Review on Bilingual Research for Parenting

As children with multi language exposure, parents must get to know current Bilingual Education Research and recommendations regarding the language development of bilingual children and early language intervention. As parents, if we are familiar with the current Bilingual Education Research, we can better answer some questions such as, “How should we talk to our child? Should we use one language or two?” In addition, we can provide better early language intervention.

Bilingual Education Research: In favor of bilingual

We do not yet know the limits of the human mind
From the 30’s research that said children could be cognitively confused when introduced to two languages at once, therefore, some of parents are fear of overloading their children with two languages and make their children confused. However, these studies have since been dismissed for poor methodology. In fact, by recent research, we do not yet know the limits of the human mind, we only know that the more you give it, the more it can grow. The more connections will be built among new information. Children have an enormous capacity for languages.

Divergent-thinking advantages
Divergent-thinking advantages are reported by some researchers on bilingualism. Learning two languages early can help children to see that there is more than one way of saying something, which leads them to better understand there is more than one way to look at a problem and more than one solution they may get. Bilingual children, therefore, tend to be more creative in problem solving according to McGill University Professor Lambert’s paper, “Effects of Bilingualism on the Individual” published by New York Academic Press, in 1974.

The increase of meta-linguistic awareness
Another benefit of language acquisition is the increase of meta-linguistic awareness, a greater sensitivity to language in general and a greater awareness of meaning and structure in language, because multilingual children receive more linguistic input, which requires a greater amount of language analysis.

Baker’s “A Parent’s and Teacher’s Guide to Bilingualism” by Multilingual Matters Ltd, in 2000, finds that bilinguals are also better at using new vocabulary even in their own first language because by knowing there are two words for everything, children pay more attention to words’ meanings and tend to use even words in English more accurately.

Significant delay of memory loss in adulthood
Recent research indicates that bilingual delay memory problems in later years, because additional effort expended in speaking another language boosts blood supply to the brain and ensures nerve connections remained healthy. By using a different language, different areas of our brain are used. Memory is kept via constant activity.

Bilingual Education Research: Worries on bilingual

Semi-lingual
In late 1970’s, Dr. Jim Cummins’ research suggested that if a child’s first language learned has not reached a certain threshold of competence, then the child may become “semi-lingual”, which reflects low levels of competence in both languages. While bilingualism has generally been considered to be of cognitive benefit, some studies have shown that it has negative effects on cognitive and academic progress. This controversy is ongoing. Cummins explained the negative results of these studies as being associated with linguistic minorities, where the minority language was being replaced in some sense by the socially dominant one, while the studies that found a positive effect were associated with “additive bilingualism,” a situation in which majority-language children acquire a second language.

Later research objected to Cummins’ rule on empirical and theoretical grounds. In Carey Myles’ book, Raising Bilingual Children, she contends that subsequent studies have shown that bilingual children who were significantly weaker in one language than the other, still achieved higher scores than monolingual children on various tests.

One Parent – One Language

One Parent – One Language is a popular approach in bilingual family. If only one parent speaks a different language, in this case, the monolingual parent speaks the language of the country’s majority to the child and the bilingual parent speaks the different language.

Children pick up early which parent doesn’t speak the second language and will be comfortable with having time with this parent in the language of the country. Some parents handle this time but continuing to speak in the second language with the children, but still understanding the topic in the language of the country. Eventually the children learn some passive such as listening knowledge of the second language.

Conclusion on Bilingual Education Research

The general consensus of the most linguists is that a child must be at grade level with one of the two languages if the child is bilingual by the Bilingual Education Research. The child’s English, for example, isn’t compromised by having less proficiency in another language.

Help your child start early and learn Chinese with Free Chinese Lessons at Kids Chinese Podcast.

Montessori Daycare: Is It Right for Your Child?

We as parents know that a right preschool for our children is crucial because preschoolers learn a lot and prepare for their future life. Parents want to help preschoolers to start on a lifetime journey of being in love with learning. There are some Montessori Daycare Programs that promote learning while playing. Is the Montessori approach right for your child?

