Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by 1stGradeRocks, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. 1stGradeRocks

    1stGradeRocks Comrade

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    Nov 2, 2008

    I got a new student on Friday (Halloween of all days!) who is straight from Mexico and speaks no English at all. I am very overwhelmed about how I am going to get him caught up and meet his needs without neglecting my other students. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Last year I had a student who came in October from Puerto Rico and spoke no english...she was almost fluent by the end of the year! Thankfully I had help because she had ESL for 30 min. a day, and the class next to me is bilingual K, so the teacher could translate for me if it was an emergency.
    I wouldn't necessarily worry about catching him up, I would focus first on things that he needs to know- procedures (of course), and things like student's names, your name, and simple words like water, bathroom, etc. to express his needs. Being in your classroom all day with english speaking kids I'm sure he will pick up a lot of language very quickly.
    I would also find out what he knows already- can he write his name? Can he count to 10 (even if it is in another language?). Usually when a student comes into K with no english, they are "on a two-year plan" unless they can pass the exit criteria in all areas except where there may be a language barrier.
    That being said, the little girl that I got last year has no problem speaking/understanding english, but she is failing first grade....so she may be there for 2 years.
    It is difficult, but don't worry too much- use hand signals if you have to, and just remember that he will learn!
     
  4. ensenar44

    ensenar44 New Member

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    Nov 9, 2008

    Often pairing that student up with another student who is on top of things works well. Not only does the helper student feel important but your new student will not feel as lost and most importantly, you are not stressing over making sure your new student is doing what what is expected all of the time.
     
  5. teach_kids

    teach_kids Rookie

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    Nov 10, 2008

    I understand what you are feeling. I work in an American International School in Jerusalem Israel so I end up with AT LEAST one student that doesn't speak any English. I agree with TeacherC. I don't ever worry about catching them up to what we are doing but always on getting the basics of the class, the kids names, my name, writing their own names and most importantly - feeling comfortable to express themselves - either through pictures, words, or often times pantamime! I have gotten really good at charades!
    Most of my children that have come into my class have left with a good knowledge of English and do well in Grade 1.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Nov 10, 2008

    Good advice from all! I also work in an American Int'l school in Jos, Nigeria. I have 13 students. For two of them, English is the first language, the remainder are ESL although the majority are almost fluent.

    I do have three children who sometimes have trouble understanding and I have to constantly make sure I am not speaking too fast, using American idioms unfamiliar to them, or relying on knowledge they don't have (like color words, for example).

    I am amazed at how quickly they can learn. One boy is primarily Arabic speaking and writing. He is already starting invented spelling of English words.

    I think beyond learning routines and expectations, letter-sound relationships and numbers are the primary things.
     

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