No English...At All!!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by TeacherC, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I was just wondering if some of you veteran teachers had any ideas...I got a new student last week straight from the Dominican Republic...who speaks no english!! Thankfully I have 3 boys in my room who can speak Spanish to tell him what he needs to bring home and where we are going... He is in a reading and math class that has an ESL teacher, but he is in my class for science and social studies. I feel like I can't do anything with him because he doesn't understand a word I say. On top of that, he is at a kindergarten reading level...in Spanish!! I think he is going to have to be retained....but does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do with him while the rest of the class is doing their science & social studies??? :confused: Thanks!
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    What a tough situation! The only suggestion that I can really give is that maybe he could be paired up with one of the other Spanish-speaking children. Also, try talking to the ESL teacher and see if he/she has any other suggestions for you. It really doesn't seem fair to this poor child to just be thrown in like that. I know that ESL children supposedly learn more quickly that way, but he must feel so lost!
     
  4. Carmen13

    Carmen13 Groupie

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    (What's an ESL teacher?)
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    English as a Second Language.
     
  6. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    When I worked for Migrant Head Start, I had children who spoke only Spanish in my classroom. I had the group by myself from 6:00 am until 8:30 am, when my bilingual co-teacher came in. I had to rely on the bilingual children in the classroom to help me with those that only spoke Spanish. I had a math circle time before breakfast each morning and that was all in English. It really was amazing how quickly they picked up English! One little girl's first English words were a complete sentence!
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I have 8 kids who started school (out of 20) without ANY English this year. It's been 3 months now, and 5 of them are speaking some English, 1 of them understands English perfectly, but cannot speak it yet, and the other two are still lost. (I teach PK). I use lots of gestures, and I also learned some basic Spanish phrases (sit down, come here, walk).

    Could you find a parent volunteer to come and work with him on vocabulary for a few minutes every day? And read him basic picture books in English?

    Another idea is to see if your PK teacher (or K if you don't have PK) would be willing to have him as a "helper" during parts of the day. A PK/K program is so language-rich, that he may pick up more basics there.
    Kim
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    This is just my opinion, but I have seen greater success with children learning English when they are "forced" into the situation to learn the language.
     
  9. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    The term we used was "immersion."
     
  10. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Thanks, couldn't think of the word off the top of my head. Our local district does this at most schools and has been successful so far. Of course, there are your standard few who aren't as well equipped to handle it, but most come around knowing really good English within 3-4 months.
     
  11. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Thanks for all the ideas. I did speak to the ESL teacher today, and she has been working with him in his reading group...he is the lowest 3rd grader we had. We set up to meet with the parents this Friday to talk about possibly moving him into a 2nd grade billingual classroom...he has already been held back once though (in the Domincan Republic) so he is already 10. We decided that during our homeroom "work" periods, he would do worksheets to practice writing his name and forming his letters correctly. If anyone else has something to add, I would love any other ideas. Thanks so much for all the great responses! ;)
     
  12. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Well I have you all beat I have a child who speaks only Russian and no one at my school speaks Russian. Her mom speaks English but only Russian is spoken at home. I have not met with mom b/c she is too busy to meet with me. She has a nanny who only speaks Russian so it is a difficult situation.

    She does qualify for ESL and she spend about an hour with the ESL teacher every day and that is taught in English. In the beginning was tough but we did a lot of modeling b/c she didn't understand us. Now she is doing really well academically but still has major language issues. When I ask her something that she does know such as what color is this she whispers b/c she is afraid. She can not speak in sentences and does not communicate with us.

    I spoke to the ESL teacher b/c 3 months into the school year and she isn't talking I was concerned. She said she is in the silent stage right now which means she is taking everything in and she will eventually start talking.

    TeacherC good luck I know what you are going through
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We don't have an ESL teacher in our district at all. A few years ago we had two Chinese students who spoke NO English at all. We were given a Chinese phrase book. . . which was little help. Eventually the students were transported to a nearby university for English classes. They were back in our system after they could communicate better.
     
