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Help! I have to teach 6 Latvian children who don't speak English!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by LorelaiVictoria, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. I've recently been given a job as a second Y1 teacher within a Y1 class, I have responsibility for the lowest two groups - this is fine as I've experience of remedial teaching etc, however my job is rather a bit complicated by six small children who cannot speak English. I'm seriously concerned how how I'm going to ensure that they make any progress in writing and numeracy. They're all on P scales, one can write their name, and none of them can confidently follow simple instructions. Help!!
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It's a shame that 'ordinary' sorry - I know that sounds terrible] special needs and not speaking English get lumped together so often.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Firstly they shouldn't be on P scales unless they have SEN and <u>EAL isn't SEN.</u>
    T<u>he P scales must not be used to assess pupils with English as an
    additional language (EAL) at any age, unless they have additional
    special educational needs.

    You need to do lots of speaking and listening because if they can't say it they can't write it. Whatever you do with them individually or in a group do a running commentary they need to develop an English vocabulary.
    Do they know their sounds? Assess which they recognise and which they can write. Work from there don't expect sentences if they don't know sounds. I would also start with dictation words/simple captions/easy sentences
    I would also recommend Jolly Phonics it works well because of the actions
  4. I had 3 EAL children in my class which is Foundation not year 1, I was fortunate to have a little extra TA support for these children. They are now all using English and progressing well with profile scores, I was concerned about them at beginning of the year as they were at the bottom of the profile scores on entry for the class but they have made fantastic progress. I pair them with fluent speakers for extra imput with the TA into class actvities and allow lots of time for the TA to feed in language in play activities. They have also done some extra sound work and reading/pre reading activities. The benefits of having the extra cultural imput from these children and their parents has been fantastic too, one parent read in 3 languages to the class in book week, 2 of the children are now tri lingual having 2 home languages.The EAL children worried me too as I have lots of SEN experience but no EAL until this year but they have just 'wowed' me all year long! These children are extra talented and certainly not SEN. My advice is lots of talking , extra imput to class stories etc used for literacy and enjoy the new experience.
  5. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    How is it that children are still being gien totally inappropriate help?
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    That wasn't a jibe at the previous poster or any other poster, come to that.
    The ain challenghe if you have six Latvian children is, presumably, to get them to communicate with the other children in the class.
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    whoops: main challenge
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Remember that, being so young, they'll be learning their phonics along with the rest of the children in your class.
    Put yourself in their position.
  9. They will be learning their phonics with rest of class, but in my experience ( limited) they might need extra too as some sounds are difficult to pronounce when you are used to speaking another language as sounds in English are notoriously tricky to say and read.
    I would think that help can be totally appropriate if poster makes it so and I am sure she can!
    Anyway enough work I'm off to watch football.

