Tuesday, November 04, 2014

ESOL Support Presentation

I am currently putting together a Powerpoint presentation, worried about how brutal it will feel for my attendees. Hasn't the word Powerpoint sort of become a word of dread? Luckily for those that see my presentations, they'll find that they are used more as a pacing tool, so that I hit my points, open discussion, and give everyone a copy to take with them as a reference.

I wasn't prepared to be so excited about putting this presentation together. The topic is English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English Learners (EL) students and how to support them as a team, and my audience is our school's group of fresh-out-of-school teachers and teachers new to our district. Considering how I felt as a new teachers, I challenge myself further to think if I had started in my early 20s right out of college. What would really help me? While all the different resources and technical stuff would've been too overwhelming, I think learning to empathize with students would have been really helpful. Instead, I learned this more while working to get my ESOL accreditation from UGA. I have a strong belief that how you teach > what you teach. Relationships highly impact the return, especially with ESOL students. 

Obviously, I'm an advocate for our ELs, but I know their story, because it's like my mom's and my mom's students when she taught. She came from Vietnam at the age of 19 and became a teacher's aide in Mobile, AL at a time when the Asian immigrant population was much higher than the Hispanic immigration population. Even though she came at a fairly young age, she admits that her English was never as strong as she'd like. It was an embarrassment for her in certain situations, so I grew up helping her with her language and conversation while also learning "kitchen Vietnamese" myself. Who knows if either of us will be 100% in either language? I joke, but I love that I share two languages with my mom. It brought us closer as my dad became the outsider, only speaking one language.... English from the trailer parks of Mississippi. Was it English, or was it just Ed's language? I loved it, either way.

So back to my presentation. As I decide what points are most important amongst the many, I want to make sure that I give facts and stats, but that I'm also adding a partner activity as well as some videos. The first video is posted below. It really shows the struggle of an EL new to US schools. I'm also giving tons of resources. How fun is it that these new teachers will get a link to my Google Drive that has all of my TPT products saved to it?! I think that's cool! One of the coolest resources I found was a list of picture books and the skills they help teach. Wow!!! I love this list. I guess I'll be Amazon purchasing more books for my library. Click on the I Share, You Grab icon below. It's so extensive! I end the presentation with these notes about our ESOL students:

  • Developmentally, ELs are just a little behind their peers, especially the youngest students
  • Provide ELs time to practice language with their peers of all languages, socially and academically
  • Set high expectations
  • Allow ELs to collaborate and socialize with different groups
  • Allow processing time because it may not be that ELs can’t think, it may be because they’re thinking in two languages simultaneouslyWith your help, one day, they will be proficient in at least two languages“Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” –Mark Twain
 The film is called Immersion. The link takes you to video and the connected lesson plans.

Click on this link for the Mentor Picture Book list. Incredible resource! Before you leave, please tell me what would've helped you the most when learning to work with newcomers that didn't speak English. Leave some love in the comments.

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