Demographic information • About 20% of school children are ELL. • By 2020 46% of Americans will be members of some minority group. These families also have low literacy levels at home. • It takes a child 7-10 yrs for a non-English speaking child to reach age-level norms in language when they are placed in an immersion program • ELL students often receive lower grades, are seen as less intellectually competent by their teachers & are 1.5 times more likely to drop out of school. What are the implications for these?
A quick debate Is it best to place a non-English speaking child in an English immersion program (right into a classroom where English is used and let them learn the language faster?
How would Vygotsky & Piaget respond to helping children from other cultures: Application of theories
Considerations for book selection • Illustrations that help tell the story. • Predictable/patterned books/rhyming sounds. • Books about child’s culture (helps build self-esteem). • Books in child’s language (if possible). • Books on tape
Book sharing • The key is to help child develop literacy without compromising the first language. • Use parents or bilingual staff as interpreters. • Audiotape someone read a book in native language & keep tape accessible to child. • Use other strategies to help child comprehend (art, trips, puppets, etc). • When reading use a lot of gestures to facilitate comprehension. • Use thematic approach to help child connect what is being taught to the book content.
Book sharing (cont’d) • Newly immigrated children need books that will provide them with information that will support their academic success. • Literacy groups/literature circles are some book discussions that provide ELL students opportunities to practice conversational skills. You can pair them with children having same struggles so that they feel safer to try. • Many cultures use oral stories, riddles, etc as a form of literature. Use this when working with children from such ethnic/cultural backgrounds
Working with families • Very critical. They can help in the following ways: • Volunteer to help their children in class. • Share stories & other forms of literature specific to culture. • Inform the teacher about their culture, practices & what is important to family so teacher can try to support child. • Help support child’s literacy at home. • Help maintain literacy in 1st language.