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taking on a foreign mindee

(9 Posts)
steph29 Wed 24-Sep-08 18:48:14

i'm a fairly new childminder and about to take on a 2 year old lithuanian boy who doesn't speak a word of English, does anyone have any useful advice on commmunicating with him and teaching him English? His parents speak English but not at home. Any advice would be most welcome!

ThePrisoner Wed 24-Sep-08 21:41:49

I minded a little 2 yr old German boy with no English. I had done basic German at college, but was no way equipped for conversation with a toddler. We wrote down some words and phrases in German/English so that I could make an effort to talk to him - things like "would you like a drink?"

I have no idea how difficult Lithanian is as a language, but it would be nice if you could be given some basic Lithuanian words/phrases (written down phonetically) so that there is some level of communication.

I also have pictures in a file of things to enable me to communicate with non-verbal children with special needs that I have minded. They have been able to point at the picture (drink, biscuit, specific toys/activities etc) to be able to "tell" me what they want. You could use a similar thing for your new minded child until he has picked up the English words for himself.

He will pick up the language in no time at all, you just need to talk to him as you would to any other child.

JenniPenni Thu 25-Sep-08 08:15:33

I have had plenty of experience with kids whose first language was Zulu/Xhosa... at first there's lots of creative hand movements (haha) and picture showing... but they were mostly fluent within 3 months or so. Kids pick up language SO quickly it is quite remarkable. Try to treat him the same as the others as he will need to hear English all the time, but use pics if need be too.

JenniPenni Thu 25-Sep-08 08:16:42

ps: I made an effort to know basic sentences in their language too... like 'it's sleepy time now', 'do you need the toilet', it's time to eat' etc. too.

steph29 Thu 25-Sep-08 13:10:44

thanks for all your advice Theprisoner using pics is a great idea i'll try that! He came for a while today and was quite good at letting me know what he wanted through hand gestures mainly and seemed happy enough.

steph29 Thu 25-Sep-08 13:14:16

I have found a download for teaching lithuanian it's really fun to learn which helps doesn't have all the phrases i need just basic words so i'll keep looking! 3 months is quite quick jennipenni i'm impressed but the child is only 2 and a half so he doesn't say that much in his own language yet, was considering basic sign language or do u think that would be confusing?

stoppinattwo Thu 25-Sep-08 13:24:13

would it be an idea to get his parents to use some key english words at home? smile

Make a list of words that would be useful and ask their opinion.

Cies Thu 25-Sep-08 13:35:36

I don´t know from a childminding pov, but I am interested from a bilingual child pov.

IMO a child this age would be able to copy you fairly quickly and you will be his first role for English language. What a privileged position for you! Treat him as any normal child, but incorporate pictures and signs to help him.

I´ve taught 4yo Spanish children English, and lots of it is copying eg "I need a wee" and pointing at a picture of a loo at the same time.

aussieinde Fri 26-Sep-08 15:20:56

Im a Nanny to a 2 year old, who when I started (8 months ago) had never heard English. On my 3rd day (12 hour days), I asked him to bring me a pair of socks, I really didn't expect him to follow through, but looked down at him a few seconds later and he held out a red pair of socks with a huge grin on his face. Was so proud!

Im leaving this job next week and feel so priviledged to have been the one to teach him his first English words. And I will be taking those red socks with me wink

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