From the post of “Review of the Most Popular Preschools”, we know that the Montessori Approach is one of the most popular preschool systems in U.S. Since by now there are over 5,000 schools in the U.S, Montessori schools are also found in North and South American countries, throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. We would like to share more about it with parents who are interesting to find a right preschool for their child.

Montessori’s believes

Montessori believed that children could grow and develop very well if left to do so without too many restrictions but with an orderly environment that promoted their efforts at being independent and critical thinkers. Order, most especially within the child, but also in the child’s environment, is prerequisite to the child becoming an independent, autonomous, and rational individual.

The Montessori approach believes all children are uniquely intelligent, which is related to each person’s “multiple intelligences” these days. This is the belief that intelligence is not fixed at birth and that the human potential is without limit. The validity of this belief has been confirmed by the research of Piaget, Gardner, Goleman, and many others.

Montessori’s teachers

The role of a Montessori teacher is that of an observer whose ultimate goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops. The teacher creates an atmosphere of calm, order and joy in the classroom and is there to help and encourage the children in all their efforts, allowing them to develop self-confidence and inner discipline. With the younger students at each level, the teacher is more active, demonstrating the use of materials and presenting activities based on an assessment of the child’s requirements. Knowing how to observe constructively and when, and how much, to intervene, is one of the most important talents the Montessori teacher acquires during a rigorous course of training at AMI training centers throughout the world.

Montessori’s Curriculum

A Montessori classroom is filled with children of mixed ages engaged in activity. Most classes are large, usually from 25 to 30 kids, with a two- to three-year age span. Some work alone while others work in small groups. The room is warm and inviting, filled with plants, books, art and puzzles. There is likely to be some kind of music playing softly in the background. Children move at their own pace through the classroom, which includes “practical life,” “sensorial,” “language arts” and “mathematics” areas – each with their own materials for children to work with. The teacher’s role in a Montessori classroom is to guide the children. Independence is encouraged, and a love of learning is instilled. Children progress at their own speed without boundaries.

The exercises in Practical Life are the very heart of Montessori education. As young children wash tables, pour liquids, sweep and dust, they are developing the inner aptitudes of calmness, order, concentration, coordination, and fine motor skills. At the same time, through the process of learning to meet their own needs, learning to take care of the classroom environment, and through the experience of helping others, children in Montessori programs begin to develop independence, self-confidence, and self-respect. For example, in many early childhood programs, there seems to be the assumption that five-year-olds are ready for “real work.”

In Montessori preschools, guided by teachers trained to observe and identify children’s unique learning capabilities, children learn in educational partnership with their teachers. Because children’s interests are heard and honored, Montessori students develop confidence and become self–directed. A powerful learning formula emerges as a result of this self–directed, self–initiated orientation to learning. When interested, a child becomes self–motivated. Self–motivation leads to becoming self–disciplined. When self–disciplined, a child engages in a process of mastery learning and fully develops his or her potential. Dr. Maria Montessori called this a “normal” approach to education.

Is the Montessori approach right for your child?

Some Montessori schools only offer early childhood programs; others offer early childhood through elementary or secondary. Most of them are private or independent schools, founded either by an individual teacher or a parent board. There are a growing number of public school programs, and many home schools implement aspects of the Montessori approach.

However, it is not every child fits the Montessori approach very well, because Montessori’s teachers are trained as only facilitators and not the primary focus, some experts say the teacher is too passive in a Montessori environment, and some parents claim that their kids had adjustment problems when moving into a traditional classroom because they were so used to working cooperatively.

For more information on Montessori Daycare, please refer to www.montessori.org.

How Can Parents Help Your Child Learn to Write

Learning to read and write is crucial for children. Children usually learn to write print first and move on to handwriting at third or fourth grade and then they start to write essays. Each child is different, parents should not be rush and push your child too hard. Always remember, happy learners learn fast. Parents’ main aim should be to help your child be a happy learner.

