Parents who can't read...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by **Mrs.A**, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2011

    I'm currently working on an assignment for a phonics class I am taking..I need to address how parents and teachers can help with illiteracy problem. Reading to your child is the easiest way to help, but what if the parent can't read?

    When I started brainstorming ways a teacher can help parents help their children I started thinking about the parents who can't read or who are immigrants and don't speak English. How can they help?
    Do you help the parents find resources to help them learn to read? What if they work two jobs to get food on the table or don't have a car or time to get help?

    I work in a pretty afflent area and haven't come across this issue, but I'm curious how teachers who work in title schools and high poverty areas deal with it. How can we stop illiteracy from being passed from one generation to the next? It's such a huge problem!!

    This class has really got me thinking!!

    Another question.....

    I'm taking this class because I don't feel I received enough training in phonics..I think I had one class (I teach 4th grade). I was reading an article about teaching reading and how much training it really takes to be an effective reading teacher...It scares me to think I haven't been trained enough!!

    How much training did you receive in your teacher preperation program? Do you think it was enough? Do you think your an effective reading teacher?
     
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  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 6, 2011

    my district has "playaways" stories on real easy mp3-like players. Parents and students can checked these out. It's like listening to a book on tape.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2011

    Okay...helping illiterate parents...we have a literacy lab where parents can come with their children to check out literacy games, books, books on tape, videos, etc. They can choose to stay and play or take items to go.
    One of the best tools is probably books on tape. This way the child is still read to but the parent doesn't have to be able to read.
    As far as parents who speak another language, they can read to their child and talk with their child in that language. Reading to is good in any language. Students who can read in another language, tend to pick up reading in English faster than students never taught to read.
    Another great strategy is to turn on the closed captioning on the TV. Kids love TV, so make them read the words as they watch and listen.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2011

    My under graduate had 3 classes in reading for elementary education and 2 classes for special education. I got both degrees.

    However, as I felt I wasn't quite prepared to teach reading and writing, I worked on a masters in literacy. Now I feel much more prepared and enjoy reading and writing way more!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is what I was going to say. It's perfectly fine (and actually beneficial!) for parents to read to their children in their home language. Of course this assumes that the parent can read in that language. The skills associated with being able to read aren't completely language-dependent, so knowing how to read in one language makes it easier to learn to read in another because you would already know how to do it.

    For situations where the parent is illiterate or not home, books on tape/cd/mp3 is a very good idea.

    You might find that some parents who speak another language at home might be interested in learning English with their kids. I imagine that there are some resources out there for parents to learn alongside their kids, but I'm not exactly sure where to find them. This shouldn't be something that you push (parents are allowed to speak or not speak whatever language they like), but maybe it would be a good idea to have a supply of take-home resources for parents who request it.
     
  7. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Feb 7, 2011

    About half of my students have parents who can't read in English. It is difficult sometimes, but many of these students get their homework done and are progressing just fine in my class. My school has purchased a reading program called www.tickettoread.com and many of my students with internet access use it at home. They also go to sites like starfall, tumblebooks etc where they can listen to books. I also send home readers from readingatoz that I know my students will be successful on independently.

    It doesn't always have to be a parent helping either. A lot of my students have older siblings who read with them. Any kind of family involvement is good.

    Also, my school has English classes for the parents and other adult education. I think it's really helped and is an important part of any school that wants to connect with the community.
     
  8. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    Feb 7, 2011

    Have a library field trip and get all the students signed up for library cards. Let the parents know about this opportunity. The library is FREE!! They have audio books, and a lot of times weekly programs for the kids to meet and do reading activities - summer programs, too! Sometimes, the parents don't have time or a way to get the kids to the library, but with a card, it's at least one step closer.
     
  9. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Almost all of my students are ELL's. Some of the parents are bilingual, but most are not. We send home all letters and correspondence in English and Spanish. I let my parents know that I want to talk to any of them if they have concerns, and that I will gladly have someone translate notes or even find someone to do it in person. One morning one of my parents wanted to talk to me, and I had to grab a lunch lady to help me, lol. I don't speak Spanish well at all, but I make every attempt to use the language and be approachable. I greet them and try to make them feel comfortable whenever I see them. I really think that can help to bridge the gap between home and school.

