230.  How would you conduct a home visit with a 4 year old non-English speaking child?  Just a rough outline would be so helpful!  I want to know if my techniques can be modified to be more effective. The children enjoy my visits and I enjoy them. I want to give them the best and feel you will have an answer. I have been reading your pre-k pages and they are helpful.  The purpose of the visits is to help prepare the children for kindergarten and provide them some English vocabulary.  I go into homes and work with 3 and 4 year old children. Most are limited English or non-English speaking. They are so eager and so much fun! We play, and I try to learn their language and teach them mine. gato=cat, etc. We work on colors, numbers, the alphabet and sounds. I worry that my goals may be too broad or not structured enough. Should I focus on only one thing a visit? I keep their attention, but I vary our activities according to the child's interest. If I feel they are becoming bored, we switch to something else.  I hope this helps clarify my question a bit.

ANSWER:

Your program seems to be fascinating, working with such young children in oral language development at home!!!! GREAT IDEA!!!

Your emphasis on the development of ORAL vocabulary is exactly right. This is a great opportunity to learn to name in English --AT HOME-- many items they will find AT SCHOOL (Teachers tend to assume young children KNOW the names of these items when they enter Kinder or first grade). So the more you label items common at home and items common at school the better. Many young children, for example, never use "glue" at home and when they arrive at school the teacher tells them to get the "glue" and the children have no idea what the teacher is talking about!!! So label MANY items in the home and bring and label many items they will find at school. Remember that in Kinder, at school, teachers try to use toys that resemble items used at home, like ironing board, stove, cooking utensils, etc. So the learning of names (nouns) is a MOST important activity for young children.

Unfortunately, many parents forget to label things and simply tell children, "Give me THAT." Children have VERY limited vocabulary if parents forget to NAME everything they give their children or talk about with their children.

Same with action words: There are literally hundreds of "actions" we perform at home as well as at school and children need to learn to name these words WHILE DOING the actions. Pictures could help a lot to identify these action words like "folding," gluing," "pointing," "waving," "ironing," etc., etc.

Of course at this early age children must learn many, many CONCEPTS, and colors and numbers are concepts to master. Other concepts:

Sizes -- big, small, medium,
comparatives -- bigger, smaller,
superlatives -- biggest, smallest,
time -- morning, afternoon, night, early, late, etc,
position -- in, out, over, above, etc.,
textures -- smooth, rough, etc., etc., etc.,

You have PLENTY of ORAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT to do!!!!

If you wish to introduce the letters and THEIR NAMES, that is fine. LETTER SOUNDS, for English, makes utterly no sense since SO MANY LETTERS can and do represent so many sounds!!!  However, rhyming words or same beginning SOUND (NOT same beginning >letter) makes sense. For example, "Sandra" and "sugar" begin with the same "LETTER" but the "same" letter, "s," has different sounds!!!!!!. "Shirley" and "sugar" have the same beginning SOUND!!!! It is a shame they have different beginning letters: "s" for sugar but "sh" for Shirley. Children can and do react to similarities of SOUND (no matter how the sound is written).

My suggestion is, just like you do, to vary the lesson so that the child is never fatigued. I would make sure there is plenty of repetition --reinforcement and practice-- while every lesson should introduce ONE NEW element --one new word-- within a concept or two.

I think you are doing a GREAT JOB!!!! And the fact you are willing to ask clearly shows your incredible interest and professional devotion to what you are trying to do. Best wishes!!!!

 

 


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
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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)

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