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Both my husband and I are ESL; Polish is our native language. We speak Polish to our kids (2.5-year-old and 11-month-old). As we are trying to incorporate the strategies you discuss in your book into the daily activities I am struggling with figuring out if we should stick to our native language, mix it up or perform testing related activities in English….. Both girls go to a small daycare where they speak English.

I think it is great that you are teaching your children two languages as they are growing up. My question to you is, what are your plans for school? Will they be tested for private school or a gifted program? If so, it is possible that growing up speaking two languages will limit them in the language/vocabulary area when assessed. If they take a test for private school entry, you will want to tell the tester they are bilingual. That should go in their report and explain any deficiency in language should there be one. With testing for gifted and talented, there is often no place to tell them the kids are bilingual and no “taking it into account” if they don’t score as well. If your child will take a gifted test in English where there is no ability to take into account that your child speaks multiple languages, you might want to step up the use of English at home in the 6-months prior to testing just to shore up their English skills. They won’t forget the Polish and you can pick it right back up after they are tested. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the book, Testing for Kindergarten!

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