I’d like to say that news is crap and that some people are just out to get President Trump and find faults, but statistics don’t lie. Since his office, and possibly a result of misinterpretation, white Americans living in the country have become bolder with their hate and disgust for other races and ethnic groups living within. There are endless bullying on the streets, and racial discrimination has increased a hundredfold.
You might be wondering about ELL and how they adjust to their new life in a new country, with a different language. ELL means English Language Learner, and some educators specialize in dealing with kids who immigrate to the US from other countries. What non-teachers don’t know is that some educators get nervous when they are assigned students that don’t speak the American-English language. It’s like teaching a parrot how to speak – they can talk, but they won’t understand the logic behind it.
Anyway, if you’re a teacher who happens to come across this particular dilemma, it might be helpful to remember these useful tips. After all, an ELL educator provided the suggestions (thank you Miss Deb Hanson!), and even if you’re not an ELL teacher, it can be your “just-in-case” thing.
Buddy Up System
The ELL child will need a “friend,” and that friend must be an English-speaking classmate who knows the language of the ELL and can function as a translator too. His or her buddy must be a good student and a role model at that who is patient, kind, understanding, and considerate. The buddy must be willing to help you and the ELL.
Actions, Gestures, And Drawings
You can’t talk to the child in English all the time. The buddy may be busy, and sometimes, you’d be left alone with your non-English speaking student. In times when you need to communicate, draw pictures, act out your thoughts, or make gestures of some sort so that the ELL will understand.
Google Search For Images
When you can’t act out what you mean, use Google search for images. It is more comfortable to impart knowledge and learning to an ELL if they have an idea of what it looks like in actual. Visual images can assist in learning, and they’d be excited about it. Young ones love gadgets and technology.
But then again, a word of caution. Not all images in Google are safe for kids to view. Screen the pictures first before showing to the ELL.
Minimize Usage Of Idioms
ELL won’t understand idioms like – can of worms, cat got your tongue, hold your horses, and the likes. It may confuse the child. If ever this happens, explain what the idiom means to avoid further bewilderment on their part.
Speak Gently And Plainly
Use simple words and be gentle. Avoid raising your voice and don’t rush.
Let The Student Speak English
ELL’s will try their best to speak English. If they make a mistake, don’t criticize and correct them, especially in front of other people. It may be natural for you to correct someone when they make a grammar mistake, but for this one, just hold on. For example – Sister goes work new clean house. You can respond by saying – Wow, that’s great! Your sister now works by cleaning houses?
If the student can’t speak English, it is highly likely that he or she has difficulty writing in English, as well. Just don’t rush your ELL. In time, he or she will be able to write. Do the I LIKE – I DON’T LIKE to exercise. Explain to the child that he or she has to write down the I LIKE things on the left side and the I DON’T LIKE things on the right side. For example, I LIKE TURKEY SANDWICH. I DON’T LIKE CHILI DOGS. In this way, the child will learn more English words by writing about their likes and dislikes.
Next on, the exercise can be a practice for using verbs, familiarizing with body parts, numbers, colors, clothing, sports, and more. For example, I CAN DANCE. I CAN’T SING. I CAN PLAY SOCCER. I CAN’T PLAY FOOTBALL. I HAVE SIX SISTERS. And so on.
It will be beneficial for you and the student to have a dictionary in the ELL’s native language. Keep it handy inside your classroom.
It is imperative to modify and simplify your lessons so that the ELL can easily understand it. Use Google images, pictures, and such tools for the student to visualize the word/phrase/sentence.
Be Positive Always
Teaching an ELL won’t be easy. In fact, it will be tough, and everything in your patience meter will be tested. Just stay positive and be a teacher who wants to help. A smile can go a long way, and your body language says it all. Be welcoming, and your student will never forget you.