  14. 1stferg

    1stferg Comrade

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    I had a little girl from Russia a few years ago. Her mom came to school with her for the first two or three weeks she was in school. She came around this time of year. Neither mom or daughter spoke any English. So I used an online translater to communicate with mom. Here is one I found just now: http://freetranslation.paralink.com/

    I typed in "Good morning, do you want hot lunch today?" and it gave me "¿Buenos días, quiere usted el almuerzo caliente hoy?"
    I don't know if that is a perfect translation but when I used the Russian translator it wasn't perfect either. It just gave mom a close estimate of what I was trying to say.

    It only took a couple of months for both mom and Maria to start speaking pretty fluent English. I was very impressed. If the tables had been turned I don't think I could have done that well!
     
  15. PenCelia

    PenCelia Rookie

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    I had a 5th grader that came from Boliva this summer. This is my first year teaching, so I wasn't sure what to do with him. Fortunately I work in a Spanish Immersion school. Half the children's day is in English and half in Spanish.(I don't know any Spanish yet) I use the children and the Spanish teacher as translators. I have also made it clear to the boy that he needs to come to me if he doesn't understand what is going on. The parents know little English but they have requested the social studies text ahead of time so they can go to the library and translate for him. Also schoolastic has club leo where you may be able to find books in Spanish.You may want to have the child listen to books on tape and following along with the words in a book. I think it is better to have the child in an English school because they are forced to use the language. Good luck! Sarah
     
  16. pam1212

    pam1212 Rookie

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    1stferg, that is a cool website. I am starting in a bilingual special ed class on Monday. Although I am fluent in Spanish, there are still many words or phrases that I might not be able to say correctly. Thanks for that great link!!
     
  17. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I'm glad to know that I am not alone!! Having other children in the class that speak Spanish is a big help...I would have trouble with Russian!! That link is great 1stferg! Even if it is not perfect, it can help me get to know my student a little better. He is becoming quite the behavior problem and thinks that the rules don't apply to him. I have to learn how to say "stop" and "apologize" in Spanish now!
     
  18. kermy

    kermy Companion

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    there is another translation stie called babelfish.com. I use it and you do have to register with the site but it's free and has useful info too.
     
  19. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Yikes! Wish I could help, but I can offer some sympathy and empathy. One of my team members has a similar problem. At the begining of the year she got a student who doesn't speak a bit of English! The only help she got was that after about 2 months someone gave her a Spanish-English dictionary. There is a student in the room who's helping her....Other than that...She kept the translating website open on her computer for a while. It's worked out "okay".....Not great....But ok.
     
  20. mjennings

    mjennings Companion

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    As an esl student who came to the united states as a young child i would have to say that although it is very diffcult to be immersed into a english only classroom, it is the best way to go. i have had family member out into bilingual classes and their english and spanish is horrible because you dont perfect either or.

    I also have one student in my classroom who came into the room with no english at all and although I am able to communicate with her in spanish i dont because it will only confuse her. Students who are learnig a second lang will become accustomed to the translation and will wait for the translation that they will not put forth the effort.

    i would suggest using lots and lots of visual and having the student work with a partner that can be good guide for her to verbalize and use different commands with her to teach the language.
     
  21. samteach

    samteach Rookie

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    Yikes, tough one.
     
  22. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    A quick update...my student is doing much better. Although he still can't understand most of what I say, I have been using a lot of visuals and giving him the words. He is getting along well with the other students, he always plays with the same group at recess. He shows an interest in doing work with the other stuents, and I help him wherever it is possible.
    Thanks again to everyone for the advice. I do think that he will learn english faster this way...but boy is it difficult in the beginning!
     
  23. boogaboo214

    boogaboo214 Companion

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    i am still in school to become a teacher but i work in a fast food restraunt and we usually have anywhere from 2to 5 hispanics working for us at any given time over the last four years i have learned a lot of spanish from them. for the first year or so a spanish/english dictionary was my best friend. but you do not have to speak in compleate sentences just pick out key words and saying a few key words in spanish after you say the word in english might make him feel better about his situation and know a little more about what is going on. also dont worry about saying things right because if you have other bilingual students in your class they will probably be happy to teach you how to pronounce the words. also
    a good phrase to know is como se dice pronounced como se desay
    which translates into how do you say.
     

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