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PD content to get you through the day. Download without a subscription. Receive timely lesson ideas and PD tips. Receive timely lesson ideas and PD tips Thank you for subscribing to the Educationworld. Classroom Problem Solver Dr. Department of Education's Web site. One final note to administrators: Schools can't do it all on their own -- but don't expect local organizations to approach you. You might have to shoulder responsibility for getting the ball rolling.

Share with different groups in your community the pages of this booklet that relate to them. Then get out there and get them involved! Everybody -- especially your students -- will benefit! Read to and with your children for 30 minutes every day. It is very important to read out loud to your children before they start school.

Help your children to read with you. Ask them to find letters and words on the page and talk with your children about the story. Talk with infants and young children before they learn to read.

Talk with your children all day long, using short, simple sentences. Talking with them even before they can speak will help them later when they learn to read and write. Help your children to read on their own. Reading at home helps children do better in school. Have lots of children's books in your home and visit the library every week. Help your children get their own library cards and let them pick out their own books. Help your child to see that reading is important.

Suggest reading as a free-time activity. Make sure your children have time in their day to read. Set a good example for your children by reading newspapers, magazines, and books.

Restrict the amount and kind of TV your children watch. Watch educational TV programs with your children that teach letter sounds and words or give information about nature and science.

Read to infants even before they are able to talk. Make books part of your one-on-one time with babies. Although they don't always understand exactly what you are saying, babies love to listen to voices. Over time, babies will associate pleasant feelings with books and reading.

Read with children about their native culture. Children often respond well to stories about their own cultures. This practice also exposes other children to cultures different from their own. In addition, offer books without words so children can make up their own stories to go with the pictures. Teach children rhymes, songs, and poems. Make up stories about children in the group and include their names in familiar songs. Ask families to help you learn songs, poems, and stories in the children's home languages.

Encourage your teachers to work together to teach reading and writing across all the subjects. Encourage them to develop interdisciplinary courses.

Provide opportunities for special educators to share with general educators effective strategies for working with students who have learning challenges.

Introduce challenging reading and writing activities and provide technology to engage all students. Establish a family literacy program. Provide literacy, parenting, and early childhood education programs for language-minority families and other families with literacy needs and their children.

Devote a PTA meeting to how to become a reading tutor and to inform parents of effective methods of reading with their children. Send home information about these programs in the family's native language, where necessary. Implement systematic and routine homework schedules. Help families know what to expect of their children regularly and how to monitor assignments.

Ensure that all teachers regularly assign challenging homework. Develop and send home a sheet of suggestions for families about how to help their children with their schoolwork. Learn more about the America Reads Challenge. Work with local partners to start a community reading program. One good way to begin is to set up an America Reads Challenge: Identify quality reading materials for the program.

Look into providing materials in Braille, large-print texts, books on tape. Use communication specialists such as sign-language interpreters. Establish structured learning time at the library to give children who need extra help opportunities to become successful readers. Volunteer to train tutors or serve as a community coordinator.

Offer the library as a safe site for the community program. Promote a special sign-up day for children to come in and get their own library cards. Expand your library's resources, particularly computers and children's software programs. Let families and children know that the Internet offers them a wealth of free information. Offer free introductory sessions on how to use these resources.

Include equipment and software for children with physical and learning disabilities. Volunteer to read with or to a child for 30 minutes a week for at least eight weeks. Take the child to the library to get him or her a library card. Develop a monthly program at your library, school, or community center in which seniors discuss their oral histories with children. Speak with local retirement homes and senior centers to enlist seniors who would be willing to tell children a highlight of their life stories.

Arrange for a location where the program can be held, and advertise it. Start a community reading program. One good way to begin is to set up a summer America Reads Challenge: Encourage your members or staff to volunteer as tutors.

Provide transportation for children and tutors. Offer your organization's building as a safe site in which the program can take place.

Work with preschool children. Organize a program in which members volunteer to read to children in these programs each week. Offer a small prize related to literacy, such as a reference book or a bookstore gift certificate.

Cooperate with other community organizations and school staff on reading activities for students. Rarely can one organization or individual "do it all. Ask for and offer help to improve and expand your reading activities.

Contact other reading programs and school staff for guidance. Assign and train Work-Study students as reading tutors. Increase the percentage of Work-Study slots that are reserved for reading tutoring. The Secretary of Education has waived the matching requirement for students serving as reading tutors to preschool and elementary schoolchildren.

This percent federal funding of Federal Work- Study reading tutors facilitates the participation of postsecondary institutions in the America Reads Challenge. Provide space for local reading programs. Open classrooms or lecture halls to literacy programs on weekends and other times when they are not in use.

Encourage students to volunteer as assistants. Sponsor an on-campus summer reading program for elementary school children. Invite professors and qualified students to teach sessions.