    One of the things that we have to help are literacy backpacks. They have books on tape and other activities for the students to take home.

    I also have volunteered for an adult ESL program in my area. I found out that one of my student's mothers was in my program. I've asked her to talk to the other parents who might be interested, as well. Getting familiar with the free literacy programs in your area would probably be helpful to parents and students.
     
  10. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Feb 8, 2011

    This is just sad. The issue of parents who can't read to their kids. For me it goes from sad to extremely irritating when it is parents who can't read because they don't speak the language. That is a political issue, not educational to me.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Parents can read to their kids even if they don't speak English, provided that they know how to read in some other language.

    It's not really anything close to a political issue. What people do in their own homes with their own children is their business, particularly when it comes to the language they speak. It's not anyone else's business to comment on the merits or lack thereof of a parent choosing to use a particular language at home with their kids.
     
  12. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Feb 8, 2011

    If they want to speak a different language thats fine, as long as they can use the one from this language here as well.
    When it comes to language, there is a political issue at hand. Education does have political issues.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Your opinion really makes me sad. Why do you care one way or the other what someone else chooses to do? How does it impact you in any way whatsoever if a person wants to speak the language they grew up with? There are many native Spanish speakers who are as American as I am, born and raised here. For those folks, Spanish is their language and America is (and always has been) their home. Who are you to decide that that's not good enough? I really hope that you don't push this opinion on your students. What a way to make them feel unwelcome and excluded.
     
  14. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    The thing is, it does impact me, especially so as a teacher. Because people come here and don't speak the language, it becomes our job to do extra work to help them because of that. As well as the disadvantages we have when it comes to working with parents who don't speak the language. Then you have all of the papers that go home that schools translate and have dual print. Extra and unecessary printing right there.

    There are definetly disadvantages and extra hindrances that teachers have put on them when there is a lack of language ability.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Let's keep this thread on topic, people.
     
  16. Imaginetocreate

    Imaginetocreate New Member

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    I think it is important to provide services to those parents who need to learn the language. After all, we are instructors and most of us would be willing to go the extra mile for our students. It's sad to hear people like "Call me Bob", complain about the extra work he has to do for those parents.That line of thought sounds to me like someone in the 1950's, we need to update our mindsets too. Sometimes the reality goes beyond what we can see with our eyes, meaning how much good could you make if you helped those parents with a friendly touch? Most probably your help would go further and more students would succeed thanks to your willingness to help. I would start creating a curriculum to teach English, then a group for those parents. I would love to have those parents come to those meetings/classes to learn English.
     
  17. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Getting back to the original topic and question about parents who are illiterate--how do they read to their children?

    I have had parents who are illiterate who can be quite resourceful. The most common is checking out books on CDs or books on tape from public libraries. One parent had a special phone number that she dialed and they would read a different book aloud each night from the cell phone. The child and mother would listen to it together and then discuss it. The child loved the stories. That was years ago, so I don't know the phone number.
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jan 28, 2013

    In addition to the above suggestions I've sent parents to the social worker who seems to know adult literacy programs are. If there are older children, I suggest that they read to the younger children.
     
  19. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    Jan 28, 2013

    What about Youtube videos? There are plenty of read alouds on Youtube that have pictures of the pages accompanying the text as it is read.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :( we are a nation of immigrants...have some empathy.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I do, if someone comes here legally, one of their first tasks should be to learn the language. If I moved somewhere else I would not expect them to cater to me.
    I don't think we should have to do anything for people who can't read to their children. Maybe they should have made a better choice and not had those children if they couldn't do what they needed to in aiding the child's growth.
    Yes that is harsh, and I know some people wont like it. But the truth isn't always easy to take in. Our society has gotten worse in many areas because people are too soft and have to be too P.C. in everything they do.
     

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