  10. Hiya - I totally agree re communication - the main issue is that understandably, the six children only talk among themselves, and in Latvian which is confusing and isolating for their classmates who consequently don't involve them in their games. My main objective is to ensure accelerated progress and get them writing by the time they hit Year 2. Tall order! Currently doing recounts but since none of them can write I'm thinking it's going to be an interesting two weeks. Off to hit Sparkle box for sequencing stories and recount resources... eep!
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If they can't talk they can't write recounts (or anything else! Your priority should be developing spoken language. Does your LEA have an EMAT support service? If so contact them.
    Please don't use ********** unless you are happy to finacially support a twice convicted paedophile!
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Guidance for teachers in settings with little or no access to expert support
    Strategies to help the beginner in the classroom
    The following suggestions for teachers draw on guidelines developed by Manchester City Council's Ethnic Minority Achievement Service and elaborate on the guidance to be found in the booklet Aiming High: Understanding the educational needs of minority ethnic pupils in mainly white schools (DfES0416/2004).
    Make sure the pupil knows your name. Introduce yourself and write it down for him/her.
    Demonstrate the meaning of instructions such as sit down, stand up, come here.
    Do not worry if the beginner says very little at first. Plenty of listening time is important when starting to learn a new language. There should be emphasis on communication rather than correction until the pupil is more confident in English.
    Involve the pupil in routine tasks such as giving out books and equipment.
    Wherever possible, include links within the curriculum to the culture and language of newly arrived pupils.
    Give the pupil opportunities to listen to the sounds and patterns of English, for example through audio tapes.
    Identify the key vocabulary and language structures of the text/activity.
    Although the pupil cannot be expected to understand the content of all the lessons, do try to give him/her a meaningful task that is related to the lesson.
    Integrate the pupil into the class activity as far as possible, while differentiating at his/her level. If they are to maintain confidence, pupils need to feel they can complete a task, such as copying words or sentences under pictures; matching pictures to names, words or sentences; filling in missing words; sequencing; text marking; labelling; matching sentence halves; filling in tables and grids; giving yes/no, true/false responses.
    Many of the above tasks could be used to develop listening skills and to focus the pupil's attention on key information during the teacher led parts of the lesson.
    Pupils not familiar with the alphabet will need help with handwriting and correct use of capital and lower case letters.
    Model or demonstrate the use of key vocabulary and language structures.
    Involve the pupil in using language from an early point of the lesson onwards.
    Provide opportunities for the pupil to repeat and produce the language in context, for example through well-planned pair or group work.
    The pupil will need as much of your time as possible to explain the tasks. If you are not available, encourage peers to assist.
    Encourage the use of bilingual and/or picture dictionaries.
    Encourage the use of home language for content learning, discussion and the development of new concepts. Support for the first language will enhance, not hinder, the acquisition of English. Whenever possible, pair the child with a proficient speaker of their home language.
    Exploit previously used language and link to pupils' experience.
    Pupils who are literate in their first language tend to make faster progress than pupils who are not. They should be encouraged to use these literacy skills to support their learning.
    The pupil could develop his/her own personal word lists.
    Provide visual support such as artefacts, pictures, videos, computer programmes and so on, to help comprehension.
    Using writing frames, word banks and sentence banks provides scaffolding to support learner independence and to model the language to be learned and practised (see samples for ideas).
    Use graphic organisers such as pie charts, graphs, pictograms, tables and grids to present curriculum content with reduced language input.
    Give feedback in a constructive way so that the pupil can use his/her errors as a learning tool.
    Allow the pupil time to summarise and reflect on what he/she has learned.
    Wherever possible, encourage parents/carers to support homework tasks.
  13. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    Totally, totally agree. You must forget the notion of "accelerated progress" and getting them to write by the time they are in y2, in the long run, this will back fire as they will not be allowed to develop at their own natural rate and may end up only being able to parrot off a few phrases (spoken and written)such as we ourselves could do in an unknown language. They need time to settle into school initially, maybe as observers- they will be learning much in that role, and then once they know you and you know them, then perhaps you can start to plan some activities that you know will interest and they will learn from. It is a hard challenge, but surely your SMT must realise that they are not going to show massive steps in 1 term? I have taught mainly EAL children for 20 years and you need to play the long game rather than the short one. Agree also with the P scales discussion- assume that these children (unless there are obvious indicators to the contrary)understand as non SEN childrenwould and that once their English develops, they will quickly catch up. Good luck!!!
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Having six Latvian children at once will complicate matters, won't it?
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I would imagine there would be less spoken interaction with English speaking children and a natural reaction to play with children who speak the same language. Perhaps it might be better to separate them in class and assign a "buddy"
  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Is there a parallel class? Can you chop them up that way at least a little bit?
    It's a bit spooky having 6 Latvian children all the same age land up in the same class. Does this mean that there are a goodly number throughout the school - in which case what is the whole school strategy - or did some poor woman have sextuplets a while back?
    Children usually pick up languages really fast if left to immerse themselves in it. But if they are grouped with their compatriots and with English children with poor language skills they're not going to learn much are they? They'd be better off going into a class higher up the school and hear some decent English being spoken by the teacher all day!! And doesn't your authority have some ESL teachers who can help out at the beginning?
    I remember years ago helping out at the weekend with some Serbo - Croation refugee children who had to wait for weeks and weeks with their mothers isolated in a hostel-type situation before they were placed in schools. I played with a doll's house with one of them - she was trying to teach me in her language what I told her in mine - she was five. They all seemed like they would pick up English extremely rapidly if they had been allowed to integrate. I don't know exactly what was going on at the time but they were not allowed to leave the hostel so apart from the occasional English visitor they were not going to learn much English. Your school sounds as though it has created the same situation.
    Do these children mix outside school with English children?
    Surely assessing maths should be relatively easy - the language of maths is international. You can give them simple children's workbooks and see what happens. It doesn't much matter what the language is for something like that ----- and explaining what it means in English will help them learn some English.

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