|English as an additional language - where to start? - Diane||19/07/2010|
Please can anyone recommend a good, practical text book or resource to buy or scrounge to help out our new pupils who have English as an additional language? Our school has only recently started to work with pupils whose first language is not English. We want to be inclusive, but don’t really know where to start. Advice we have received about just dropping pupils in at the deep end seems crazy to me. We have a very limited budget and not much in the way of help from our LEA.
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Christine||31/07/2010|
Good luck is all I can say! Our LEA supplies them with a dictionary - which many students don't bring to school because they don't want to stand out, so you may have to push in order to find out if our students have one. I insisted, where possible, one was kept in my room so they could be made to use it for their English lessons. Students hated using it though. They have such a tough time that all they want to do is learn enough English to 'pass' socially with their peers and unless their parents are able to push them at home to learn and support their fragile ego, they may well only appear to understand a lot of what goes on.
The only help I had with grammar was by going into a book shop and browsing their book shelves but it was geared to adults. But a search of the internet will eventually come up with something you can use.
Be sympathetic to them and their failings. It is extremely tiring to spend day after day in a world where you struggling to understand the simplest things and then to go home and learn vocabulary is physically demanding and mentally tiring on top of homework and their own need to belong somewhere less stressful such as their family culture for a few hours before the next demanding and tiring day. That's why interaction with other students is the best way for them to learn to speak the basics of English. Alas, not enough for them to function intellectually well in English though.
Check they understand the basics such as toilet, pencil, etc. Find a really supportive companion who will help them with this without embarrassing them and letting on how much help they need.
Keep it simple and get them to respond to grammatically simple questions in writing with simple, basic sentence structures. I used to zip round to the students and write simple questions in their books for them to work on alone. Where possible, provide the whole class with printed prompt questions (and differentiate if you can, or as I used to do with a Russian boy, nip to them and adapt, write on, simplify their worksheet before they begin).
Do as much group work with them as you can (with simple written prompts they can access as often as you can), so they can listen to the other students. Interaction is the best bet for learning. Give them simple sort cards for ideas so they see the vocabulary; if possible let them see teaching resources before a lesson and work through it with whoever the LEA is sending (if anyone) into your school.
Be aware they may not do the extra work or even the different work you prepare for them in the classroom because they are desperate not to stand out.
Attached is a sheet I did for an intelligent Japanese boy to accompany the class reading of Holes. There was no way that he could read the text with the class, so I made him this. (Nowadays I simply would not have the time to do it, but I thought I'd show you). It meant he could access the video we watched and attempt a version of the end task, and of course, have some idea of the text to help him follow classmates in group work. He did some in class at first but after a while he started taking it home and preparing for the lesson beforehand by reading his section of the text before the rest of the class read theirs. Sometimes, because he had a lot of support at home (and a super-dooper electronic dictionary/translator) he would take the actual text home before a group task on an aspect of it and work on the relevant section with his parents (but bear in mind not many parents have English themselves - this boy's family was unusual as they were only here to work temporarily in a Japanese owned factory).
This example won't at all help every EOSL student reading Holes as they may have a lot less English. It's a good idea for things like the GCSE anthologies and texts to prepare materials for a student. The poetry is a killer though - good luck with that. Go for a summary of the poem’s content, with highlighted key words, for a start. Sometimes you can copy a text and just highlight key words and phrases for them to concentrate on. It gives them an overview, but also English structures to look at and a few new words to learn without overwhelming them. Get them to talk back what they know in simple terms (and not just yes/no answers). If they won't talk, give them simple written sentences with missing words; such as Mr Yelnats was...... (if they need vocab., give them choices of words).
Remember that a complex sentence will lose them when they are struggling to acquire vocabulary, and the attached is quite complex: the boy had been having English lessons back in Japan; most of your students won't have had.
Search the internet using as many search terms as you can; both for general help; language help and help with literature texts. There's a fair tbit our there - but nowhere near as coherent or organised as it should be.
Tsh. All this waffle and actual little practical in the way of resources. Sorry. The sad fact is that you are trained and employed to teach English as a subject to English speakers and all your time is expected to be dedicated to that, so no-one realistically expects you to meet the very different needs of teaching a whole new language to a young person.
