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Need ESL help
Old 11-07-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I just got a new student who's dominant language is Spanish with just a little English. Honestly, I don't know how to help her as I don't speak Spanish. She speaks Spanish with a little English mixed in. I am trying to get her ESL help but don't know how to go about it. She is in Kindergarten. Any advice on how I can present a case to get services for this little girl will be greatly appreciated? And what can I do to help her, since she doesn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish until the services become available? Thanks in advance.


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Old 11-08-2009, 06:38 AM
 
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If she has just enrolled in your school, she should have filled out a home language survey. This is what my school uses to initially check for students who might need ESL services.

As far as helping her in your class, do you have another student who speaks Spanish? If so, partner them up. You will need to start using lots of pictures and gestures to help this student understand what you are talking about. I would also label items in your classroom in English if you haven't done that already.

Check out: http://colorincolorado.org/educators and
http://www.esl-kids.com/

to get you started.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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I would allow her some time to listen and watch. Children first learning a language go through a silent stage and are may not yet be ready to speak and should not be forced to before they are ready.
As the other poster stated, if you have and ESL dept. in your district someone should be aware of the student and should be screening the child soon. What state are you in?

She can try to learn and write her name with help. She can listen to stories with repetitive phrases. Someone could show her the colors and she can learn to identify those.

If you look through other posts on this ESL area there are many websites suggested.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:33 AM
 
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Is there an IPT or W-APT or other method your district uses for screening children? As soon as a child comes into our district, we have a series of steps. IF they answer any other language but English on the home language survey, then we must look for a screener score stating language proficiency. If there is no proof of proficiency, that child is screened using the w-apt (wida.us) and placed accordingly.

You can do several things to help her.
1. Give her a buddy. Even one who speaks mostly English will help her acclimate more and have someone consistent that she can depend on.
2. Label EVERYTHING. Put labels on the chalkboard, books, her times in English so that she can learn the words.
3. Use body language. When you ask students to do something, model it. For example, 'get a crayon from the middle of your table'...walk up to a table and pick up a crayon.
4. Educate yourself. Make an effort to learn basic Spanish words such as book (libro), pen (pluma), desk (escritorio), etc. Invest in a dictionary.
5. Keep advocating for her!

A PP said someone would be aware and screen her. That's not always the case. Make sure the ESL person KNOWS she is there. Believe me, ithe communication does not always happen.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:05 AM
 
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Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I started labeling the room and I do have a little boy who speaks english but knows some spanish as her work buddy. I will continue to follow the advice given. It's very helpful. Thanks again.


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new ESL student
Old 11-14-2009, 05:56 AM
 
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I am an ESL teacher who teaches grades K-2. Many of our children come to school in kindergarten with minimal English skills, as they have little exposure and Mom and Dad speak little English, too.

It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to inform me when she gets a new student who may qualify for services. I think our teachers are beginning to understand that not all children with the name of Gonzalez qualify for ESL services, but they are required to send home a "Home Language Survey" to find out. Once we find out what their home language is, we are responsible for testing that child to determine if he or she qualifies. We are a WIDA participating state, so we use the WIDA testing materials, and in our case, that's the W-APT. If the child does not score at least a 27 on the speaking and listening test, he/she receives services once the parent has been notified that services are necessary.

As far as your being able to speak Spanish, that isn't necessary at all. The kindergarten room is typically a language-rich environment. All of my kinders are accelerating very quickly and catching, and in some cases, surpassing their English-speaking peers. They do this by just being there every day and listening right along with the others.

As for helping her now, just use a lot of gestures. Please do not try to speak Spanish with her. I know of some teachers who try to speak Spanish, and it is incorrect Spanish, with poor grammar and enunciation. I do not want to see my teachers being poor role models for the Spanish language, and I have tactfully suggested this to them.

Our newbies are usually doing great after just a couple of months, just by being in the room each day. Don't worry a great deal about her. She will do fine!
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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Thank you Carolyn, I've been sick. Had the flu. It wasn't HiNi but it just knocked me out. I just got on proteacher today. Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I will use them. She is such a nice student. Very respectful. I want her to be successful.
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Hi
Old 11-20-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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My advice to you is to use a lot of pictures, point, use gestures and talk slower. Another suggestion is to label everything in your classroom with pictures and lots of modeling.
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Interesting Point, Carolyn
Old 12-06-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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You make an interesting point about teachers attempting Spanish. I do use my smattering of Spanish with students. Most of them light up at my attempts and help me extend my vocabulary and pronunciation. I've always thought that its fair that they help my Spanish since I'm helping their English. It also seems fair for them to see that language learning is not always easy even (especially) for teachers.

I also find that my Spanish usage give permission for the E.O.s (English Onlys) in class to attempt some Spanish. With half of the class speaking Spanish, I get grouchy when kids don't even bother to pick up "gracias" or "bueno."

I will rethink my usage, but I'm pretty sure that my students won't even think of modeling my speech. Most of them find me amusing but seem glad I try.
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