Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: [Teacher-TalkNovel] ESOL students and my classroom

From: Writerblk9@aol.com
Date: Mon Oct 08 2001 - 00:40:35 EDT


   Opal,
        Many of the students whose first language isn't English are able to
learn the speech patterns long before they learn the written language. The
first thing that you have to do when working with ESOL students is find out
what they do know. Once you have figured that out then you can begin to work
on teaching them new words and grammar skills. I worked with an ESOL student
last semester and she was very fluent in the spoken language but had
difficulty with reading and writing. What I realized while working with her
was that she could read and understand English very well, but she needed time
to translate what she was reading into spanish absorb what she read and then
translate the ideas and concepts back into English to respond to them in
speech or writing. This is a very drawn out process for students and they may
need extra time to complete work for this reason. Once I caught on that this
is what was happening to my student I slowed down the pace of the reading and
gave her time to translate back and forth. After a few weeks she was able to
speed up the process and her reading and writing improved as did her
comprehension. I agree Glenda that this process does require immersion in the
English language but you might find English stories that focus on the
students native culture to help gain their cooperation in the learning
process.
                                         Jeff

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