3 – 4

Two languages at home

Top tip

Two languages at home

What to do with this activity?

Perhaps English is not your first language, and maybe there is more than one language being spoken in your family home?

As a general rule, it is best for your child if you talk to them as much as possible in your own native language. Your child will benefit from you talking to them confidently through your first language. They will learn your first language. They will be ready to learn English when they start creche or school.

Do not be concerned if your child replies to you in a different language - whether your own language, in English, or in the language of your partner. Young children learn languages very quickly, much more quickly than adults. You are enriching their lives with language!


  • Why am I doing this?

    Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.

  • How can I do more?

    Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.

Rate this activity

Based on 29 reviews
How would you rate it?
1 = Poor, 5 = Great.

Keep in touch
Sign up for more tips