Portland Early Learning Project Blog

6 Tips For Supporting Bilingual Learning at Home

by PELP Team on 09/21/16

By Afton Nelson for PELP

Introducing young children to a second language has many benefits. Studies have shown that children as young as three will develop better cognitive skills, and prepare themselves for higher academic achievement. Kids also gain a rich cultural experience learning another language and will be better prepared to make societal contributions in the future.


The most effective way to learn a second language is through immersion. However, most of us are unable to pull up roots and move to a foreign country just for the purpose of language education.

Language classes or a language immersion school are practical alternatives, but there are additional things you can do to enhance this education and move it more towards an immersive experience.

Check out this list of ways you can support your bilingual learner when they’re outside of class.

  1. Have your child teach you something – Explaining reinforces learning. Additionally, you can use the new words or phrases to interact with your child.

  2. Play games – Name the colors of the cars as you drive through town, or foods as you shop at the grocery store. Check online for other game ideas, or download aps like DuoLingo or FluentU.

  3. Read books – Ask your child’s teacher for recommendations for age appropriate books you can read together.

  4. Watch videos – Check your local library for children’s foreign language videos. Choose from children’s shows in the language your child is studying, or informative videos on countries and places where the new language is spoken. Your librarian should have recommendations.

  5. Switch language preferences – Does your child have a favorite video game? Check the settings and switch to an alternate language if that option is available. It might take some getting used to, but they’ll soon adjust to the new commands and instructions, and their language skills will improve too.

  6. Attend cultural events – Check online for local cultural events that will expose your child to language, customs, food, and entertainment.

Young children’s brains are perfect for absorbing and learning new languages and the benefits they will enjoy from being bilingual are immense. Enhance their language education and watch their skills improve.

Learning a second language is good childhood mind medicine, studies find, Cornell Chronicle, Sept. 7, 2016

May & June Baby Classes

by PELP Team on 04/23/15

We have a new round of Baby Sign Language in Play classes starting on May 5th, and there are just a few spaces left in both the Series A & B classes.  For those of you with younger babies who are planning ahead, following the May session our next classes will begin June 30th.  Registration is OPEN for all of the following classes:

Series A Baby Sign Language in Play
6 Tuesdays, 11:30-12:15, May 5 - June 16 (no class 5/19)  *2 spaces left*
5 Tuesdays, 11:30-12:15, May 5 - June 16 (no class 5/19)

Series B Baby Sign Language in Play
5 Tuesdays, 10:15-11, May 5 - June 9 (no class 5/19) *3 spaces left*

Full details and registration can be found HERE.

Hope to see you in class soon!




Spanish Summer Camps Program Filling Fast!

by PELP Team on 04/23/15

Join us this summer as we explore the countries of Spain and Colombia! Our award winning Spanish Immersion Summer Camps are limited to just 20 campers per week and are filling fast.  Campers are warmly supported by our highly trained instructors to follow directions, complete projects and make their requests in Spanish, with English being reserved for cultural conversations and sharing. 


Pasaporte a España
June 15-19 (4-6 yr olds)
June 22-26 (6-9 yr olds)

Pasaporte a Colombia
Aug 10-14 (4-6 yr olds)
August 17-21 (6-9yr olds) 3 spots left!




portland early learning project blog