their progress in both languages, and in academics. There should also be a better relationship between the school and the home.

It is also advisable to hear from the family on how their child/children are doing.