Does your family speak more than one language? Make sure to fill your house with print! Using environmental print to teach a second language can be beneficial in strengthening their ability to read in their second (or third) language.
What is Using Environmental Print to Teach a Second Language?
Environmental print is the words children see all around them. It is the signs and symbols that surround them and become familiar to young readers. Children become so familiar with these words that their confidence as a reader grows. Has your young tot spotted a giant golden arch and requested a Happy Meal? If so, they are beginning reading!
What Does Using Environmental Print to Teach a Second Language Look Like?
As a parent struggling to make learning a second language fun and easy, creating a print-rich environment has been helpful. So what does that look like in my house?
- Poems and songs printed and hung on the fridge
- Labels around the house. Our play kitchen, for example, has words in multiple languages printed on it. Would you like a free copy of the labels? Download them here.
- Alphabet poster on the edge of a cupboard. I will often ask one of the children to point to a letter or tell me a word that begins with the ___ sound as I am preparing meals.
- Forward facing bookshelves in the languages you are learning also double as environmental print to teach a second language.
- A white board serves as a place for parents and children to write letters to each other throughout the week.
- Flip Charts and song books.
The KEY to using environmental print to teach a second language is to USE it and interact with it on a routine basis.