How can I help my child to read if I don't speak or read English very well?
From Birth to Three Years Old
Three and Four Years Old
- Talk to your child in your native language when you play and do daily activities together
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes with your child
- Read aloud in your native language to your child every day. Show your child that you enjoy Reading. Learning to read in your home language will help prepare your child to learn to read in English later on.
- Point to the words in the book as you read them.
- As your child begins to talk, ask your child to repeat parts of the poems that you read, and ask your child the questions about the stories that you read.
- Before you finish reading a story, ask your child what he or she thinks will happen next.
- Encourage your child to look at books on his or her own.
- Let your child watch as you write names of family members on a piece of paper. Talk about what words mean.
Kindergarten and First Grade
- Have regular reading time every day.
- Ask your child to tell their favorite stories.
- Talk about everyday happenings. Explain what you are doing and how things work.
- Give your child materials to practice drawing and "writing."
- Let your child help you with chores that include counting, sorting, solving problems, and taking turns.
Second and Third Grades
- Continue to share books and other reading materials in your native language your child. This will be helpful to your child as she or he begins learning to read in English.
- Tell your child the importance of being able to read, speak and write in two languages.
- Take time each day to talk to your child about school and share your day.
- Ask your child about the books read in school.
- Get your child a library card and go to the library regularly. Request songs and books on CD. Listen to the songs and books on CD with your child and talk about them.
- Have time set aside for your child to practice reading, writing and doing schoolwork.
- Find out about interpreter services in your community, and try to communicate with your child's school about your child's progress.
- Continue to talk to your child about scholl and school day.
- Have family reading time. Take turns reading out loud every day. Use your native language and English. Your child can practice reading in both languages.
- Ask your child to read wherever you go - in the car, grocery store, and the park. Use your native language to talk about what your child reads in English.
- Renew your child's library card. Visit the library often to check out books.
- Continue to communicate with your child's school, using interpreter services if necessary. Volunteer to assist at your child's school.