Bilingual Options


Dr Susanne Dopke


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Talks For Professionals
Working With Bilingual Children


Summaries of talks:

Bilingual children in family day care.

Parents who are native speakers of a community language and wish to raise their children bilingually are often frustrated by their children's limited attainment in the community language. These difficulties are particularly pronounced for working parents. Family Day Care providers who are native speakers of a language other than English can be an important resource to parents who wish to raise their children bilingually. The aim of this talk is to give careers and parents ideas on how to maximise NESB carers potential for supporting bilingual children's development of the community language.

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Practical suggestions for supporting bilingual children's language development in Family Day Care.


This talk is aimed at English speaking family day care providers with children from non-English speaking backgrounds in their care. Strategies are discussed for providing family centred care while at the same time promoting the children's development of English. Participants will be encouraged to abandon common fears and prejudices surrounding bilingualism and embrace the potential which bilingualism affords the development of children.

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The parent-school interface: How can teachers advise parents and what can parents do to help their bilingual  children's language development in the LOTE classroom.

LOTE teachers can play an important role in supporting NESB children's development of the home language. The purpose of this talk is to make this role easier for teachers. Ways in which teachers can involve parents in their children's language development at school and support the ongoing language development in the family are discussed.

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Stages of language development in young bilingual children.

This talk looks at the stages of language development under simultaneously bilingual conditions. Both the similarities between monolingual and bilingual development as well as the additional dimensions of bilingual first language acquisition are presented. Much of this talk is based on Susanne's own research of German-English bilingual children growing up in Australia, but also includes evidence from French-English and French-German bilingual data. The principles of bilingual language development extracted that way make predictions about the simultaneous development of other language combinations. These are useful for professionals with a language focus, in particular speech pathologists and early childhood educators.

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Aspects of bilingual development: implications for the assessment and treatment of children from non-English speaking background.

This talk is aimed at speech pathologists working with bilingual children. It commence with an overview of the research knowledge regarding language delay/disorder and bilingualism. From that conclusions will be drawn for advising families who wish to raise their children with a 'language-other-than-English' in the home. Suggestions are made regarding what to look for and ask for when assessing children's development in home languages as well as the structuring of treatment for cross-language generalisations. It is hoped that colleagues will share their own experiences and strategies during the discussion part following the presentation.

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Last updated: April 16th, 2010