The parent as a key figure in supporting active bilingualism
Isaac is three years old, his mum Bego is Spanish and his mum, Kim is Irish. Bego speaks to him in Spanish at home but he always responds in English. Isaac attended a full series of seven Language Explorers workshops and not only did we see he coming out of his shell, but his language skills also blossomed.
The story-telling element of the workshops was Isaac’s favourite and he found the puppet-making process fun. The fact he could bring home the creative pieces they made each week has been a “game-changer” according to Bego. Isaac and his mum played with them in the language they used while making them, their home language.
“I originally thought that by talking to Isaac in Spanish he would simply start talking to me in the language, which was a misconception. Through the puppets and having a playful time together at the workshops, I have seen Isaac’s use of Spanish increase from nill to actually playing with me in Spanish! This has been hugely encouraging and fulfilling for me.”
The Language Explorers workshops helped Isaac realise that there are other languages around us and that it is not unusual to speak another language at home. The workshops have also helped Bego and Kim in the journey that is raising a bilingual child.