At-Home Tips For Young Language Learners

Bilingual preschools fulfill a very important role for families that recognize the benefits of teaching their child a second language when young. Whether you choose the preschool purely for the educational value of the linguistic model or because you want your child to be fluent in both English and your native tongue, the key to the most success is to continue the education at home. The following tips can help you do just that.

Tip #1: Invest in dual-language entertainment options

A collection of educational videos in the second language is a well-known tactic for language learners of any age. You can also purchase favorite movies and programs that have been dubbed into the language your child is learning. Add in kid-friendly music in the second language to round out the media entertainment. By hearing things in both English and the second language, your child can more easily make the cognitive leaps between the two languages.

Tip #2: Play second-language games

These can be as simple as rhyming games or chants, like patty-cake, but done in the language your child is learning at preschool. You can also purchase age-appropriate board games and card games in the language of choice. Apps and video games that aim to help children and their families learn a new language are also available.

Tip #3: Spend time at the library

Some dual-language preschools have a library for families to check out materials in the language your child is learning, but you can also spend time at your local public library. Most libraries offer many language resources. Look for kid-friendly books and magazines that you can read together. The library may also have a collection of DVDs and CDs in various languages as well. Many library systems now also feature digital materials you can access at home, such as downloadable language lessons, game apps, and movies.

Tip #4: Add some cultural resources

Learn about the culture of the language your child is learning if it is different from your culture. Visit local festivals put on by cultural groups, learn about holidays online, and try recipes and foods from the culture. This further immerses your child in the language they are learning, as well as giving them a chance to meet and converse with native speakers. Plus, it is fun to learn about new cultures.

Contact a bilingual preschool such as Performance Montessori for more help and guidance for language resources that are age appropriate for your young child.

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Teen Drivers: Tips For Staying Safe While Driving To School

As a teen driver, one of the places you are going to drive the most often now that you have your license is to school. School zones can be really busy places in the mornings and afternoons when everyone is arriving to and leaving from school. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as a new driver in order to stay safe while driving to school.

Get Enough Sleep Before Driving

You should never drive when you are tired or drowsy, which is why it is so important to get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel. If you know you are going to be driving yourself to school in the morning, make sure that you don’t stay up late. If you didn’t get enough sleep, you should catch the bus or see if you can get an alternate ride to school.

Driving while drowsy can be seriously impact your ability to drive safely. When you are tired, your reaction times will slow down, as will your ability to make informed decisions as you drive. Since you don’t have years of experience driving to rely on when making decisions and reacting on the road, driving while drowsy can be particularly dangerous.

Put Away Your Electronics

When you drive to school, you don’t need to have your electronics nearby. When you are a new driver, something as simple as just ignoring a call can distract you away from the road long enough for an accident to occur. 

Put your electronics on silent when you get into the car, and put them somewhere out of reach so you will not be tempted to check your phone at all while driving to school. A good place to put your electronics while driving is inside of your backpack.

Keep An Eye Out For School Buses

While driving to and from school, there is a high likelihood that you may run into school buses. If you see a school bus, be very careful. Oftentimes, kids run out to the school bus before it is fully stopped and has put on its lights. 

When you see a school bus stopping, remember that you always need to stop, even if you are on the opposite side of the road. This is true for both single and multi-lane roads. As soon as you see that stop sign come up, you need to stop. 

Pay Attention To Posted Speeds

Make sure that you know where all the school zones in your areas start and stop, as well as what the posted speed is for any school zone you have to drive through. Speeding in a school zone can carry some really hefty fines. Generally, speeding in a school zone increases your ticket. 

Be Hyper Aware

Finally, don’t relax when you pull into your school’s parking lot. Your parking lot is full of first time drivers like yourself. Make sure that you keep an eye out for other vehicles, and give everyone plenty of space to park and pull out of parking spots. Don’t try to beat anyone to a parking spot either; if someone else is taking a parking spot, just move on.

As a new teen driver, driving to school and avoiding the bus or parental carpool can be really thrilling. Just remember that you are responsible for all your actions once you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, and be hyper aware of your surroundings. 

For more information on how to be a safe driver, contact a company like Westside Driving School.

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Could Dance Classes Help Your Autistic Child Thrive?

If your child has recently been evaluated by a physician and diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you may be racking your brain for activities and therapies that can help your child thrive. Many parents have found that incorporating exercise and movement into therapy can help their autistic children tap into reservoirs of communication formerly believed to be blocked off for good. Read on to learn more about how dance therapy may be able to help your child improve both his or her verbal and nonverbal communication skills, as well as learn to connect with a therapist or even other peers.

