Teaching to write in the minority language – Tip n°3 – Using a blackboard

There is no better way to learn than daily practice. Yet, sitting your child every day at his or her desk would make it very daunting for them.

Over the Christmas holidays I got an idea. School had set some homework which included writing numbers up to 10 in letters. I thought I would kill not 2 but 3 birds with 1 stone! 😉

It was the opportunity for my daughter to learn in the Majority Language (ML), to learn that same homework in her minority languages (ml) and write in her 3 languages.

To make this fun, I asked her to do her homework on the brand new blackboard Santa had just brought for her and her cousins at her grandparents’ house.

I wrote the numbers to the left of the board, I drew a first column entitled ML and another one English. I left Spanish to another day for 3 reasons:

  1. It would be an excuse to repeat the ML homework to ensure the ML had sank in
  2. It would be less time-consuming
  3. It would enable to focus on 1 ml at a time

My daughter LOVED it! So much so, she decided that spelling the word once was not enough and spelled each four or five times!! (So much for the time-consuming!) And keeping the other minority language for another revision session added spice to something that she had already done. Even more so since so far we concentrated on her English literacy since until recently we thought that working on both minority languages at the same time might be too much but have now changed position.

It was fun for her and much more relaxed for both of us. It was lovely to sit back and observe, instead of standing by her desk looking over her shoulder. I hate it when I have to stand beside her when she is sitting at her desk, it feels so formal and uncomfortable.  It makes me feel like a strict teacher instead of a kind mum helping her child to learn.  This technique definitely suits my own vision of bilingual learning for my kids, relaxed and playful.  


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