ESL in Kinder

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by abrummitt, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. abrummitt

    abrummitt Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2009

    Hello.. I'm a brand new teacher and I just got a new student in my kindergarten class who doesn't speak a word of English. I don't feel like my graduate school adequately prepared me to handle a situation like this, so I was hoping a few of you pros would have some tips!

    Should I work on basic vocab translation for now? He is demonstrating that he is very bright, I think it will just be a language issue.

    Should I have other K students tell him everything in Spanish as well?

    Thanks everyone!!
     
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  3. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Nov 20, 2009

    Pairs

    Try to put him with one of your better bilingual students at all times and tell those student to only use Spanish as a last resort. I've never taught ESL but I have been volunteering as an English tutor for ELL'S. It's amazing how quickly the young ones pick up English!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  4. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2009

    Not everything has to be translated by another student but do allow your other Spanish speakers to translate to explain directions/rules/procedures etc. Sorry to disagree-but with a new comer, Spanish should not be a last resort, but should be allowed at all times. It is very important for language acquisition to allow students to feel safe and comfortable and that includes being able to use your first language.
    Make a simple book of classroom objects. Ex I see a pencil. I see a book etc.) Use the book to teach these first words and also early reading skills (one to one, left to right etc.) have students in your class take turns reading the book with your student.
    It is very common for young students to go through a silent period where they don't talk in English for up 6 months. If your student seems reluctant to try to talk, allow them this time to hear and process the language. They can respond nonverbally by pointing or doing an action.
    I know this getting long, do you have an ESL teacher at your school? Seek them out for ideas to help the child learn English and feel comfortable in your class. If you want more ideas, feel free to PM me.
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2009

    They do catch on quickly. Use lots of visuals, model specifically what you want them to do in an activity. I have 2 ESL students currently (they do know more English than your student). I always pre-teach vocab for the day in the morning while others are doing their sponge activity. I also have a separate small group for them during that instruction time to work on things like grammar and vocab.

    Not to confuse you more, but personally, I don't agree with having students translate-it takes time away from your other students' learning and if this child spoke a language no one else spoke, what would you do? To me, it's like having a GT student tutoring another student. Of course, recognize the different culture and modify for them and if you needed to find out what happened in a situation I would have someone ask them in Spanish, but otherwise I would handle the ESL modifications myself. I assume your school doesn't have bilingual or dual-language classrooms?
     

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