What is dance therapy? Dancing is one of the most expressive means of physical movement for nearly all individuals — and as a result, dance is a popular way for therapists to connect with patients dealing with a wide spectrum of issues. In the ASD context, dance therapy (or dance and movement therapy, often abbreviated DMT) is designed to help autistic children learn to express emotions more effectively and constructively. Some autistic children have trouble relating to their peers due to the difficulty of making eye contact or communicating verbally, while other autistic children can be prone to sudden loud outbursts or disruptive behavior as they struggle to rein in strong emotions.

By working one-on-one with a DMT therapist or in a small group with other children, your child will be encouraged to mirror physical actions, like clapping hands, stomping feet, and spinning in circles. This mirroring will help your child become more aware of the actions of others, helping encourage empathy and social interaction. DMT can also encourage non-verbal communication, helping reduce your child’s frustration at being unable to effectively communicate with peers and adults and even enhancing language skills.

Is dance therapy a good choice for your child? 

While dance therapy is often recommended for autistic children who struggle to communicate with others or constructively handle their emotions, it may not be right for every child. Children who have severe aversions to crowds, music, or noises may find these therapy sessions overwhelming at first — you may want to start small by just guiding your child through some movements at home.

However, even if your child has physical handicaps that can limit his or her ability to exercise, DMT may offer some benefits. A skilled therapist should be able to modify traditional DMT movements and exercises so that they are developmentally appropriate for your child, and your child can enjoy the physiological benefits of aerobic activity along with the educational benefits of DMT.

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3 Major Myths About Raising A Bilingual Child Debunked

There are many myths out there about raising a bilingual child. If you and your partner have two different native languages, or if you and your partner are just fluent in more than one language, you should not let these myths hold you back from raising your child to be bilingual. A few of the major myths about raising a bilingual child are debunked below:

Myth #1: It Will Confuse Your Child To Grow Up Around Multiple Languages

One of the biggest myths out there is that your child will feel confused all the time if they grow up around multiple languages. Many people wrongly believe that a baby will not be able to tell the differences between the languages that are being spoken to them.

However, this is not true. Babies around the world are born with essentially the same set of skills and are able to pick up and learn the language that is spoken to them. Infants can pick up and learn virtually any language.

Babies are equipped to pick up language skills, and after being around multiple languages for a couple of weeks, most infants are able to pick up on the fact that they are being spoken to in more than one language.

Myth #2: As Your Child Grows Up, They Will Mix The Two Languages Because They Don’t Know Better

As your child grows up in a bilingual environment, they may occasionally mix the two languages up, but it’s not because they don’t know any better.

It is common when learning a second language to draw on the language that you do know when you come upon a vocabulary word that you don’t know in the secondary language. Most children raised in a bilingual environment will have one language that is stronger; they may draw upon this language when they don’t know a word in their other language.

This is actually a sign that your child is able to problem solve; it is not a sign of a problem. As your child’s vocabulary develops in both languages, they will gradually stop mixing the languages together.

Myth #3: Your Child Will Be Delayed In Their Speech Development If They Are Raised With Two Languages

Finally, many people wrongly believe that being raised around two languages will cause their child to be delayed in their speech development.

Once again, this myth is based in false assumptions. Your child will still progress on pace with their speech and language development if they are exposed to two languages.

Just like with raising any child though, your child’s speech development will be unique. Some children speak sooner; other children wait a long time to speak. Many other factors can also influence and contribute to when your child first speaks, such as the lack of siblings or the addition of them.

Don’t let the myths about raising bilingual children listed above hold you back from exposing your child to two languages from birth. Children are equipped to learn the languages that are spoken around them. It is actually incredibly easy and natural for children to learn multiple languages. Your child may mix up the languages a bit in the beginning, but they will learn to speak each fluently and will develop their language skills on pace.

If your child needs help learning a language later on, educational institutions like Equilibrium School offer ESL (English as a second language) programs to ensure students are up to speed in all areas of language.

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4 Benefits of a Home Day Care Center

If you are in need of day care for your child, it can be hard making the right decision. There are many different options, from sending them a local daycare center, having family watch them, or sending your child to a home daycare center. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a home day care center.

Children Feel Comfortable in a Home Environment

A great benefit to choosing a home day care center is that your child will likely feel more comfortable. They are in someone’s home, which probably feels cozy and warm. While there is nothing wrong with local daycare centers, they will never have that “home” feeling. Your child will be sitting on comfy sofas and playing in the backyard instead of a large playground with countless other kids. When visiting possible home day care centers, really draw in the environment and choose one that you feel your child would enjoy the most.

There Is a Smaller Provider-to-Child Ratio

Another excellent benefit of choosing a home daycare center is that the ratio of providers to children is less than in a traditional day care setting. Depending on where you live, you might have stipulations as to how many children each provider can supervise at a home day care setting. It may be just 4 or 5 kids for each provider in the home day care. This is a low number of children, which helps when you are concerned about lack of supervision your child will be provided. Also keep in mind that home day cares will keep all children in the same area at the same time, whether they are eating a meal or playing outside.