A significant percentage of students in the United Kingdom (and most probably in other Western countries as well) have been diagnosed with this specific learning condition called dyslexia. Dyslexia, as defined medically, is a condition wherein a person has difficulties in reading and interpreting printed characters. A young person with dyslexia may see the printed page, but the characters seem to move as they see it with their eyes. With this, the child’s performance at school will be affected, and most of them who don’t get diagnosed are passed off as stupid or unintelligent just because of this condition.
Despite their condition, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are now encouraged to participate in the traditional educational mainstream together with ASD-free kids. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a prevalent condition in kids these days. Behavioral and social interaction issues characterize it. Thus, having them in class can be a real challenge for teachers who have no training or knowledge in dealing ASD kids.
But since the educational system is already welcoming pupils with the condition in a regular setup, teachers might as well equip themselves on how to deal with such students.
How Autism Affects Student Life
A traditional classroom is a social place where students can interact and learn from each other. It is a place where students develop their social-emotional skills, but for a student with ASD, the setting could lead to heightened depression, stress and anxiety. As elaborated by Stormi Pulver White, PsyD, “Many teens with autism – boys and girls alike – don’t pay close attention to the social examples and cues of their classmates and peers. As a result, many need help understanding that these behaviors are important.”
With that said, problems may arise regarding behavior and academic performance as well. It will become a challenge for teachers as they may require additional learning methods and even social support. Furthermore, since there is a strong connection between social and emotional competence with academic performance, it is expected that issues will arise for students with ASD.
The education system in each state and even countries worldwide are then challenged to address this phenomenon. It is vital to come up with strategies to balance the needs of students with or without ASD.
Misinformation Around Inclusion
Many assume that quality education is obtainable through classroom learning. However, for students with ASD, this notion doesn’t exactly follow to the dot. What is the definition of “inclusion” anyway? The school has to address this for the child with ASD to experience quality learning without impairing his emotional health. But John Cutrone, LMHC, MCAP, CAS said, “Being diagnosed with Autism does not have not to impact you negatively. People with Autism can live fulfilling and meaningful lives. It is about learning the tools and skills that can help lead to success.”
The usual solution is to remove the concerned ASD student for some time from mainstream schools if their condition deters them from coping with traditional style learning. This act will help lessen the stress, anxiety, and pressure on the student. It will also help him adjust if the school he is under will cater to his specific needs. Once everything is already on track, he can rejoin traditional schools provided he can manage the settings. Otherwise, welcome the student and put in all the effort.
Suggestions for Teachers
Teachers should help their students with ASD on how to overcome the sudden transition by providing moral support and whatever else the kids need. For instance:
Some students with ASD also request usage of gadgets like laptops and tablets in doing their schoolwork. Note that students with ASD have delays with their fine motor skills. Thus, using these gadgets can help them catch up with the group concerning lessons and schoolwork.
Copies of the lesson instructions, notes and activities verbally given by the teachers in class can help ASD kids. It will assist them to get a good grasp of the lessons as they go along. They need it in text or written down.
Taking photos of the notes and instructions written on the board are allowed for ASD students, if possible.
A quiet place for students with ASD to complete their school activities and assignments must be set up.
Supporting Students With ASD
Fund Allocation. Having ample funds and spending it on the proper resource or tool will enable schools in teaching ASD kids efficiently. They must also hire specialized staff who can help teachers create learning approaches for students with ASD.
Specialized Educator Training. Training will help teachers understand the condition and strategize methods to reach out to their students with ASD.
“There is no cure for autism, nor is there one single treatment for autism spectrum disorders. But there are ways to help minimize the symptoms of autism and to maximize learning.” Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT said. Educating teachers on ASD as a developmental condition and strategies on how to deal with their students having such disorder is the best solution. In time, students with ASD can go to school without any problems just like non-ASD kids.
Some children have delays regarding physical development, mental aspect, social traits, and emotional health. With this, it is best for them to go to a school that can cater to their capabilities and enhances it. Some of them can function in a traditional school system, but it will be very tough on them. Others won’t be able to function well at all. They need a specialized educational institution for their learning needs.