Home Language Starts at Home!
Supporting students to develop their language skills
Home Languages are supported at Bangkok Patana from Primary School through to Secondary School, with many opportunities for improving specific language skills based on individual proficiency levels. Home Languages (HOLA) are referred to as the ‘language used to communicate at home and with family members’. It is paramount for students to maintain their HOLA in order to actively participate in their communities and to retain connections with their native cultures. At Bangkok Patana, we define a HOLA-eligible leaner as: Someone regularly exposed to the HOLA at home; someone who has a person in their family who will regularly use the language with them to communicate; someone who will return to their native country and will need to maintain a level of proficiency in order to re-enter the educational system. Many Bangkok Patana families face a similar challenge – supporting language learning at home is not always effective enough to ensure fluency. Our World Languages faculty focuses on supporting students within their individual proficiency ranges, rather than expecting students to conform to a standardised curriculum without specific focus on a particular aspect of language learning.
The Second Language (L2) programme was developed to support students who: have lived in a country that is not their native country and have learned the language of that country as an L2 at school for an extended period of time; have developed proficiency in a language that is not used at home or within the family but rather within the community or temporary country of residence. Parents can note that HOLA and L2 learners are not eligible to take the same language as their MFL option.
Here are a few strategies that have been tried and tested by many of our World Languages teachers to support your child in developing their HOLA:
- Try to speak your HOLA at home a majority of the time. Your children may respond in English at first, but maintain use of the HOLA and they will begin to transition;
- Rephrase their English responses in your HOLA so that they can learn the vocabulary;
- Find books in your HOLA that relate to your childrens’ class curriculum;
- Read together in your HOLA – our Libraries have a growing collection of HOLA books available to borrow;
- Avoid correcting mistakes and try rephrasing the expression correctly;
- Praise your children whenever they speak in your HOLA;
- Watch films together in your HOLA and discuss them;
- Enrol your child in an ECA at school or in a club – while not enough to maintain the HOLA, it will help to support children in using the language more comfortably;
- Travel to places in which the HOLA is spoken.
If you have any other strategies to share, please send an email to email@example.com