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3rdybirdy 3rdybirdy is offline
 
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ESL clueless
Old 01-26-2017, 06:35 PM
 
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Hello all -

I am a regular ed self contained 3rd grade classroom teacher with no ESL experience whatsoever. This week I got a new student from China - she knows her ABC's and some sight words and is great at math but responds to everything I ask her with " I don't know".
Her cousin is in my class - he speaks fluent chinese and is interpreting for me - but I think she is more capable than she is letting on.
We do not have any sort of ESL program and I am at a complete loss as to where to begin. Does anyone have any ideas or helpful info? Thanks so much


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Tiamat Tiamat is online now
 
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:31 PM
 
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Start by labelling everything in your classroom that doesn't move. You, or another child, or an aide, can spend time with her going over the words, getting her to repeat them, and then identify where they go (take a few off and get her to replace them while saying the word or phrase). Get some vocabulary activities from lower grades and get her to work on them. Get her reading on lower level readers and responding to them - even a picture can help you see what she understands. Teach some stock useful phrases (things like asking for the bathroom, asking for help). Ensure she can give her name age and address in English.

Having a cousin in the room can be a double edged sword. While an interpreter is useful and sometimes a godsend, it is easy for her to become dependant on him and not need English. Don't rip him away, obviously, but she needs to work and make friends with others as well. Pair her with a nice, friendly English speaking girl and encourage them to work together on tasks. Tell your nice friendly girl that it's fine if NewGirl initially copies her work - it's a part of the learning process for her and you won't penalise either of them.

One activity I like to do early on is send NewKid with an aide or very sensible older child on a walk around the school with a camera. They take lots of photos of the kid in places and with people all around the school,and we make a personalised first reader. Things like "I am in the library. I can get books to read. Mrs. Librarian is the teacher"; "this is the office. MrX and Mrs Y work here. I can come here if I am sick or hurt". Make it specific to your school and include vocabulary she needs for school survival. I've never had a child not love that book.

Hope some of this helps. I'm happy to help more if I can.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:34 AM
 
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Often, people who are learning a new language go through a silent period. This child is probably scared or nervous about making mistakes so won't risk saying more than "I don't know" right now but, don't worry! She is actively taking information in and learning by listening to you. When she starts to feel more comfortable and builds her trust in you, she will start talking.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:33 PM
 
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I had a similar situation with a student a few years ago. See if you can get a picture Chinese/English dictionary for her to look at. Get a low level reader with the audio and have her listen to the stories over and over. Starfall the online program might be a good idea depending on her level.
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Great ideas
Old 02-15-2017, 11:35 AM
 
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You've been given some great ideas already. I love the idea Tiamat gave you about the pictures around school, then writing sentences to go with them. I've done that before, and it works well!

You can use duolingo (a free language learning website). There are lots of websites that have vocabulary games and such that you can use. I love eslgamesworld, freddiesville, eslgamesplus, and sheppardsoftware. Mes-English and Bogglesworldesl have a lot of flashcards and worksheets.

Any time you can use pictures to help, that would be great! Also, the most important thing is to engage! Work with this student as you would with the others, with modifications of course. I've seen teachers just stick newcomers in the corner and never work with them. Your newcomer may not understand everything that is going on, but she will learn a lot faster by interacting with English-speaking classmates and adults. If she does know more than she is letting on, maybe once she is more comfortable, she will open up.
Hope these help!


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Old 02-21-2017, 10:06 AM
 
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Love the book idea!
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:57 AM
 
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I also love that book idea! I'm totally stealing it!

Don't forget to get the parents involved! Most parents will work with their child on learning a new language, especially if they're also learning or refining their own language skills. Many Asian cultures are also very concerned with their children's education. I don't think it would hurt to send home simple assignments they can all do together. (Something you can get from a Kinder class.)

It's wonderful that you have someone in the room to translate, but make sure you don't use him all the time. You don't want to take up all his learning time by making him translate. I would make sure she understands the math part, but don't bother having him translate the Language Arts part until she's learned at least the bare minimum you need for PreK or Kinder.

I also agree with the above posts, in that new students will 9/10 go through a silent period. This can last anywhere from a week to 6 months. Just be patient and remember it can take up to 7 years to learn a language. Good luck!
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3rd grade
Old 06-26-2017, 03:02 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat as you and was referred to a website called Colorin Colorado. It is so fantastic!
Good luck!
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