All practitioners should value linguistic diversity and provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning. This is part of respecting each child’s cultural background and help pupils settle in.
The home languages should be acknowledged and valued. Attempting to learn a few words or phases would be beneficial and parents would usually be very happy to assist in this.
Children should have the opportunity to express themselves and access dual language materials. Otherwise three or four years of language development can be easily disregarded. Research has shown that learning another language can greatly enhance thinking skills.
Maintaining and developing L1 (first language) skills will not hinder the acquisition of English. Skills learned in one language are transferable to another.
Parents should be reassured that maintaining and developing the home language will support learning English. Children benefit from bilingualism.