Bilingualism and Home Language

SEI/301 Erica Flores

What is Bilingualism and Home Language?

Bilingualism is a student's ability to speak two languages.

Home language is a student's native language he or she is raised with at home; first language learned

• Sociocultural aspects for bilingual students in the classroom

  • Simultaneous exposed to language at school and home
  • Communicate efficiently with individuals of different backgrounds and culture
  • Become aware of different communication strategies
  • Become culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Gain confidence in language for both L1 and L2.

• Cultural impact of bilingualism and home language use

  • Students become culturally diverse in both languages
  • Gain perspective of both languages, (relate to emotions and feelings of language)
  • Prepares all students to be open minded to learn even more languages
  • Teach students the value of language: communication among home, school, traditions, customs, around the world

• Strategies and resources for cultivating home and school partnerships

  • Teachers encourage home language use at home and school
  • Show interest and respect
  • Influence collaboration- phone calls, notes home, email, meetings
  • Welcome diversity- Language is valued and appreciated
  • Books, computer links, family night, community resources,
  • Maintain safe environment in the classroom
  • Gain trust of parents, encourage family involvement, develop strong teacher-student bond
  • Educate parents on expanding language skills and how they can be useful in the future

• Strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of the home and school partnerships

  • Emphasize importance of communication: praises/concerns
  • Educate parents to obtain information: district website, teacher created website, notes home, US Department of Education
  • Take the time to meet with families
  • Show you care: translator, meaningful feedback, positive attitude, provide quality education
  • Show support

The role of leadership in cultivating a positive home and school partnership for ELL students

  • Advocate for programs and trainings
  • Get teachers educated about the ELL population in their area
  • Important resource: bilingual teachers, community
  • Integrate diverse cultural traditions in your classroom
  • Keep communication strong
  • Have an open door to families
  • Maintain professionalism

Resources (n.d.). Engaging ELL families: 20 Strategies for School Leaders. Retrieved from Adolescent Literacy Resource for Parents and Educators of Kids in Grades 4-12:

Genesse, F. (2012). The Home Language: An English Language Learner's Most Valuable Resource. Retrieved from Colorin Colorado: