being prepared to teach Non-English speaking students

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by nnc01a, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. nnc01a

    nnc01a Guest

    Apr 4, 2004

    Hi, I am starting a research project and my proposal is the question, "Are colleges preparing teachers to handle students that do not speak English?" I am preferrably doing the study on the Spanish Language and elementary teachers, but want to know eveyone's opinion. I would like to know if foreign language was part of your degree plan, do you feel prepared to handle a student that does not speak English, and, if you did take foreign language in college, how many years and was it mandatory? Also, if you know of any studies of this subjects or good places for me to look I would appreciate it greatly. Thanks!
  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

    Apr 4, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Apr 4, 2004

    I took Spanish for 4 years in high school, but was not required to take it in college (for a BA you have to take 2 years, but education is a BS that does not require a foreign language)... we do have a bilingual elementary ed. program for spanish, but not too many people enroll in it... but I can guarantee they all find jobs. ;)

    In my student teaching, I had 4 ESL students in my first placement, but all understood English... one didn't feel comfortable talking in English, but the rest talked a lot, and had a pretty good command of the language.

    I know a basic amount of Spanish, but would have a hard time teaching them if they don't understand English.
  4. Margo

    Margo Devotee

    Apr 20, 2001
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    Apr 4, 2004

    I usually have several ESOL students in my class and I know absolutely no Spanish. I have had students come to me knowing no English at all. I just find some biligual kids to translate for me until the child starts picking up English. It happens very quickly and before long there is no communication problem between us.
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Apr 4, 2004

    I was not prepared as part of my teacher training, but like all other challenge...This is part of being a professional! You learn to reach out to the experts in the building and go with the flow, keeping in mind what is best for ths student..
  6. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

    Oct 24, 2002
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    Apr 4, 2004

    I am currently in my last semester of my undergrad work, and I am currently taking a class which is pretty much required for a credential at my school, called "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" I do not know how much it is actually preparing me to work with ESL students, especially since a foreign language is not required at my school if you had at least 3 years in high school, which I did. I feel like I am being prepared with strategies and techniques to use with these students, but in actuality, if they do not speak any English, and I speak very very very limited Spanish, then how am I ever supposed to communicate with them?
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Apr 5, 2004

    I am currently teaching Japan but have been a teacher in Texas before coming here. So, I deal with students on a day-to^day basis that speak very little English and I speak very little Japanese. So, to answer you question, NO, I do not feel like we are being prepared in college to work with students who do not speak our native language. Granted, my college prepared me greatly for other areas of teaching, but I can:t help but think how much more I would be prepared now in Japan if I would have been provided with tips in this area. In Texas, we have to have ESL certification in order to teach these children, but even in my history classes I have students who don:t speak ENglish, so why not give all teachers training in ESL! I did not take a foreign language in college, it was not mandatory. Hope this helps!

    IF you have any other questions you can e^mail me at
  8. MrsMac

    MrsMac Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
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    Apr 6, 2004

    I'm a Primary school teacher in Australia - the main ESL students that I get speak Traditional languages (there are 200 different Indigenous languages in Australia), and none of the training that I received in University prepared me for this. The main problem that I have is that even if there are other Indigenous students who are bilingual in the class, they may speak different Indigenous languages - here in central Australia we have 7 recognised indigenous languages in the area that students come from.

    To compound this problem students often arrive in Year 5 or 6 having not attended school before - they live in remote communities where English is not spoken, and where there are often no schools. Student therefore does not know the school environment or basic routines, and is learning at a pre-school level, but is placed in a class working at a Year 5 level. Student is also now living away from home, so has little or no support network.

    During Uni I did not learn enough about how to deal with students who cannot speak or understand English at all - how do they ask to go to the toilet? Simple things that make their life in the classroom hard, as well as my job in trying to teach all students in the class.

    Sorry for the long response
  9. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Apr 7, 2004

    HI, I am also doing research right now. There are several good places to look for researching in the field of education. You can find a tone of education related materials in databases such as, ERIC, OHIOLINK,and Proquest (I especially like ERIC, its a little cumbersome to navigate, but you can access any peer reviewed journal you can think of). Most colleges have free access to these databases, you can also access these databases from home if you have the passwords. I hope this helps!

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