Learning Experience 1

I had two chapters out of this week’s reading and those chapters were “Q/A: How can I teach both content and language to English learners?” and “Types of English as a Second Language and Bilingual Program.” And the two readings we learn about different ways as teachers that we can incorporate the students’ home language into the English lessons that the students do on a regular basis.  

In the first chapter, “ Q/A: How can I teach both content and language to English learners?”  The chapter talks about why it is important to learn your students’ home language. It goes on to talk about how as teachers we must take the time to learn your students’ strengths and what their language background is so that you can have a better understanding of who your students are. Another thing that the chapter brought up was it is important to encourage students to speak their home language, and to speak it often when they are in the classroom, but not just the classroom. Teachers are also encouraged to have students speak their home language in their communities. There are also a number of different ways that teachers can incorporate their students’ home language into their lesson plans and the different activities that they do. The first way is to use visuals whether that be photos or videos, and with teachers using videos the students can connect what they are seeing in the photos and videos to what they knew to prior knowledge before they start the unit they are going to start The next way is by having the students marking up the text that they are reading with any reactions or questions that they have while they are reading the text. The next way that teachers can incorporate both of the students’ home language  in the activities is by asking students to share their ideas with a partner before they share with the class. So the students can work on their social skills with others before they speak in front of the classroom. The next way is to use active ways whether it is having the students create skits or role plays, and teachers can also use songs, hands-on science investigations, or partner interviews. And the last way is to explain concepts in the students’ home language. 

There were two points that I thought were really important while I was reading this chapter and the first one was how it is important to learn a few phrases in your students’ home language so that the students can feel more comfortable in your classroom, and feel more comfortable opening up to you. And it will allow students and teachers to build connections with one another. And the second point that I thought was also really important was how teachers are to encourage their students to speak their home language at home, in their communities, and especially in the classroom. So that they are still having that connection with that part of who they are. 

The second chapter that I read, “Types of English as a Second Language and Bilingual Program.” In this chapter  it went over the different types of Bilingual Programs that schools offer. In the beginning of the chapter the author talks about how the programs that are offered depends on the district that the school is in and how much money the district the money has for the programs. Overall there are five different Bilingual programs that districts offer. The first one is English as a second language and the main focus of the program is to emphasize learning and using English in the classroom and to prepare English learners to function in English classrooms. The second program is Transitional Bilingual and the main purpose of this program is to use students’ home language as a bridge to English, and then to have the students transition to an all English classroom by second or third grade. The third program is Maintenance (Developmental) Bilingual and the main purpose of this program is to help students develop their home language with the goal of bilingualism and biliteracy. The fourth program is Dual-Language the main purpose is to serve 50% native English speakers and 50% native speakers of the program’s other target language (from kindergarten on). The Final bilingual program is Immersion and the main purpose of Immersion is to involve native speakers of that language, heritage language learners, and/or other students who have a goal of learning the program’s language.

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