How Can I Support My Student in Dual Language Immersion?
Whether you speak the immersion language or not, the best way to support your student is by creating a supportive learning environment in the language of the home. This literacy-rich foundation is built as you read, write, listen, and talk to your student in your own language and culture, building a bond of learning with them.
- Support your student in the language of the home. Read WITH them and TO them in your native language EVERY day.
- Ask your student open-ended questions about what they are learning in school. Encourage curiosity by teaching them to question the world around them.
- Emphasize the value of acquiring another language. Applaud their efforts in the language immersion.
- Help your student develop effective study skills. Ask your teacher how much homework to expect and regularly set aside time to work on it. Remember that homework is the student’s responsibility and encourage them to be accountable by following up with them later.
- Become involved in your student’s school experience by volunteering in the immersion classroom or helping with materials, activities, or field trips.
- Extend cultural experiences beyond the classroom. Take your child to a local event such as a Portuguese festival, a Spanish restaurant, or a Chinese New Year party.
- Expose your student to the language through technology and media. Use apps, movies, TV, or internet to increase the amount of time your student spends engaging in the immersion language. For example, watch a favorite movie in French instead of English, or listen to Portuguese music or Spanish books on CD.
- As your student grows, consider participating in an exchange or work program, summer language camp, or a family vacation to another country.
(Based on suggestions from French Immersion in Manitoba: A Handbook for School Leaders)