Help Your Child learn to write well

Preparing children for school is one of the most important responsibilities of parents. Children must be ready to learn from the first day of school. If parents want your child to do well in school from beginning, which is a key for your child to build his or her self confidence, just like reading, we think parents should help your child with writing before your child starting school as well.

Writing is the necessary skill we need from first-grade throughout adulthood. Writing helps us sending messages, keeping records, and expressing feelings, it also plays a very important role on provoking our thoughts and to organize them logically and concisely. Writing is more than putting words on paper; it is a final stage in the complex process of communicating that begins with “thinking.”

Due to students and teachers ratio is high in many preschools and schools, your child may need additional help for building his or her writing skills. That’s why we suggest that parents help your child with writing. We believe that parents can make a big difference for your child’s future success. Parents can use helping strategies that are simple and fun to help your child learn to write well and to enjoy doing it! We discuss how as follows.

Tips for parents

In helping your child to learn to write well, remember that your goal is to make writing easier and more enjoyable.

Provide a place
It is very important for a child to have a good place to write, a desk with a smooth, flat surface, an age appropriate chair and good lighting.

Have the materials ready
Provide plenty of paper, lined and unlined and things to write with, including pencils, erasers, pens, and crayons.

Help your child hold the pencil properly
Sit next to your child when you write, not opposite. Developing and maintaining an effective and proper pencil grip is very important for handwriting.

Allow sufficient time
Help your child spend time thinking about a writing exercise. Good writers do a great deal of thinking. Be patient, your child need time to think. Do not transfer any worries onto your child. Be relaxed and have fun!

Respond
Do respond to the ideas your child expresses verbally or in writing. Make it clear that you are interested in the true function of writing which is to convey ideas. This means focusing on “what” the child has written, not “how” it was written. It’s usually wise to ignore minor errors, particularly at the stage when your child is just getting ideas together.

Praise
Praise your child at every opportunity. The more he or she feels successful, the more your child wants to practice; and the better he or she will get.

Ask your child involve in a real writing
Real writing tasks abstract your child’s interest more than artificial ones. Encourage your child to write to relatives and friends. It is more important for your child to write a one-line note on a greeting card and write a letter to a relative. Your child may enjoy corresponding with a pen pal as well.

Write together
In order to let your child see firsthand that writing is important to adults and truly useful, ask your child to help you with letters, whenever you have a chance.

Suggest note-taking
Encourage your child to take notes on trips and to describe what he or she saw. For example, a description of nature walks, a car trip and a boat ride, could be a good start for form a good habit of note-taking.

Suggest making lists
Most children like to make lists just as they like to count. Making lists is good practice to help your child to become more organized. A list of toys, books, game cards, and furniture in your child’s room, are good examples. Your child must be exited about his or her Christmas wish list as well. Helping your child on “to-do-list” on schoolwork including dates for tests, social events, and other reminders is crucial for your child’s planning skills.

Encourage copying
Copying is also a great way to learn. If your child likes a particular song, suggest learning the words by writing them down replaying the song and trying to write down the words whenever the song is played. Also encourage your child to copy favorite poems or quotations from books and plays.

Brainstorm
Talk with your child as much as possible about his or her impressions and encourage your child to describe people and events to you.

Encourage keeping a journal
Keeping writing a journal is an excellent writing practice. Encourage your child to write about things that happen at home and school, write about personal feelings, pleasures as well as disappointments, things to remember or things your child wants to do.

Use games
There are numerous games and puzzles that help your child to increase vocabulary and help your child more fluent in writing. Building vocabulary builds confidence. Let your child try crossword puzzles, word games, anagrams and cryptograms designed especially for children. In addition, flash cards are great ways, which are easy to make at home.

Hep your child learning To Read And Write. Using above tips to help your child learn to write and enjoy writing. Remember, do not work when one of you is tired, hungry or bored. Forming a good writing habit as early as possible is the key to help your child to succeed in school and life.

To improve your parenting skills refers to Great Parenting Books.