Every teacher should be able touse modeling to keep theirstudents engaged, focused, and involvedin classroom activities. When it comes to ELL students,teachershave a bigger challenge.
ELLstudents are very visual and they have a more complicated challenge. It is true that modeling helpsto promote learning and motivation, but I believethat that is not all about the teacher doing and the students listening and watching. ELL students’ should be able to engage in modeling by usingcognitiveskills, visual skills, and communicationskills to comprehend the lesson. As a native Spanish speaker, itis so important for teachers to understand that bilingual students have double the work. They have to think in their native language first, then mentally translate to be able to participate and understand the lesson. Teachers that have ELL students should keep in mind that speech is very important.
Being able to be patient and talk slowlyand clearly will help thesestudents to be successful. For me it comes easier because I understand how it feelsto be an ELL student. I have had the experienceof being in the classroom and having to ask theteacher to slow down so I can make a quick mental translation to be able to comprehend the lesson. ELL students are visual learners.
When you present a visual guide to ELL students, itis easier forthem to interpret the lesson planand follow directions. They feel more secure and comfortable to be able to follow a task and learn from it. Most ELL studentsareembarrassedto tell the teacher that they didn’t understand the lesson because they don’t wantnativeEnglishspeakers to make fun of them. It is very important for teachers to let every students know that they all going through a learning experience, that way ELL students would feel comfortable to ask questions. As a future teacher I will encourage ELL students to feel comfortablereadingbooks of their own native language and thencheckto see ifthere is an English version of the samebook. Reading books in the native language will help them compare and contrast with the English language.
ELL students would be able to expand their language, knowledge, and understand better new words and phrases. Also I believe this is a good cultural learning experience for everyone. Reflection #2 Breakingdown barriersbetween culturesisimportantbecause it helps studentssee each other as equals. A teacher’spedagogyshouldmake students’ feelvalued, respected, andaccommodated.
It is important forthe teacher to be a positive influenceat all times. We don’t know whatthesekids are going through at home. Sometimes the school is the only they place where they feel safe and respected. A good teacher knows that if youhave a good and safe environment for the students they will be successful. I know the salary of a teacher is notas high as other professions,but when you have teachers thattake extratime andspend theirown money to do things like decorating the classroom the students appreciate that and they feel more comfortable. Some kids don’t have a clean space to study at home and coming to a nice looking classroom makesthem feel safe and relaxed.
Eventhe colors and the lighting of a classroom help the students to concentrate better and they do better on homework and tests. Students also feel appreciated when teachers value their effort. For example I keep all my students drawings and pictures because I want them to know that I appreciate their art, creativity,and effort. Another waytovalue our students is through music.
Music is a big part of their lives. It is so beautiful when teacher shares their music. It awakenstheircuriosity, creativity, and background knowledge. When we play music inSpanish classsome kids will sing along with thewords, some will laugh about it,and some will ask questions,but everyone is having afunlearning experience.
Music is a brilliant way to help students learn about art and culture and develop cognitive and socialskills. Reflection #3 It is a sad reality that poor kidsstruggle more inschool than rich kids. No matter how hard they try most of the timethey arestigmatized. NowI believe that poor kids deserve as good of an education as rich kidsto breakdown the socialbarriersthatare the result of inequality.
Good education start at home, so we need to begin by educating parents. But what are we doing to provideadequate tools to educate low-income families? Of coursebeingwealthy make things easier. Most poor kidsthat try to make it to collegehave to work upto two jobs to pay for tuition and books. So yes, it is sad but true that beingwealthymatters when it comes to education.
For me true wealth is obtained when we all work hard together to provide quality education for all students. Reflection #4 Asamother of an ELL student andanELLstudent myself,I understand that we bring a lot of diversity in to the classroom. We bring our culture, traditions, and experiencesthat everyone can learn from. Watchingthis video made me realize that allowing my daughter to only speak Spanish at home was the right thing to do.
I was told once by a parent asateacher provider that if I want my daughter to besuccessfulat school I need to only speak to her in English. At first I was worried and sad because Ithoughtthat my daughter would never be able to communicate with other kids at school. But my traditions and culture werestrongenoughand I did not follow thatpoorly thought outrecommendation. We continue talking in Spanish at home and my daughter is capable to communicate in both languages and is a great student. The beautyand uniqueness of a student that can speak several languages is amazing.
ELL students are an important piece in the classroom, they make diversity seems special, smarter, and unique. Ibelievethat in the future I will have a lot to offer to ELL students because I can relate to them and I can make aconnectionand understand their struggles with the language. Also I will always encourage all my future ELL studentsand their parents to embrace their language, their culture, and values. Reflection #5 In the United States,education is changingdemographicallyand is even more noticeable at public schools. More people arecoming from other countries, speak other languages, and have different cultural traditions. These demographic changes come withmodificationsandbigimplications for schools, communities, policy makers, students, and parents.
Graphics from the articledemonstratethat Hispanics and blacks attended these majority-minority schools, but the sad realityis that most of the students have low SES and the schools arenot properly funded. I’m glad to see that the rate of dropouts from school have lower down since 2000. I believe this is the result of a more diverse America, the sense of equality, and prosperity for the American dream. Education hasevolved throughout the years. Now students have more access to technology and with that comes new tools and innovations in today’s classroom.
Reflection #6 Working with middle school and high school ELL students is a challenge. As an ESLspeaker,for meitis easy to understand the differentbenefitsand struggles thatour ELL studentsgothrough. Also that does not mean that I know everything, some ELL student come from various generations ofimmigrants. Someareimmigrantsthat never went to school, theybarelynow hoy to read and write, and some other generations are well educated. Like I said before I can relatetothem because I’m a second language speaker,but I cannotrelate to their personal background.
Some ELL students come from poor families that are goingthrougha lot ofstrugglesand I can only have empathy for them. Istronglyagree withDr. Short thatELL studentswhoaremoreliteratein their native languagelearn English more easily. This is true andmy daughter and I are perfect examples of this.
This is the reason why I will always encourage my future ELL students to keep reading and writing in their own native language. It is sad that most of the nonnative speakers that have been born and raisedin the United Statescanbarelyspeak, read, or writeintheir native language. Also in this video Dr. Short mentions the newcomer program.
This program helpsnew ELL students who have little or no English proficiencyand have had limited education in their native countries. This program helpsthose ELL students withbasicEnglish skillsas well as the new cultureand how to adapt to it. Asa second language speaker my worry about this program is thatit could be frustratingand complexfor ELL students. Some newcomer programs lastsix weeks to a year and thereisso much to learn about thelanguage, culture, society, andexpectations in such a short period of time. My recommendation for this program is that it should be longer and it also needsto be broken down in levels.