I got a student last Monday who doesn't speak any English at all. (Of course, nor does his parents.) This is my third year teaching school, and frankly, I'm not sure how to help him. He will have ESL pullout 2 days a week for 45 minutes each day, and that's it. Other than that, he's all mine.
So far, I've had him on the computer looking at programs which give the English word for a picture. I have some flash cards that match English and Spanish, but he can't read the Spanish anyway, I don't think. He seems to be getting something out of Math, but that's about it. I'm not sure he can write his name. He writes Calroso instead of Carlos, but maybe that's a nickname? The ESL teacher tested him today, and said that he could go to 1st grade, as he doesn't know his letters, etc. (I teach 2nd.)
What things can I do to keep him learning and productive, without taking a whole lot of time from the rest of my students? Any advice or ideas would be appreciated, particularly any computer games or independent work! Thanks, Proteacher friends.
_____Make use of contextual clues (such as gestures, expressions,
body language) to facilitate understanding.
_____Use multiple media to provide different stimuli.
_____Provide individualized instruction and assistance.
_____Encourage peer tutoring, role-playing, and interaction.
_____Use written and pictorial forms (maps, graphs, charts, pictures, audiovisual aids, lists, semantic maps and webs, flow charts, outlines, etc.) to teach.
_____Adjust or shorten assignments appropriately.
_____Provide hands-on experiences whenever possible.
_____Use small group instruction and cooperative learning groups.
_____Define content area language or terminology for students.
_____Use alternative assessments, such as observation, demonstration, product or portfolio assessment.
_____Reduce oral and written directions and information to# easy-to-understand steps or parts.
_____Adapt written text and materials to facilitate comprehension.
_____Modify your speech
Speak clearly and enunciate carefully, using authentic natural speech
Use shorter, less complex sentences for students in the earlier stages
Use a slightly slower rate of speech, but be careful to maintain the natural rhythm and flow of the language.
Use longer, but natural, pauses.
Use fewer pronouns.
_____Repeat, rephrase, and/or paraphrase key concepts and directions.
_____Model and demonstrate procedures and thought processes.
_____Build on what students already know and relate ideas in relevant, real-life ways, i.e. "..just like you did yesterday with..."
_____Avoid using idioms or slang. Explain to them when they are used.
I definately have been learning through trial and error these past three years. This year and last year I have had 5 ENL students in my class (22 students total this year) 3 of these students have VERY limited English (level 1) They get pulled three times a week for 20 minutes. The others are level 2's and get pulled twice a week for 20 minutes.
Obviousely, I cannot rely on the ENL program. I try to use both Spanish words and English words in the the story walk through during guided reading (yes, I have to look up words), I try to demonstrate activities while explaining them, I know how to say: it is time to work, be quiet, etc.... I use the methods the above poster uses and hope that more people post. I will be waiting for other's responses.
One of my friends had a student in 2nd grade a couple of years ago that spoke no english. She used a lot of kindergarten level computer games or even toddler level because they have pictures and words. She recorded a lot of books on tape and had him listen or she recorded word cards or letters on tape and had him look at the cards and listen to the tape. She put up labels all over the room.
Also, how about assigning an "all the time buddy" to this student. Do you have a student that is an over achiever teacher type that would be a good helper.
Parent volunteers would be helpful. Have them pull the child and just go over words and words and words.
If the student has been to school and already has some skills, it is much easier. I've had 6th graders that don't speak English and have never been to school. That is really challenging.
Can this child write in Spanish? If you give the student math problems can they complete them? Best education is exposure. They will get lots out of just being with the kids and observing the class. Computer programs are a good idea, but they only go so far.
I appreciate all your great ideas. I do have him sitting next to one of my highest students, who is glad to help him whenever she needs to. My whole class gets excited when he participates. (Answered a math question yesterday, in English.) I bought some flash cards, and have him trying to master about six connected words per day. (Shoes, socks, pants, shirt, sweater, hat) I am definitely modifying assignments, and for science content, I am trying to make sure he understands definitions in his own language (babelfish translations). I will definitely be able to apply your list, Tounces. Again, thanks to all who contributed!
Very few people in my school have any experience with this sort of thing. I did have ESL students last year, but they were pretty high functioning, and definitely had a working knowledge of English.
Another thing you might try once you determine if he can read any in Spanish, is go to enchantedlearning.com. They have materials available in Spanish, German, Italian, French. Some of their stuff is members only (our school has a site membership), but i bet there's some you could print out for free. Even If you can't read it, it would keep him productive when you just don't have time to work with him alone.