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Need some community advice!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by bristle82, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. I have been a year 5 teacher since I started 3 1/2 years ago as an NQT. I was informed today that as of September I will be moving to Year 2! The class has a lot of behavioural issues, they haven't had a permanent teacher for the whole of Y1 and there is a high number of Polish children in the class who speak Polish to one another, even though they can speak English.

    I need some help, support, advice or ANYTHING! I am a little overwhelmed at this short notice!!

    Thanks :)
  2. I studied linguistics and my personal view would be to relax a bit about another language being used amongst the children. As they move through the school and have lived here longer they will probably drop this, but for now it's probably making them feel their identity is shared with others and not frowned upon. When addressed in English they will automatically reply in English, and should only be chatting at appropriate times anyway. Insist on English for certain tasks in which language is key, and I would separate the Polish children if that didn't work. I personally like to encourage bilingualism in children. I'd definitely use their skill in some way, perhaps getting the children to teach the rest of us a few words in Polish and share their culture with the class. It's important to value children for who they are and where they come from. No need to squeeze this out of them, they have lots to be proud of and to teach English children, just as English children can teach them.
  3. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Sorry, but that sounds absurd.
    If they're in an English school, they should speak English. Not only is it basic manners but it will be absolutely imperative for their integration into English society in the future.
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I allow our Polish children to chatter in Polish in the playground, but not in the classroom. Too much chance that someone will say 'they're talking about me miss' and I have no way of finding out.

    As for moving to year 2....I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!!! I've been in year 5 or higher for 15 years and am also moving to year 2. I'm dead excited though and it is a good career move to teach in both key stages, so do view it positively.

    There is a thread on here, I'll move it to the top for you as I have it on my hotlist, about year 2 resources. It is on my hotlist for when I start to have time to think about next year.
    There is also another thread where I asked for advice from good and outstanding year 2 teachers. Lots of fab ideas and advice on there that is really, really going to help me.
  5. Thank you - I am trying to get my head around this forum. I will look for the Y2 threads. I dont think the Polish children should be speaking Polish within the lesson as this is currently a problem. I totally agree we should celebrate difference but when it affects learning, it's not good.
  6. Are the any Polish speaking staff? Speaking in a home language can have benefits for children - but obviously, as you say, not if it interferes with learning.
  7. There is one who supports an autistic polish pupil in another class as he is quite difficult. i hope to get her one or two afternoons next year to support the children within my class. We really celebrate diversity within our school, but this group of children talk in Polish on purpose.
  8. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    These children are currently in Y1 so are 5 - 6 yrs old. I find it hard to believe they are speaking Polish for any other reason other than they can! Allowing children to speak in their home language, does help with language development in both languages, strange as that may seem. There are quite a few Polish children in our school and I wish they would talk to each other in any language, instead of being so quiet all day long!
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    This does sound a little harsh. Just be kind but firm that English only is to be spoken in the classroom, unless they really don't know an English word and so need to ask their friend for help. Just keep kindly, but firmly insisting and they will soon stop. They aren't doing it to be naughty, just, as the person above said, because they can.
  10. the children, in my opinion, SHOULD continue to speak their home language- they need to buildPolish language skills at academic level as much as their English. This is THEIR identity. They may be supporting each other by explaining the bits they understood to each other, relaxing, discussing story....
    If the English speakers say they are talking about them and you ca't get to the bottom of it how is that different to any other similiar issue 'I didn't miss' 'he started it miss' 'He hit me first miss'

    Perhaps you could learn a little Polish?

  11. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    Why? Do you live in Poland?
    If they live in England, they need to learn the language. The <u>best</u> place to do this is at school, probably primary school as the secondary curriculum will leave them behind before long. They're in an English school and will need to learn English if they are to stand any chance of succeeding in this country's education (and thus workplace) system.
    Care to substantiate this with a link, or reference to prove this? (Not holding breath).

    *Obviously there are circumstances where a home language should be used: new arrivals, explanations of concepts.

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