Recently, I was looking through some research data about the different languages spoken in the United States. I was surprised to find that Tagalog and the Tagalog-based Filipino combined are the third most commonly spoken languages in the states after Spanish and Chinese. I was unfamiliar with Tagalog and decided to learn a little about it. Here is just a glimpse of what I found out about the language during my studies. I want to make a disclaimer here that I am NOT a language expert with regards to these languages. I felt others would value what I learned during my studies. so I am sharing it here.
Most children love to listen to stories read out-loud. ESL teachers can help children become more confidant in learning to read English and help them grow in self-esteem by including bilingual stories within their story times. You can also have bilingual books available for students to read during independent reading times. You don’t need to know the second language in the book for the students to enjoy hearing the stories. Most ESL classrooms have students with multiple language backgrounds so it is not probable that the language of each child will be spoken at the school.
Access to bilingual books for Somali newcomers is very difficult. Somalis make up a small percentage of the population in the United States. The majority of Somali students come to the United States from refugee camps. These students often have limited school experience. Many do not read and write in Somali, although they may speak Somali and Arabic fluently. Some parents are able to read to their children in Somali and/or Arabic. One of the most researched areas in literacy instruction is the connection between parents who read to their children and their children’s literacy. Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading. Only 30% of children from households where the primary language is not English were read to daily compared with 51% where the primary home language is English. It is critical to support English learners and their parents. Making bilingual books available creates an opportunity to for parents to help improve their children’s literacy skills.
Teaching Somali children is not a common experience throughout the United States. Classroom teachers and ESL teachers new to teaching Somali students may initially be anxious about the customs, attitudes, and behaviors of Somali students. The following information is provided to help teachers eliminate unease and to answer questions you have about Somali culture before you begin teaching Somali children. [Read more…] about Teaching Somali Children
How languages work is a mystery to many people and there are many myths about language acquisition that can make a person hesitant to learn a new language. These myths often impact classroom teachers without their even being aware of them. [Read more…] about Top 7 ESL Myths