ESL Students in the Classroom

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by RLucas, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2005

    I am in a on-line class and we are suppose to go to several classes with ESL students which I did but did not get much feed back. I was curious with the vast knowledge of teachers on this site, what do you do differently with your lesson plans with ESL students? Does anybody have any ESL students in their class? What kind of interaction do you have with the parents? And do you (the teacher) speak any other languages?
    Thanks
     
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  3. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Jun 8, 2005

    In many of the schools within our district there is no difference in instrustion for ESL students. They are basically 'thrown' into the class and forced to learn English at a rapid pace. By the end of the first semester, most of them speak fluent English. It's actually pretty amazing how fast they pick it up when they don't have a choice. I personally have not taught in a class like that, but have seen it many times.
     
  4. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2005

    That is basically what the teacher's I met with said. I was hoping that maybe some one had more insight. Thank you!
     
  5. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jun 8, 2005

    I teach in one the the ESL school sites in my county and I have had both Russian and Spanish students in my classroom. As far as the differentiation of instruction we have go @ a slightly slower pace and also we try and give them a "buddy" (someone that speaks their language and also is fluent in English). The students also get Intensive intervention in the language arts area and then they have an ESL pullout program for a segment a day. If I can answer any other questions please let me know.
     
  6. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2005

    I sent you a private email with more questions I hope you don't mind!
     
  7. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jun 8, 2005

    We have a high population of ESL children in our classrooms. Our school is well over 50% Spanish speaking. I have never spoken the language. At the grade level that I teach, most of the ESL strategies that we use are those that we use anyway to teach Kindergarten. So there is not much difference in instructional practices. We do have ESOL assistants that work with small groups of children. I have even had some non-English speakers in my class. That has been a challenge. But as previously mentioned, they learn the language very quickly.
     
  8. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Can you give me more detail on the instructional practices - slow speech, lots of visual aides? How does your school define which students need ESOL assistance? What did you do different with the non-speakers if anything? How do you communicate with parents, does your school provide translators?
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 8, 2005

    I student taught in a classroom (2nd grade) with several ESL kids... 3 Spanish, one Russian (although the Russian child was in his last year of ESL services, as he spoke better English than most of my native speakers). They all received pull-out ESL services during the day... 2 went individually (one not every day), and 2 went as a pair... one of my Spanish girls had been literally thrown into the class speaking no English, her family had just moved from Mexico over the summer... she hardly ever spoke in class (English OR Spanish) or in her ESL group... but she had pretty good comprehension and writing skills in English, I think she was just afraid to speak. The 3 Spanish speakers also had a pull-out as a group several times a week. These typically happened during our silent reading time or our reading instruction time; we were fairly flexible if they missed an assignment that either they could do their ESL work instead, they'd get extra time or a modified assignment, etc.

    We always made sure another Spanish speaker was at her table, in case she had trouble with instructions, etc. We were a bit more sensitive to who we paired them up with for projects (ie, my non-speaker, we let her choose someone she'd be comfortable talking to, instead of assigning the pairs we did for the rest of the class)... but, for the most part, they received regular instruction in the room, with some assistance from the ESL teachers.

    For the most part, we were able to communicate well enough with the parents, although sometimes the kids would translate if necessary. All communication that I know of that went home was in English.

    My mom does Pre-K Special Ed, and has several parents who speak only Spanish or very little English. She took a Spanish for Teachers class this spring, so has at least learned some greetings and basic things to use when talking with parents... and she learned how to say "I only speak a little Spanish, but I'm learning." Parents that need translators have them in meetings (one of her TA's is fluent in both and often translates)... one trick I've seen her use for parents who don't read English, but have someone who can translate when necessary... she'll put a star, smiley face, or some other symbol on the top right corner of papers that HAVE to be returned to school (emergency cards, field trip notes, etc) or that are REALLY important (no school, your kid has snack, etc)... this lets them know which ones need to be looked at immediately with someone who can translate vs. the ones that are more "junk the school has to send home." This has worked well for some parents.

    Hope that helps... let me know if you need anything else. ;)
     
  10. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2005

    Thank you and I hope more information keeps coming - I was lost before I posted here and everyone has been so helpful! Thanks!
     
  11. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2005

    Intructional practices include those things you mentioned plus a whole lot more. Things like: repetition, use of manipulatives, picture clues, use of small group, centers, cloze exercises, cooperative groups, discover learning, drama/role play, experiments, games, illustrations, jazz chants, labeling classroom, language experience approach, peer tutoring, problem solving, providing cues, realia, using real literature, rephrasing, showing patterns, thematic approach, total physical response, use of child's cultural background and experiences, overheads, venn diagrams, "wh" questions to assist comprehension.

    As far as how it is determined who needs ESOL asssitance - when the children are enrolled in school, the parents answer three simple questions regarding language: 1) Is there a language other than English spoken in the home? 2) Did the student have a first language other than English? 3) Does the student most frequently speak a language other than English? If the parent answers "yes" to even one of these, then the child is automatically screened by the ESOL compliance specialist. She adminsters a simple test to determined the child's level of English. If they are determined to be "limited English speaking" or "non- English speaking" they qualify for ESOL services.

    As far as my non-speakers are concerned, I really don't do much different. I have enough bilingual speakers that can translate for me or for the child when she/he is trying to tell me something. I obviously use those strategies I listed above. But it really is surprising just how quickly they can pick up enough of the language to be able to communicate with me. I think in Kindergarten the language is not much of a hindrance to their learning because all the kids are learning at the same time. The NES really are not that much behind the English speakers. It is not like a higher grade where reading of English becomes an issue. My kinders are all learning the letter Aa and the sound /a/ at the same time. Even the NES.

    When I need to communicate with parents that don't speak English, translators are involved. Being that our school has such a high Spanish speaking population, all of our communications from the school go home in both languages. I need to get my monthly newsletters and permission slips, etc translated before I can send them home. If I need to jot off a note is someone's planner, I find my ESOL assistant and she will write it in Spanish for me. When I receive notes in planners written in Spanish - same thing, my assistant will read it to me.
     
  12. RLucas

    RLucas Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2005

    Thanks for all the information - this is really helpful.
     
  13. pinktxteacher

    pinktxteacher Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2005

    Site which got me through my first ESL years

    RLucas,

    This site has tons of activities to use with ESL students.
    www.eslcafe.com.

    Also, just a word of advice just because an ESL student begins to speak nearly fluent English does not mean he/she can comprehend written English when reading.
    The student will need lots of support in grade appropriate reading and writing.

    There are lots of good sites with lesson plans specifically for esl.
    Some other good ones are:
    www.bogglesworld.com
    www.eslpartyland.com
    www.esl-lounge.com
     
  14. osgarcia

    osgarcia New Member

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    Jun 13, 2005

    I have ESL students in my classroom and in order to teach to ESL students i use a lot of visuals. I try to use some of their background information and incorporate in the lesson. I also shorten the assignments and try to teach at a slower pace for them. Pairing them up with a high level student seems to work at times as well.
     

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