ESOL children

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Guest, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 4, 2002

    I am student teaching in a fourth grade class and there are a number of students who speak English as a second language and children with special needs. Two of the students have only lived here for about two years. They do a lot of writing in the classroom and I am not sure how I can help these children with thier writing errors. Most of the time it is with the tense of a word (do when it should say does) or they don't put "a" in front of a noun. I try reading the papers out loud and then asking if each sentence makes sense, but they usually say yes. What should I do? Also, with my Special Ed. kids they aren't motivated and take a very long time to write. Today the one boy just didn't want to write. I told him he could alter the topic to what he wanted to write about, but then I found out that I shouldn't have done that. They are working with him to get him to follow directions. How can I motivate him to write about a topic he is not interested in? Any help would be great.
  3. Maxine

    Maxine Companion

    Aug 2, 2002
    Likes Received:

    Dec 5, 2002

    ESL students and motivation for writing

    Dear Student teacher,
    When I taught 4th grade in a community of recent immigrants to the US from a Portugese speaking country, I found that the students were motivated by trying to become "Americanized" or to fit in to the mainstream. I saw this also when I subbed in Bilingual Spanish classes. Part of the difficulty you expressed was the lack of proper use of grammar in their writing. There are other rubrics to use when assessing writing. The more the student becomes familiar with ways of speaking, their writing will reflect it. But, for now, praise them for their originality, their sequential thoughts, their ability to group ideas into paragraphs, their willingness to show their inner life in personal writing assignments. It's similar to baby talk. We find it acceptable to respond to a child's attempt to ask for something with a baby word for it. We expect the child to self-correct when the child becomes more socialized and capapble. This holds true for ESL learners. There is no reason to present intricate and complicated grammar lessons when the style, effort and structure is being taught in writing. It's like asking a three year old to tie a double knot in their shoelaces. Eventually, they will. For now, praise their ability to ask you to do it, noticing it needs to be tied, etc.
    There is also deep motivation for writing assignments which are about things that are important to them. My Portugese immigrant students could write pages about soccer and the teams and heroes. They could write all about fishing and sailing or farming. They could also write extensively, if haltingly, about PlayStation games and skateborading adventures. They could pay attention to directions I gave to help them write an article explaining the best ways to pass the soccer ball and to score, etc. They could write newspaper articles about the fire in the bakery down the street. I even had them read to us from the community newspaper written in Portugese and then translate for us. At this point, the correct form of an irregular verb is a small pebble in their path to great writing.
    Other teachers more familiar with Special Ed. methods of motivation could probably give more detailed help. But, you could modify the assignment on a regular basis for them for no other reason than they are truly a special educational student. The other students don't expect total equality, they expect fairness when it comes to the grading of their work. A set of rubrics for the mainstream students and a set for the special ed. students would help you to stay away from grading by comparison with the other students. With clearly stated expectations issued and discussed before the assignment, they will all understand that they can succeed at whatever you have them do. And succeed because they did their best for an understanding and encouraging teacher. They did their best work because they want to begin to or continue to think of themselves as capable, not simply "smart." That's motivation. :D maxine
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dec 10, 2002

    That was great advice. Thank you so much. The ESL students are very interested in extreme sports and they usually write about this topic, their country, and their family. I respond to all of their journal entries and model the proper form in my response. I was just wondering if I should be doing something more. Thanks for reassuring me!
  5. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

    May 2, 2002
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    Dec 11, 2002

    writing workshop

    i have posted about using a pictoral view of writing a sentence on the first grade writing workshop post. I think ESOL would benefit greatly from this concept as it requires shapes color and size. ruth
  6. LABooks

    LABooks Rookie

    Dec 11, 2002
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    Dec 13, 2002

    use of high frequency words

    Practice in context with high frequency words is important. I've written four Dolch sight word books which have been used in regular and special education as well as adult literacy and ESOL.

    Excerpts are on my website at this URL.
    Dolch Books

    The newest book, Albert the Apple Eating Appaloosa, focuses on different endings of Dolch verbs and the plural forms of Dolch nouns.

    E. W. Dolch surveyed numberous children's books. He made lists of high frequency words found in pre-primer through third grade books. His lists contain words which appear in 50% to 75% of all these books. Many of these words can't be sounded out and they need to be recognized on sight. These are service words which can't be pictured usually such as "saw, was, on, no, at, the, a, an, when, where." The verb "to be" is an irregular verb which creates many problems. These are also on the Dolch lists.

    On my site, I also have activities for learning these high frequency sight words.
    Dolch Sight Words Lesson Plans

    When readers know their Dolch words, it boosts their comprehension and confidence.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007

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