Dual Language Showcase Site
The group is committed to forging a stronger home-school connection. We believe that reading in any language, develops reading ability. We want to engage parents in reading with their children at home and to encourage discussion and the sharing of their experiences and realities. As a result, the group decided to create dual-language book bags, comprising of dual language books and multilingual audio tapes, for use at school and at home. Non-English speaking parents could enjoy reading the stories to their children in their own language and elaborating on the ideas, values, skills, and concepts introduced in this "expanded" home literacy program. Student/parent/community volunteers would record the multilingual stories on audio cassettes.
Through the use of audio cassettes, ESL students and parents would be exposed to basic English vocabulary, grammatical structures, and conventions of texts.
Promoting literacy development in the ESL student's first language will facilitate the acquisition of literacy in English. Accessing prior knowledge through the use of their first language provides the framework for new learning.
Fostering active collaboration between caregivers and teachers would create an inviting atmosphere in the school (e.g., parents can read aloud or tell stories to groups of children in their native language or in English, share information about their countries of origin and their cultures, or translate newsletters, etc.)
- Freeing students to express themselves more fully through the use of their first language in oral and written communication, alleviates the initial feelings of confusion and frustration, and the sense of alienation
- Inspiring parents to embrace their roles, and their opportunities and responsibilities with regard to their children's intellectual, social, and emotional development
- Supporting parents in their efforts to develop their children's communicative skills in their first language maintains the lines of communication between generations
- Enhancing the status of multilingual children and giving them ample opportunities to demonstrate their skills (e.g., as authors and interpreters) and to share their cultures, countries of origin and personal experiences as newcomers to Canada and Thornwood Public School.Broadening children's horizons by increasing their awareness and appreciation of other languages, cultures, and each other
- Providing opportunities for ESL parents to develop their own literacy skills in the English language through listening to dual-language audio cassettes, translating books, helping out in the school, etc.
- Developing computer literacy skills in the use of multilingual word processors.