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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Frequently Asked Questions about Dual-Language Learning bilingualism. Teachers often asked families to stop speaking to their children in their home language. As a result, children usually main- tained some receptive language but lost their productive language, and it became difficult for families to communicate. Educators now know that a child’s brain can contain both the home language and English, as long as the child uses both (Tabors 2008). If the child stops using one language, it dries up. Some children consciously decide to use only one language—usually English—because one is easier than two. Some children make the same decision for social reasons, because the home language is uncool. Children are more likely to accept both languages when their parents are bilingual. How Can Educators Help Children Maintain Their Home Language? The home language is the foundation for school literacy. Educators must encourage families to continue using the home language at home, while teachers provide opportunities for learning English at school. Teachers of dual-language learners are more effective when they cel- ebrate linguistic diversity, encourage learning through different modes, and make the curriculum relevant to children and families (Villegas and Lucas 2002). Teachers can show that they value home languages with specially planned school activities. Some examples include: • using simple phrases, such as greetings, in the home language with both children and their families • scheduling home-language activities as part of regular class- room routines, such as singing a song in Spanish every Tuesday morning • sharing the classroom curriculum, such as vocabulary words, with families and inviting them to reinforce those ideas in the home language • inviting parents to visit the classroom and participate in home- language literacy activities, such as storytelling • transferring home-language knowledge, such as counting, into English • consulting community resources, such as elders and cultural associations COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL u 23