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Expert Q&A

Is it OK to speak to my child in my native language?

Talking to your child regularly lays the foundation for her language and literacy development. If you are most comfortable with your native language, you will be better able to communicate your feelings and ideas in that language. You can use words to label objects and describe what is happening as a way of teaching new words. You can recite rhymes and poems to develop her awareness of sounds. You can take turns talking about the day, things she notices, and books that you read together.

By talking together, you teach your child about the purpose of language, while helping her express her feelings and ideas. And by speaking to your child in your native language, you also teach her about her culture and her identity.

Excerpt from “Talking with Children.” Reprinted with permission from PBS Parents .

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