Helpful Tips

Helpful Tips

Tips for Parents of ELLs (English Language Learners)

  • HOLD ON to your home language!  Take every opportunity to TALK with your child.  Using two languages will NOT confuse your child.

For more information on the importance of continuing to use the mother tongue in the home, please read this article: Raising Bilingual Children

  • Your child works hard at school.  Allow extra time to do work.  Be sure that your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Talk to your child’s class teacher and EAL teacher often to discuss progress and any questions.
  • Encourage your child to participate in class.
  • Encourage your child to share his/her own culture in as many ways as possible.
  • Any word games such as Scrabble and Boggle help with English spelling.
  • Explain concepts your child is learning in school in your native language first and then in English (if possible).
  • Use English in the home: read newspapers, magazines, the comics, books on tape, computer games.
  • Continue to read to your child in your native language and in English.


  • Tell Family Tales – Children love to hear stories about their family.  Talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young.
  • Create a writing toolbox – Fill a box with drawing and writing materials (pencils, paper, eraser, colored pencils).  Help your child to write shopping lists, thank you notes, or birthday cards.
  • Be your child’s #1 fan – Ask your child to read aloud anything he/she has written at school.  Be an enthusiastic listener.
  • Do storytelling on the go – Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in a car or on the bus.  Try making the story funny or scary.
  • Point out new words and the relationship between words – Explain how related words have similar spellings and meanings.  For example, knowledge and known.
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