Creating a print rich environment that supports dual language learning doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be quite fun, and the beginning blocks to a journey in learning a second language for you and your family. Plus you don’t have the break the bank to do so! You can do it in a budget friendly manner using different methods, or strategies.
Some Tape, Flash Cards, and a Colorful Sharpie
Labeling key items around the house help reinforce vocabulary development for both early and proficient readers. All you need is a stack of flash cards and your favorite color sharpie to label furniture, appliances, and features of your home like a door, table or light switch. You can place these labels on the wall near items too. We’re big fans of double-sided tape, as well as Velcro in the home-classroom.
Charts and Posters Reinvented
You can purchase posters from learning companies like Everyday Ibaadah (more to come soon) or Noorart.com already created in your target language, or you can even take old charts/posters to re-purpose for your language needs. For example, when my son was in first grade the English Alphabet, number and shape posters that used to deck his bedroom walls became outdated. Instead of throwing them away I decided to cover the English letters, numbers, and words with Arabic ones. I cut up slips of white printer paper to translate the words from English to Arabic with harakat included. Then I re-laminated the posters at my local print shop and re-hung them in his room. This helped to create a new experience for learning our target language as well as helped to satisfy my budget and prevent wastefulness (the old posters were still in good condition).
The best type of learning is learning that is hands-on. It helps make the experience for mastering any subject engaging. Not only should you decorate your walls, and label household items--but you should also fill your home with toys, blocks, puzzles, and books in your target language. When you fill your environment with objects and materials which can help your child create better odds of mastering the intended goal, then success is more likely.
Dedication and Commitment
Lastly, we just can’t end this blog without discussing the key ingredient for producing results from the dual language environment that you create. It doesn’t matter if your child is learning Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, Urdu or German. You have to be committed to the process of surrounding your child with infinite language learning possibilities. Exposure Consistency is Key! We’ll talk more about what this means, and how you help provide this for your child in an upcoming post.