Your Child Will Have More Personal Attention

Due to the smaller ratio and intimate comfort of a home setting, home day care centers allow the provider to give more personal attention to each child they watch. The children often become very close to them, sitting next to them on the couch while watching a movie and learning their numbers and colors with other children that quickly become their friends. Each child generally receives more one-on-one attention at a home day care setting than if they went to traditional daycare.

They Tend to be More Flexible

Finally, home daycare providers tend to be more flexible than traditional day cares. They rarely charge extra fees if you pick up your child late or don’t plan to bring them in one day, and if they do, it is likely less than what a clinic day care will charge. If you are financially strapped, many providers will give you a discount. This is in addition to the fact that they probably cost less than what your local corporate day care center charges. Talk to a professional like LeRoux Froebel Bilingual School for more information.

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Three Reasons To Study To Become A Mechanic At A Trade School

If you are thinking about going to trade school to learn a trade, it is important to take the time to consider which trade is the best option for you. You want to be sure that learn a trade that is useful today and that will be useful in years to come. One great trade to consider learning is how to do automotive work. There are many cars on the road each year and all of them need to be properly maintained. New cars are constantly being made meaning that there will always be a career available for a mechanic. Use the following guide to learn a few things you need to know about why learning to be a mechanic at a trade school is such a good idea.

Small Investment

When you go to school at a trade school like Academy Canada, they have the tools, machines, and vehicles on site for you to use. That means that you do not need to invest in your own tools right away. This will help you to be able to learn the skills you need without having to worry about spending thousands of dollars on tools first.

Hands-on Learning

When you learn how to become a mechanic at a trade school, you read some books, but you use hands-on learning for the most part. You will physically take apart the engine of a car, rotate tires, and even rebuild a transmission. The school ensures that you are able to actually do the things you are taught to do rather than explain how they should be done.

Variety of Cars

When you go to a trade school to learn, you will be able to work on many different types of cars so that you are ready for whatever the real world throws at you. Being able to work on manual and automatic transmissions while you are in trade school will prepare you for all of the different types of cars that you will work on when you become a mechanic.

Learning this unique trade will allow you to start working as soon as you graduate. You will be able to apply for a job at just about any mechanic or auto body shop and know what to do right away. You can even choose to further your skills by mastering repairs on a specific type of car. This will allow you to make yourself even more valuable and eventually help you to make more money than you will as a general mechanic.

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Three Groups Of Ontarians Who Can Benefit From English Languge Classes

English is the language of business and government in today’s world. Anyone hoping to get a professional or service job in this new global economy will be benefit greatly from a command of English.

Here in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) there are three groups they should consider taking courses at a language school.

1. Immigrants

Those who relocate to Canada from non-English-speaking countries are often in need of courses. The GTA is the nation’s most diverse province, with residents coming from over 200 different countries.

For immigrants, English can be a barrier to employment and advancement. Because English is the predominant spoken language in Toronto, these immigrants often have difficulty applying for jobs, impressing employers during interviews and understanding instructions from bosses.

Once on the job, advancement can be a problem. Even someone who otherwise is an outstanding worker may pale in comparison to a colleague who can more quickly respond to the needs of clients and managers.

2. French-Speaking Ontarians

This area has long had a population of French Speakers, or Franco-Ontarians. They proudly hold onto their French heritage, as is their right.

Nevertheless, the world is changing. It is true that Canada recognizes French as a language for official correspondence; however, English is the lingua franca, or common language, for much of the world.

There have been failed attempts within Canada to adopt English as the official national language. This debate is a moot point to the outside world, which has seen fit to embrace English. Communicating with these people may require some Franco-Ontarians to take classes to become competent in spoken English.

3. Prospective College Students

A sort of subgroup within the previously mentioned groups is prospective college students.

Immigrants and French-Speakers living in the GTA may want to matriculate at a college in Canada or the United States to better their employment prospects. English is the primary language in North American academia.

Being able to speak and write professionally in English is necessary for success. College students have to participate verbally in class to earn a certain percentage of their grade. In addition, essay writing is a significant portion of almost every class. It can be too late once enrolled to learn how to speak and write in the manner expected by professors.

Classes tailored for academic English can provide the skills needed to survive at these competitive institutions.

Enrolling in English Classes at a Language School

Anyone in the above three categories may decide that taking English courses is a wise investment. If so, they should contact the enrollment manager at a school like Greater Toronto Language School Inc to receive an assessment of their speaking and writing ability. After this phase, they will be able to begin taking classes and creating a better future for themselves.

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