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Culturally Sensitive
Old 09-18-2019, 03:18 AM
 
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Advice Needed! Sorry it's long!

I am head of the World Languages Dept. at an international school. There is a teacher who teaches 2 non English languages. Due to the enrollment/scheduling, her timetable could not be filled with the languages she typically teaches. In addition to this last year, she asked to teach English to add to her skillset. Fast forward, this year she teaches a class that is between ESL and a standard English class. So, the students are weak in English. I observed the teacher last week and we both concluded that she and I needed to coteach and there are some things she needs to learn. Fine. She's a fast learner, and she is very appreciative and receptive of feedback.

I also spoke to my principal about this and he could not understand what I was saying. He kept mentioning her great IB exam results in her 2 languages. I explained there is some overlap but not everything is transferrable, especially considering this is also a younger grade level (9th) for her.

Problem: She often sends home emails to parents that are riddled with grammar errors. Typos are one thing but these are not typos.

How do I approach this with her while still being culturally sensitive and respecting our internationally minded philosophy? Or do I just ignore it? And, if I ignore it what about the grammar she uses with the students? She also speaks the same way.


Examples:

_________ often insisting his opinion which often interrupts class time.
It would be helpful to be encouraged at school and at home to read more English books.
I am reminding him to be on task time to time in class.
However, he often denies the fact or being frustrated because he has been told off.
I would like to recommend him to follow instructions
I just want to help _______ to improve his English skills and your support on him would be very much appreciated.


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Since you are in a position of mentoring/
Old 09-18-2019, 04:50 AM
 
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coteaching (and Dept Head) can you suggest that she have you "proofread" her outward bound stuff while she is learning the new stuff?

Or maybe you could make her a "cheat sheet" of commonly used phrases for the parent letters? Something she could refer to while she responds to her emails?

Since she is very appreciative and receptive of your feedback, she would probably appreciate it.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:15 AM
 
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I was going to suggest the same thing. Offer to edit and proof her letters and emails written in English to fine tune the language issues.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:25 AM
 
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I think proofreading her letters home would be a good idea, but I would still be concerned about the grammar she uses in class with the students.
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I think
Old 09-18-2019, 11:47 AM
 
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You have a bigger issue. Does she have an English degree or certification? If not, why is she teaching a subject that she is not certified for? Itís not fair to students and parents that a teacher is teaching a subject that she is not proficient in. And if she has issues with grammar, then she is not proficient in English. She was hired to teach one subject, but now is teaching another? Sorry, but I think your school needs to hire an English teacher.


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Old 09-18-2019, 11:56 AM
 
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As a parent, I would be extremely dissatisfied about having this teacher teaching English to my child. I don't believe it is possible to competently teach something that the person has not yet mastered.

If she were teaching another subject, say science, her weakness in English would not be such a serious concern.

How can she adequately model good English or grade writing?

In the immediate future, having someone proof all of her writing would be wise, but it is not the solution to this problem.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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Thank you everyone! These are my same concerns. As for proofreading, I will definitely suggest it. As for her teaching English, that's another issue that needs to be addressed. I'm not even sure where to begin with that. Like I said, she is certified in 2 languages but only has a TESOL/TEFL in English- something she got online in a couple of months that admin. seems to be okay with.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:03 PM
 
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I agree with the points raised by others. I did want to add that in my last school, I had a teammate whose second language was English. He occasionally made mistakes (nothing like this- more like very occasionally pronouncing things wrong or misusing an idiom). I thought the most polite thing was to not say anything.

One day at lunch, he had brought salmon and was talking about it, but he was pronouncing it with the "l" sound voiced (like it's spelled). I said something about not liking the texture of Salmon and he said, "Wait, how do you say it?" When I repeated it, he asked why I hadn't told him he was saying it wrong and got kind of upset that "no one ever wants to help him." I told him I thought it wasn't a big deal and I was just being polite, and that it feels impolite to me to correct another adult. He said that he needs people to correct him so he can learn. Since you've said this person is open to feedback, I'm wondering if she might feel similarly anyway.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:53 PM
 
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Regular poster, but can't log in for some reason. Have her download Grammarly on to her computer. It's a free add-on that will help her make grammar corrections to everything she types.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:04 PM
 
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Has admin seen the examples that you showed us here? It does not make the school look good (aside from being bad for the students). If nothing else, admin is often motivated by the possibility of looking bad, or parent complaints, to finally change something.


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Old 09-21-2019, 04:44 AM
 
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Right now, she is not at a point to teach English. If she will.contunue in this role. she needs a coteacher. I like the suggestion of using grammarly and other proofreading tools.

Given your example, I would put her at a level 3 on WIDA's scale. She definitely does not have the proficiency to teach ELD.
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