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7 Tips on Educating Newcomers

7 Tips on Educating Newcomers

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Over the years, Dual Language teaching has become in demand due to the many known benefits of being bilingual. Finding more ways to nourish and support the students’ educational needs is challenging. Dual Language educators must strike a balance between the language and psychological needs of their students, particularly newcomers and ELL’s. For those working in dual language schools, this offers a guide to educating newcomers..

1. Focus on English

Concentrate on the language need of students, set a structured curriculum but make sure it is not overwhelming. Consider below characteristics of a good English skills:

Comprehension Learner can understand short questions and simple non-formulaic statements when they are embedded in a short dialogue or passage heard at less than normal speed. However, it is likely that some details will be lost, and some repetition may be necessary.
Fluency When participating in a simple conversation on familiar, everyday topics, the learner can formulate short, simple non-formulaic statements and questions.
Vocabulary Learner has enough vocabulary (including high-frequency idiomatic expressions) to make simple statements and ask questions about things in a simplified conversation.
Pronunciation Learner is beginning to demonstrate control over a large number of sounds and sound patterns. Some repetition may be necessary to make meaning clear.
Grammar Learner can demonstrate understanding of basic sentence and question patterns, with some grammatical errors.

2. Setting Clear Expectations

When building programs, one size does not fit all. Many immersion programs have language proficiency expectations that are not properly aligned from one grade to the next. There should be clear goals for each academic year, and those goals must be reflected in curriculum. A language immersion expert, says true immersion is not simply about teaching children to speak in the target language, it is about getting them to "think and dream" in the target language as well. The goal of an immersion program should be to produce well-balanced students who are bi-literate, bi-cognitive, and bi-cultural within five years. That goal may sound ambitious, but it is achievable with a well-designed and well-implemented program.

Continue reading to find out more advice on helping your students learn at home…

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