‘How can I help my child with homework if I don’t understand much Welsh myself?’
Welsh schools set homework instruction in Welsh and in English so there will be no problem in understanding what your child is being asked to do at home. The schools themselves will be happy to provide educational advice and the parents evening will be in your chosen language.
Work set will be appropriate to the pupil’s age and ability level and therefore should be within your child’s reach.
Developing increasingly as independent learners, you may find that your child is happy to progress without extra parental guidance as they get older.
‘The children will be confused and their English will suffer.’
On average, bilingual children achieve higher grades in the English language. Also, as a child explains homework in English to the parent, their own understanding is reinforced. Ask your child to describe what he/she is doing in his own words.
On average, about 80% of Carmarthenshire pupils who attend Welsh medium education get A* to C in Welsh and in English.
Will my child’s thinking be affected by being bilingual?
The answer is “yes”, and probably for the better. The presence of two languages in the operating system of the brain is likely to produce a more richly-fed thinking engine. (Baker, 2000: 66-67)
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