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Why first language literacy programs?

At Englishlink, we are regularly asked if we can teach refugees English. We can, as long as they are literate in their first language.

Why is this so important? While learning a first language, one gains an understanding of pattern and grammatical structure. These are crucial when trying to acquire a second language. It is well documented that once language skills are learned, they transfer globally from one language to another.

Think of tennis or golf. A learner developed the eye-hand coordination needed to hit the ball while playing as child. Those who did not master this control at a young age generally struggle to master tennis, golf or any ball sport.

Worldwide, when new migrants arrive in English-speaking countries they are often placed in first language literacy programs in order to teach them rudimentary skills like reading and writing. These are needed to learn English as a Second Language effectively.

Many governments should spend more money on these programs, resulting in better results from the ESL programs that follow.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 at 9:03 am and is filed under ESL news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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