Transition to Kindergarten Parent Guides: What Do I Do if My Child Does Not Speak English?
Public schools are responsible for testing and placing children in the right program. When possible, schools provide the test in the language of your child.
If the language difference makes learning too difficult, your child may go to “English as a Second Language” (ESL) or a bilingual class. Your child will learn the same material as the other children in the same grade.
Suggestions for families:
- Learning a second language should not replace your language.
- Support your child to speak, read and write your family language.
- Children are often quiet when they are learning a new language.
- Bilingual children may be confused at times as they try to understand two languages at once.
- Children can learn two or more languages at the same time.
- There are benefits to learning more than one language, and it is easier at a young age.
- Learning a second language takes time and support, but it is worth it.
Reprinted with the permission of the Michigan Department of Education. © 2001-2007 State of Michigan
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