New At-Home Language Activity Booklet for Young Children Available Online
April 1, 2020 | By Janet L. Kelly
WIDA Early Years is making a new booklet, “Learning Language Every Day: Activities for Families,” available free online in English and Español to help children keep learning at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The booklet can be downloaded for printing and sharing.
Appropriate for children between the ages of two and seven, the activities in the booklet encourage kids to practice and improve their language skills by talking about topics they know—themselves, their families, what they like to play, how they feel, what sounds they hear and the weather.
“Children learn language by listening to those around them and then using their language skills to respond,” says Lorena Mancilla, director of WIDA Early Years, a resource housed at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Education within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research that advances multilingual learning for young children in early-care and education settings.
“Parents were not given much time to prepare for their children to learn at home and they should not be expected to teach academic subjects for six hours a day,” states Mancilla. She wants families to know that they can choose from a variety of ways to keep their children engaged and support learning at home.
“It is important for parents to begin by asking themselves, ‘What can I do to build on our knowledge and create a learning environment at home that works well for the whole family?’”
WIDA is an organization within the University of Wisconsin-Madison that works to advance academic language development and academic achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse children and youth through high-quality standards, assessments, research and professional learning for educators. WIDA’s resources are used by 42 domestic states, territories and federal agencies, and approximately 500 international schools throughout the world.