English as an additional language

Support for parents

People sometimes get confused as to which language they should use at home. Our Speech and Language Therapists have produced this helpful leaflet for families

What else do we need to think about?

There are two different issues to consider, and it is easy to mix them up

  • how well is a child learning English?
  • how is a child’s general language development going?

It is helpful to look at both of these. Progress in English is about learning a particular language. Language development is about the brain areas that underlie using any language.

So a child may be doing well with language development, but needing help to learn English. You can tell this if they are doing OK in their “first” language. Or they may be finding English difficult because of concerns about language development more generally – in which case they will have concerns also in their “first” language.

You can track how well a child is learning English using this great resource

To check on language development, use the Developmental Overviews, but make sure you are doing this with the child’s strongest language. For Early Years Practitioners, you can ask parents to help with this.

Click to go back to helping with understanding or expression