By Mirjam van der Geijs, Local Director LanguageOne Shanghai-Suzhou
Every Tuesday afternoon Dutch and Flemish students from 2,5 up to 18 years old are attending LanguageOne at WISS. We have our own cozy classroom with a luxury Library, corners where children can explore themselves and the newest materials and methods to learn the Dutch language.
Why is following Mother Tongue education so important for your child?
When families have the opportunity to move abroad they often focus their attention on the new aspects of life for their children: new home, new school, new language, new friends. What sometimes gets left behind is what they are taking with them – their mother tongue. While living abroad can be a great opportunity for children to learn another language, it shouldn’t be at the expense of their own first language.
What we know from educational research is that a child’s first language (mother tongue, home language, etc.) plays a crucial role in linguistic, cognitive and social development. This role extends into the classroom as well, where increasing proficiency in the home language will help them learn the new school language more efficiently as well. In addition to these important factors, the home language also remains a vital link to identity and culture.
What can parents do at home to support their children?
Make sure you are addressing the various languages in your family and your environment with your children, and having positive discussions about the role of each. No matter how long you will be in a country, and whether or not you personally choose to learn any of the language, you can make a difference for your child by being positive about their opportunities to learn and use another language, if only briefly. Model positive attitudes about all languages, whether you can speak them or not, and model making an effort to communicate with others – we can all learn to say “Hello, how are you?” or “Thank you” in other languages, and if we expect it of our children we should surely be willing ourselves.
LanguageOne at WISS
LanguageOne Shanghai-Suzhou is providing mother tongue education for students from 2,5 up to 18 years old via the PYP, MYP and DP programs we are offering. The lessons are taught by experienced and professional teachers. Please check our website (www.languageone.org) or contact our local director Mirjam van der Geijs (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the Dutch school or other languages provided by LanguageOne.
Looking forward to welcome you at LanguageOne!