Multilingual Learner News

Important News for Multilingual Learners at Lake Bluff

24 September 2021

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Happy autumn, Lake Bluff multilingual families!

Students are getting into their routines here at school, after our first 5-day week of the school year. The weather changed this week and gave us some days that felt more like fall. Make sure your students are bringing warm clothes so they can be warm and dry at recess time, including boots on rainy, cold, or snowy days.

Read on for information about:

  • Code Switching: What is it, and why do we do it?
  • Moon Festival
  • Job Opening at Lake Bluff: Multilingual Learner Aide
  • Talking Points App Reminder
  • Lunch Menu
  • Calendar (there are a few NO SCHOOL days in October)

If you would to see this newsletter TRANSLATED, please use the TRANSLATE button. (If you are viewing in your email, you may need to click on VIEW IT IN YOUR BROWSER above.)

Take care and be safe,

Jennifer Conigliaro

Multilingual Learner (ML) Teacher

Code Switching - What is it, and why do people do it?

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In conversations with parents, many have shared with me that they notice their child switching between languages, often within the same sentence. This is a normal part of language acquisition and use. There are times when a speaker may not know the word in one language, but there are also many times when the word in one language is a "better fit." This might be because the word better matches the intended meaning, or it might better fit the context of the conversation.

According to the linked article from Bilingual Kidspot, code switching is an important linguistic tool: "Rather than indicating a lack of ability, or laziness, code-switching in children is usually a sign of them using all the resources in their brains to get their meaning across."

Bilingual Kidspot is always a great place for information about raising bilingual children, and you can read more in this article: Code Switching - A Sophisticated Linguistic Tool

Moon Festival

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To everyone who celebrated this past week, I hope everyone had a lovely time celebrating the Moon Festival.

This was a holiday that I just learned of this year. For those who celebrate, it is an important day. The Moon Festival is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It is celebrated in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Vietnam. People in other Southeast Asian countries such as Japan and Korea celebrate a similar festival. This article from the York News Times explains more about the festival, comparing its celebration to the U.S. Thanksgiving.

If you or your family has information about the celebration, or pictures of your own celebrations, and you would be interested in sharing them with students at our school, please feel free to share with me at

Also, as a reminder, if your family is celebrating a holiday that is not marked by a day off of school, you can call the office and report the day as an excused absence. Just let us know that your child will be absent and why.

Pass the word! Job Opening at Lake Bluff: Multilingual Learner (ML) Aide

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Lake Bluff is now seeking qualified applicants for the position of multilingual learner (ML) aide. The position is 5.5 hours per day. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in education, language learning, or proficiency in the languages of Nepali, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, or Japanese. Interested candidates should apply on the WECAN web site.

Talking Points App for Teacher Communication: Reminder

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Last week, you received your first text from me through the Talking Points app. Some parents have already used it to ask questions and offer feedback. You can read more about Talking Points by clicking here. The Talking Points app allows the teacher to send texts to families, and it will automatically translate my text into your preferred language. Families can also text me using their preferred language, and I will see it in English. I will use this app to send important reminders to families about events at Lake Bluff. Please let me know how it is working for you!

You can reply to my texts on your own texting app. If you like, you can also download the Parent version of the Talking Points app. Let me know if you need an invitation. My class code is NBMARo.

You can find more detailed instructions here:





Simplified Mandarin Chinese



Traditional Chinese / Cantonese



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This year, school lunch is free for ALL FAMILIES. Your child will have two choices each day for lunch. They will tell their teacher their choice when they arrive at school in the morning.

Students may also bring their own lunch to school if you prefer.

Calendar: Note there are 3 NO SCHOOL days in October

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October has a few days where there is NO SCHOOL. There is NO SCHOOL at Lake Bluff on the following days:

  • Friday, 15 October
  • Thursday, 21 October
  • Friday, 22 October
  • There is also no school for K4 students ONLY on Wednesday, 20 October.

You can click on this link to see the full school calendar. Each event is labeled as follows:

  • LB = Lake Bluff Elementary School
  • ATW = Atwater Elementary School
  • SIS = Shorewood Intermediate School
  • SHS = Shorewood High School
  • ALL SCHOOLS = applies to all 4 schools in the district

Look for events labelled LB or ALL SCHOOLS for your child.