[lg policy] Speak your best language at home

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 11 14:29:54 UTC 2013

Speak your best language at home, expert advises

Expert says that's the best way to get kids to learn a language

  Published on Jun 11, 2013
6:26 AM





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By Pearl Lee

IF YOU want your child to be good in English, speak the language at home.

That theory, however, may not always work, according to a linguistics

Young children benefit more when parents converse with them in the language
they are strongest in, rather than the one they hope their children will
excel in, said Associate Professor Xiao Lan Curdt- Christiansen from the
National Institute of Education.

"Some parents here have the mentality that if they want their kids to be
good in a certain language, they will speak to their child in that
language, even if they can't speak it well themselves," said the expert,
who has conducted research on family language policy and how it affects a
child's literacy development.

Background story

*From Babble to Babel workshop*

HOW can parents help their children juggle two languages?

What goes on in the mind of a bilingual child?

These were some topics discussed yesterday at a workshop on early childhood
bilingualism, which focused on Singapore's education environment.

Some 70 members of the public participated in the workshop, which was part
of the international symposium on languages organised by the Nanyang
Technological University.

The one-day "From Babble to Babel" workshop was sponsored by the Lee Kuan
Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

It was led by a panel of seven experts, including Associate Professor Xiao
Lan Curdt-Christiansen, who shared their insights on the various topics.

The purpose of the workshop was to highlight the potential and challenges
of raising children who are bilingual.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann said the workshop,
which focused on parents and caregivers, "can help young children better
adapt to and benefit from the bilingual environments in which they grow up
more at:

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