104. Do you recommend a foreign language class to equip teachers with base knowledge of the primary language of ESL students in the classroom? At what level do you recommend starting (i.e., conversation, formal) and why?

In some schools in Los Angeles, there may be students from many different backgrounds and many different points of origin who speak --collectively-- 41 different languages IN ONE SCHOOL alone!!!!  Now, I cannot possibly recommend that teachers in a school with such great diversity learn ALL of the languages represented by the students.

In some other schools in Arkansas, for example, all non- or limited-English proficiency students are Hispanic and speak Spanish. I might suggest that, in a school like that where there is a very large group of students from only ONE cultural and linguistic background, teachers may benefit greatly from KNOWING ABOUT the students' language and ABOUT the students' culture.

I think what is important is that the teachers KNOWS ABOUT the non- or limited-English proficient students' language and culture. If some or all of the teachers at that type of school wish to make the tremendous effort to learn the students' language and/or culture, WONDERFUL!!! However, a monolingual English teacher can be a very successful teacher if s(he) knows ABOUT the students' language and the culture. Such a teacher becomes aware of how the students' primary language may help in learning English. Such a teacher becomes aware of how the students' culture may help in learning about and adapting to a second culture, to a new culture.

Thus, I do not recommend, although I think it might be helpful, that teachers master the students' language(s) and culture(s). If
teachers wish to enroll in a conversational or formal foreign language class, WONDERFUL!!! I strongly believe that ALL
knowledge is helpful, and knowledge of another language is very helpful, especially in our world today. I do strongly recommend that teachers become aware of the features of other languages and understand how those features are similar or different from the features of the English language. Teachers will, then, be able to anticipate students' mistakes and effectively and efficiently plan to help students acquire and develop English language skills.

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:

CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net