A bilingual child is a successful child
What is bilingual?
Bilingualism is the ability of speaking and understanding two languages.
Bilingual people are often able to orient themselves and detect hidden patterns and figures more easily.
A bilingual person can
Speak, read and write fluently in two languages.
Speak and read in one language, but only speak another.
Speak and read in one language, but understand to some extent what is said in another.
What are the benefits of being bilingual?
Bilingual people are more creative and flexible in their thinking.
Academically successful, as they use knowledge skills and strategies from both languages.
Awareness of their own cultural origin and sensitivity to other cultures.
Better employment, education and social opportunities in later life.
Bilingualism encourages a strong sense of belonging, identity and confidence in speaking in English and their heritage language.
Ten Top Tips for being Bilingual
1. Speak your language or languages as much as possible.
2. Tell your traditional stories, rhymes, poems and sayings to your children. Talk to them about your family, culture and history.
3. Write to family and friends.
4. Read books together.
5. Watch programmes or movies together in your own language. (New Lynn library or You Tube).
6. Help your children with homework in your language from their school, club, church, temple or mosque.
7. Sing songs.
8. Have fun!! Play music and traditional games in your language.
9. Put up posters, alphabets or charts in your language.
10. Explain to your children the benefits of having more than one language.
Cultural Diversity at New Lynn School
Cultural diversity at New Lynn School is celebrated. We are culturally diverse reflecting our local community of New Lynn. We have bilingual staff members speaking Te Reo Maori, Hindi, Filipino, Samoan, Afrikaans, Chinese, and Spanish, and a NZ sign language interpretor. All cultures within the school are valued and accepted through active encouragement of an inclusive school culture and ethos.
This diversity is another step towards growing up in a multi-cultural multilingual society.
New Lynn Primary School Cultural Diversity
Further Readings on the benefits of being bilingual
Baker, C. (2007). A parents’ and teachers’ guide to bilingualism. Clevedon, England; Mutlilingual