ISB Educator Paulina Bemporad Answers Parents’ Questions About Bilingualism and Biliteracy
By Paulina Bemporad, 2nd Grade English Head Teacher
“We speak three languages at home, and I’m wondering: is my son’s quiet nature is frustration or is he just too shy to speak?”
“We also speak Italian and German at home and my son has recently started speaking more English, but he seems to be self-conscious about his accent. Does this affect his learning?”
“I don’t speak French, but what can I do at home to encourage my daughter to read more in French?”
Encouraging Emotional Connections to Language
Language Exposure Beyond the School Day
Building Literacy in Another Language
The Gift of Bilingualism
Research and the media have confirmed that being multilingual has many benefits, especially in our increasingly globalized world. An article published in The New York Times, Why Bilinguals are Smarter, cites many benefits of speaking more than one language including: strengthening cognitive skills, improving the brain’s executive function, and heightening an individual’s ability to monitor the environment and can influence the brain’s activity from infancy as we age. Many people who speak more than one language already experience these benefits as part of their work, family, or social environments. They can easily participate, monitor, and maneuver in many social settings. Think about how much this will benefit your child! There are so many benefits to adopting the mindset of being a lifelong learner and supporting language learning for yourself and your child. It’s a journey, a commitment, it takes perseverance and work, but in the end you will never regret what a true gift you are giving yourself and your child.
You can access Paulina, Itzel, and Alejandra’s presentation on "Strategies for Supporting Reading in Multiple Languages" here.
Paulina Bemporad is a New York State certified Early Childhood and Bilingual Educator, a Bank Street graduate of the Dual Language/Bilingual Early Childhood Special and General Education program. She has been at teaching at ISB for five years, most recently as the 2nd Grade English Head Teacher and the English Language Learning Specialist and most proud of being a parent to Paloma, an ISB 5th Grader.