Learning a second language in the family

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This chapter shows how home activities can contribute to child L2 learning. The chapter draws on a longitudinal case study of a Korean family living temporarily in England. During shared L2 reading at home, and associated discussion and role play, the children developed their L2 word knowledge, their ability to explain and describe in L2, and a range of interaction skills. Sociodramatic play acting out the routines of English school life was also a popular home activity which built children’s confidence and readiness for participation in ‘real’ school. In both types of activity, the involvement of different configurations of family members with differing levels of English knowledge provided a stimulus for creative and ‘fun’ use of English, as well as mutual support and flexible scaffolding which maximised all the children’s opportunities to use and learn English.


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