How to make the most of visits back home

Visiting your family’s original home country is an excellent way of supporting your daughter’s language development. Not only are the trips fun and you all get to meet your relatives and friends “back home”, but they can give an enormous boost to your daughter’s language learning.

If your little girls is not yet that confident in speaking the language in speaking it, try to arrange situations where she plays / spends time with monolingual children of the same age. It is important that you allow her to do this on her own, as you being there to jump in and translate is not as effective learning as if she just finds out by herself with the help of the other children and from the context. Children love teaching each other and they do this more freely and naturally when there are no adults present.

What you could also try is to ask whether she could attend school for a day or two during your visit. Experiencing a situation where the language is the main language of conversation in the school will expand her view it. No longer is it just a “secret” language that you talk in the family, but one which is used by teachers and other children.

Remember to bring back with you films, music, books and magazines that your daughter is interested in – something that you can share and enjoy when you return home.

As soon as she is old enough to travel on her own, let her do the trip alone or with other relatives or friends. Children under a certain age are also entitled to help from the airlines whereby the airline makes sure that they are safely handed over to the right person at the destination. Travelling on her own will not only boost her self-confidence in general to do things independently, but you will notice a significant improvement in her language skills when she returns home.

Whatever the trip, make sure that your daughter enjoys it, that way there will be many more trips to come in the future.

May the peace and power be with you.