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Encouraging the Use of Home Languages

About this Resource

A home language is the dominant language that a student uses to communicate in the home. Many English language learners have more than one home language.

Maintaining and encouraging the further development of home language proficiency can benefit students in many ways—personally, socially, and academically. Therefore, schools should encourage English language learners to use their home language both at home and in the classroom.

Encouraging English language learners to use their home language supports their learning by allowing them to access the language in which they think. It also allows them to transfer language skills developed in their home language to the learning of English, which in turn helps them understand curricular concepts they are learning in English.

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