All you can do is support the child as best you can, in the short time that the student spends in your classroom by, hopefully, giving them some access to some of the lesson content and –most usefully of all – giving them easy access to as much interaction as they can get between themselves and their peers.
This site is nice: http://www.collaborativelearning.org/
It is about EOSL resources that the whole class uses so it promotes that vital social/work interaction; but the English stuff is excellent and goes up to GCSE literature texts. Look for graphic novels of lit texts top buy in too.
This (DFES booklet Access and Engagement in English PDF - DfES-0609-2002.pdf) has been produced and has ideas for tackling how to help: http://publications.education.gov.uk/default.aspx?PageFunction=downloadoptions&PageMode=publications&ProductId=DfES 0609 2002&
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Diane||08/08/2010|
This is really useful practical advice and an excellent resource. Thanks very much for taking the time to help.
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Marion||29/08/2010|
I teach ESL in Australia and we have some very good resources available to us. The best I have come across in "Beginning ESL - Support Material for Primary New Arrivals" by the Department of Education in Victoria, Australia.
It is available in CD form so would be cheap to post to you. Have a look at their other resources at the link below:
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Tracey||01/10/2010|
Hello, I am also a teacher of EAL working in Hong Kong. I have found that Hounslow Authority to be an excellent resource. They sell booklets that are very very cheap at both Primary and Secondary level. You can get lots of advice about initial assessment and profiling from the booklet entitled Nassea EAL Assessment. There is also a textbook called Cambridge English for Schools and the website www.collaborativelearning.org. Finally, if you are new to EAL training I would consider doing the esl in the mainstream course. look on Naldic website for more information about EAL in the UK. If you want to learn more about Teaching Second Language Learners, I recommend Pauline Gibbons book Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning. It has plenty of tips and is a good resource. Hope this helps
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - G||01/10/2010|
|Why don't you use Fast Talk 1 a card game designed to help students learn to speak English etc. You can do a google search for it under "Fast Talk 1, game"|
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Anne Fairhall||04/11/2010|
Can I be the second to recommend a visit to www.collaborativelearning.org ? It is hosted by an extremely experienced EAL teacher, Stuart Scott. Stuart also recommends English as an Additional Language by Liz Haslam et al, published by David Fulton and it's available from NATE, online at www.nate.org.uk Also, Stuart has just written a very useful article on the subject for the latest (October) issue of NATE Classroom magazine.
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Stuart||11/11/2010|
|Thanks for the positive comments about the collaborative learning site. I have been neglecting English materials this year and concentrating on early years and science, but I do aim to get a lot more activities online soon and will be working with Teachit to make them available in editable format. We have a lot of activities still in paper format so if there are any topics you would like us to put on line, please contact me. The project's aim is to provide atrategies that you can adapt for your own texts.
Re a text book: I must recommend Pauline Gibbons - 'Bridging Discourses' 2006 which provides the best overview of what constitutes EAL friendly, language conscious methodology plus all the research that supports it. It is expensive, unfortunately, but even at the price (£35!) is excellent value.
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - Ali||17/11/2010|
A DVD of resources called 'Racing to English' written by Gordon Ward was recommended to me by an excellent LEA consultant. It is possible to find him by googling and the DVD contains a whole bunch of activities organised into a mini curriculum which is flexible to use.
I am using it for small group withdrawal after school - I appreciate that not everyone has that luxury of time but if you can run withdrawal groups this resource is great.
The use of picture dictionaries was also strongly recommended by our consultant so if anybody comes across a good picture dictionary that doesn't look as if it is directed at primary school children, I would be really grateful to hear about it: the Oxford Picture Dictionary is unfortunately in American English which makes it not that great.
|Re:English as an additional langauge - where to start? - IAN FRANCIS||27/11/2010|
|Excellent advice, just what I was going to say.
I taught English in mainstream schools for 10 years before going abroad to teach ESL, and it's a TOTALLY different ballgame.
TALK TALK TALK - the supportive friend, key vocabulary, time to sort out simple tasks and passages... ESL teaching takes TIME, which you don't have in the mainstream classroom. It hurts, I know, but they WILL pick up quicker than you imagine, and WILL survive. If they are there for a long time, lobby for specialist EAL help, or a GOOD TA... and good luck with that!
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