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Information for parents who speak English as an additional language

A toddler and parent walking together holding hands

If you are bilingual or multilingual, this is great in many different ways, especially as it means children and young people will be surrounded by various languages in the home, enabling them to be good at: 

  • Understanding different cultures, people and ideas

  • Concentrating and multi-tasking

  • Learning other languages (compared to those who only speak one language)

If you speak other languages at home, it is important to carry on speaking them.  This will help your child to learn your language, alongside learning English from teachers and friends, within an English speaking early years setting or school.  Your child’s first language will give them a firm foundation of communication skills, which can then be used to learn additional languages, such as English.

To find out more about the importance of speaking other languages at home, take a look at Herefordshire Council’s The importance of maintaining first language skills leaflet.

Don’t forget to read the other pages within this section, as the information and advice is still relevant to help you support your child’s language development.  All of the different ideas, such as playing and talking with your child, sharing stories, books, rhymes and songs can be done in your first language.

Top tip 7

If you speak additional languages at home, other than English, keep on speaking them with your child.  This will really help develop good communication skills.

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