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question for ESL teachers
Old 09-16-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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I teach in a small private school without ESL services. I have a 6th grader who can read on 7-8 grade level, but comprehends at a 2nd grade level. One of the most difficult things for her to do is infer. She also has trouble identifying feelings. I know Spanish, muy poquito, however I wondered if I should have her answer questions in Spanish and then I help her relate them in English. She doesn't read/write in Spanish. Do you think this might help?


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Old 09-16-2009, 12:30 PM
 
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If she doesn't read or write in Spanish then I wouldn't. Is she having a hard time comprehend the meanings of English words or is another type of processing problem. Is she reading too fast and not taking time to really "read" the stories or books? Does she speak Spanish fluently to be able to answer qestions in Spanish?
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I agree with the PP. Is she fluent in English? What level of English proficiency does she have? How is her speaking and her writing? I don't think answering questions in Spanish will help, especially since it sounds as though she's only had academic instruction in English, not in Spanish. If you don't speak Spanish and she's not literate in it then I'm confused about how you'd be able to help her relate her answers in English?

I'd approach it the same as if she were a native English speaker. Does she comprehend the reading if it is read aloud?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:46 AM
 
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We always say that it is best to focus on one language literacy if they are illiterate in both. IF they are literate in their native language, then using the native language is a great way to make connections. They can see 'dog' and know that the word in Spanish is 'perro'. So when they see 'dog', they can translate it to 'perro' in their minds and build their literacy.

However, it sounds like your student is not very literate in either language. I recommend starting from the ground with ENGLISH only, verbally translating when necessary (invest in a great Spanish-English dictionary, like Merriam-Webster and know your online translating sites (I love yahoo babelfish)). use a lot of pictures and hand motions/body language as well as repetition. Work your way up to the more difficult skills. If the student is eager to learn, you'll see infinite progress this year.

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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Her writing is very poor- it's what I'd expect from a second grader. I have one other spanish speaker in the class (imagine, a private school class of 10, and 2 of them esl??), and they get excited about "teaching" me Spanish. I repeat phrases in English and Spanish, but I get confused on where to put words: is "who is it?" I wasn't sure where to put "lo." It took a moment for them to process, but she laughed and said "lo quien es, Mrs. G" I know that doesn't seem like much, but at least she engaged in a conversation with me.


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Old 09-18-2009, 06:32 AM
 
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I would use a lot of pictures, does she read in Spanish? If so get a Spanish-English dictionary. Is the other student doing better? If so have that student sit near by and help her when she doesn't understand.
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