How Local Authorities Provide Support for Bi-Lingual Parents in the UK

Find out more about how local authorities are able to support bi-lingual parents in the UK in various ways. 

In the UK there are many families who are bi-lingual and parents who want to raise their children as bi-lingual. Families can be bi-lingual for multiple reasons including:

● Coming from another country with their native language, and learning English in the UK

● Children born in the UK learn both English and their parents’ native language 

● Parents born in the UK with a base culture from another country continue to use both English and their cultural language, and raise their child to do the same

The great news is that many local authorities and schools are supportive and want to help bi-lingual parents in the UK. Whilst learning English is an important language skill, local authorities also understand the importance of boosting home language skills and celebrating the various languages a family speaks. 

Local Authorities Support Bi-Lingual Parents and Families with 2 Approaches

School-specific information

The first approach is in ensuring that bi-lingual families feel fully informed on the services available to them, and how to communicate effectively with their child’s school. Local authorities and schools may use Punjabi or Farsi voiceovers in educational videos to ensure that parents have all the information they need to feel comfortable with their children’s education. Eastern European languages are also commonly offered in educational video voiceovers to ensure bilingual parents feel informed. 

Parents are also actively encouraged to take advantage of free English language learning services. This helps to boost their current English language skills, in turn boosting their access to resources in addition to language-specific resources provided to them. 

Community Information

The second approach is with complete support of languages and cultures throughout the community. This includes a range of services that can help both the child and their bi-lingual parents fully integrate into the local community and the school. Services may include:

● Pupil interpreters 

● New arrival contacts 

● Interactive bi-lingual/ multi-language online supplementary learning

● Parent behavioural management guides in multiple languages 

● Complete guides on bringing up a child bilingually in the UK school system 

English as an additional language is the status of a huge number of bi-lingual families in the UK. A recent study suggested around 20% of school age children are bilingual in the UK, and the chances are that figure will only rise as we become more multicultural as a nation. 

Local authorities understand that these needs must be catered for and in multiple different ways. Various hurdles continue to be recognised and moving forward, it is likely that the resources available to bi-lingual parents will only increase. 

As it stands, resources are far-reaching and are available to bi-lingual parents in many languages, and in English where it is a second language. Local authorities and schools understand that language is a core skill and requirement for any child, and learning English whilst celebrating their home language, is essential for an excellent educational experience in the UK. 

For more detailed information read the excellent research from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research “How Schools Are Integrating New Migrant Pupils And Their Families”.

If you would like to find out more about languages, why not read 'Top Tips for Learning Languages from Home' next? 

Comments are closed