Multilingual Institutions: MULTILINGUAL STUDENTS As a first-grade classroom teacher, in a school where the dominant language is English, students not proficient in English may have trouble in interacting with the rest. This paper aims to give strategies that can be employed to ensure that the children fell included even though Spanish is their first language…
The question then becomes; how do you teach these students and how do these conditions impact on the teacher’s teaching duties. This paper identifies the strategies to employ in ensuring that children do not feel that their language represents a deficit because it is not the norm. The first problem comes in when grading papers since the teacher could find it difficult due to language errors. Other papers could be understandable but still consist of language errors. Some of the students in the class may also avoid oral participation in the classroom due to fear that their classmates will make fun of their language errors and faulty pronunciations (Ana, 2010). In most cases, this is caused by anxiety while in other cases; the student may be actually difficult to understand. One way of encouraging these students to participate in the classroom is to keep in mind that high-level language acquisition occurs, when the student is taking part in the regular curriculum. Therefore, the teacher needs to avoid using separate language courses for the children at this stage and, instead, support language learning embedded in the normal school and classroom curriculum (Ana, 2010). By modeling good English usage in the classroom, the students will learn a great deal. All students, not only the ones that are multi-lingual, learn concepts much faster if the teacher provides a visual aid in accompaniment of their lesson plans (Ana, 2010). This could be in books, projections on the wall, maps, lists of words, and overheads. The teacher does not need to feel obligated to reproduce all the words they use, but they should give the students an outline of the lesson’s key words and their definitions. As the teacher is speaking, he or she could also draw visual representations on the black or white board. While it may seem that using these aids is a burden to the teacher and adds to teaching time, the preparation actually prevents the occurrence of misunderstandings that the teacher could actually take more time explaining. The first matter that the teacher should deal with when confronted by a non-English student is his or her survival in school. The teacher should ensure that the student could give his or her name, home phone number and address. The teacher also requires finding out the literacy backgrounds of the close family members and the student. Students who come from backgrounds of English speaking parents or siblings will find it easier to learn English. Additionally, students already literate in their native language, such as Spanish in this case, come to the task of writing and reading English with an enhanced comprehension of writing and reading processes (Ana, 2010). Additionally, students who possess literary skills in their native language skills have the ability to record learnt information in this language instead of attempting to remember everything. The teacher should also attempt to find out the schooling background of the student. The information should include whether the student has never learned in a classroom setting prior to coming to his or her classroom, adjusting to the cultural practices and routines of the American school system may require a considerable amount of time and energy (Creese & Martin, 2011). Some of these students may view the school system as unstructured and may not be used to movement around the classroom or even raising their hand before asking ...
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