Maintaining your child's first language

Keep your language alive - talk to your child in your first language. It’s good to grow up bilingual. It will help your child’s learning.

Be proud of who you are. Your first language is part of your identity. Your child needs it to talk to friends and family.

Speaking well in their own first language helps children learn other languages.

At home

1. Talk to your baby in your first language. Let the children learn English from English speakers and their first language from you. That way, they have the best model for each language.

2. Share books with your baby or child. You can talk about the pictures in your first language and retell the story using the pictures. Borrow dual language books from your local library.

3. Sing to your baby or child in your first language.

When your child starts at a nursery, school or children’s centre

4. Share some useful words with the staff. These would include words such as ‘toilet’, ‘hungry’ and ‘drink’. You can also offer to help staff translate other useful words.

5. Talk to staff about what your child likes to do at home.

If you have any concerns that your child isn't developing their home language as they should, contact your local children's centre Speech and Language Therapist for further advice and support.