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hovenweep hovenweep is offline
 
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hovenweep
 
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Monolingual student
Old 08-18-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Hi all! I am hoping some of you ESL experts out there in PT land can give me some tips to start the year off in a positive way for a student in my class. She does not speak any English. Today was our first day f school, an I was totally unprepared for her. She only enrolled this morning! We are an immersion school, but I don't want her to feel afraid. I want her to love coming to school!

Here is what I did today to support her. PLEASE feel free to offer criticism and suggestions:
-I allowed her to sit with a partner who can help translate for her
-I checked in with her regularily to try to help her (gesturing and drawing pictures)

I have a general sense that I need to provide a lot of realia and visual aides, but is there more that I can do to help her accquire vocabulary early on?


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MissESL MissESL is online now
 
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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Label: i.e. in spanish, label the door. DOOR / LA PUERTA

Speak moderately and clearly. Show items. For example, when you say 'I want you to get out your notebooks (hold up the desired notebook) books for Social Studies (hold up the textbook) and please do it quietly (put your finger to your lips). You can even have her mimick with you. It is a short cut of TPR, or Total Physical Response, which is known as a populr and effective way to teach new language skills. In TPR, you model, then have students do it themselves. You repeat the exercise until it is understood what is expected. While you don't hve time to repeat that sentence and those actions 20 times rightthen, making sure you do it consistently wit the same subjects an materials will help her learn the academic words.

Learn a few basics. Get yourself a ________-English Dictionary, whatever language that student knows. If you really feelshe isn't understanding, look up the word and say it to the best of your ability. You'll be learning from each other.

Be patient. Although NCLB would like our language learners out in 3 years or less, it is proven that it takes 7 - 10 years to learn a language fluently. You'll notice that she will pick up academic language quickly, as that is a survival skill. But keep an eye on her social situation, because that takes longer.

Accommodate: Just like any other student, right now this one does have special needs. She may need more time to complete things, for example. Sometimes more time, even when you feel you cannot spare it, is good for all students.

Partnering is great. Especially if it is consistent, because that person will become her friend. However, do not force her once she adjusts. If she would like to work inependently, encourage her. Be positive and praise a job well done. The TONE, even if the words aren't understood, will still say quite a bit. :-) Most new language learners go through a silent period and that's okay. She's listening and learning, even when you think she's not. :-) Good luck!
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read&see read&see is offline
 
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:33 AM
 
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MissESL did you mean academic language takes longer to learn than social language?

Has this child been to school in her home country? What grade do you teach?

If she is Spanish speaking you may be able to provide her with Spanish books from the library. That is ok in the beginning. It is stressful to hear all these words flying at you that you don't understand and if she can read books in her own language they may give her comfort.

She will probably not be comfortable speaking yet. She is listening and observing. It is sort of like when one of your senses isn't working and you use another to compensate.

If you check through other posts on this board you can find some websites that bay be helpful. One is Judy Haines www.everythingesl.com
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hovenweep hovenweep is offline
 
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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This child has many strengths that she is already showing me. She wrote a story today in Spanish, with beautiful spelling and handwriting. It had a beginning, middle and end. She clearly was educated prior to moving here. She is confident and raises her hand in Math. She will come to the board and write the answer to a problem. She seems ready to tackle anything, and I am in awe of her. What an amazing little person!

Today went a lot like yesterday, but I prepared many visuals to help her. She learned to ask to use the restroom and asked me at recess. I think she will come a long way this year! I have high hopes.

Thank you for all of your great suggestions. I have taken them to heart and I am working them into my planning.
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read&see read&see is offline
 
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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It is so helpful when a child has been in school. She will be able to transfer skills she has to a new language.
Good for her and you for both feeling comfortable with each other. That is a major first step!
Hope you have a great year.


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Old 08-27-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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FYI: It is against the law to ask a student to translate for you.
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