Contact the community library and local reading programs to encourage their participation. Make campus computer resources available to local families and their children. Open campus computer clusters to the public during off-times. Offer free orientation sessions for people who have never used the Internet before. Provide a list of educational sites related to reading. Establish a lending library in the workplace so that employees can take books and other reading materials home to their children.

Contact the local library to obtain suggested children's book lists. Ask employees to donate books and books on tape that their children have outgrown. Develop a program to bring children to your work site for tutoring. Bringing children to the work site for tutoring gives them a safe place to go after school hours, helps improve their schoolwork, and makes mentoring and tutoring convenient for employees. Provide support for training reading tutors both in schools and in the workplace.

Contact your local school district's special education department for assistance on how to address and support the training of tutors for students with special needs.

Establish a national program for employees to tutor, mentor, and allow children to shadow model employees. Encourage each affiliate, franchise, or company branch to get involved with its local schools by tutoring or mentoring students.

Allow students to shadow workers for a day to understand how the skills they learn in school will someday be used in the workplace. Provide books, videos, consultants, and other resources to schools. Contact your local school's administrators to determine which resources are most needed. Rebuild or refurbish school libraries so that they become the center of the school's literacy activities.

Help to guarantee that schools have the most modern teaching materials, computers, books, and videos. Highlight successful reading programs. Cover stories about literacy events sponsored by schools, libraries, AmeriCorps projects, and communities and successful participants in them. Feature individual success stories and "unsung tutoring heroes. Start a Community Volunteer Alert Program. Publicize a weekly listing of volunteer programs in need of tutors.

Provide contact names and numbers. Support local literacy programs by donating advertising space. Produce a community public service announcement in support of reading. Publicize recommended reading lists for books that families can read with children of different ages. Trending Icebreakers Volume 5: It's time to make a fresh start. You've done some summer reading on classroom management, and you're eager to try out some new ideas. You've learned from past mistakes, and you look forward this year to avoiding those mistakes.

Most fun of all, the opening days of school are an opportunity to get to know a whole new group of kids! What will you do during those first few days of school?

What activities might you do to help you get to know your new students? What activities will help students get to know you and one another? For the last three years, Education World has presented a new group of getting-to-know-you ideas -- or icebreakers -- for those first days of school. Here are 19 ideas -- ideas tried and tested by Education World readers -- to help develop classroom camaraderie during the opening days of school.

Opening-Day Letter Still looking for more ideas? Don't forget our archive of more than icebreaker activities. Write a letter to your students. In that letter, introduce yourself to students. Tell them about your hopes for the new school year and some of the fun things you'll be doing in class. In addition, tell students a few personal things about yourself; for example, your likes and dislikes, what you did over the summer, and your hobbies.

Ask questions throughout the letter. You might ask what students like most about school, what they did during the summer, what their goals for the new school year are, or what they are really good at. In your letter, be sure to model the correct parts of a friendly letter! On the first day of school, display your letter on an overhead projector.

Then pass each student a sheet of nice stationery. Have the students write return letters to you. In this letter, they will need to answer some of your questions and tell you about themselves. This is a great way to get to know each other in a personal way! Mail the letter to students before school starts, and enclose a sheet of stationery for kids to write you back.

Each piece should have a matching piece of the same length. There should be enough pieces so that each student will have one. Then give each student one piece of string, and challenge each student to find the other student who has a string of the same length. After students find their matches, they can take turns introducing themselves to one another. You can provide a list of questions to help students "break the ice," or students can come up with their own.

You might extend the activity by having each student introduce his or her partner to the class. Give each student a slip of paper with the name of an animal on it. Then give students instructions for the activity: They must locate the other members of their animal group by imitating that animal's sound only. No talking is allowed. The students might hesitate initially, but that hesitation soon gives way to a cacophony of sound as the kids moo, snort, and giggle their way into groups.

The end result is that students have found their way into their homerooms or advisory groups for the school year, and the initial barriers to good teamwork have already been broken. Hold a large ball of yarn. Start by telling the students something about yourself. Then roll the ball of yarn to a student without letting go of the end of the yarn.

The student who gets the ball of yarn tells his or her name and something good about himself or herself. Then the student rolls the yarn to somebody else, holding on to the strand of yarn. Soon students have created a giant web. After everyone has spoken, you and all the students stand up, continuing to hold the yarn. Start a discussion of how this activity relates to the idea of teamwork -- for example, the students need to work together and not let others down.

To drive home your point about teamwork, have one student drop his or her strand of yarn; that will demonstrate to students how the web weakens if the class isn't working together. Questions might include the following: What is your name? Where were you born? How many brothers or sisters do you have? What are their names? Do you have any pets? The best way that parents can help at home is to discuss with their child, in their own language, the work in progress.

There is more detailed advice on this on the parents' pages of this website. It would be useful to refer parents to these pages when you call them or meet them to talk about their child's progress. Additionally, you could reinforce the constant message we ESL teachers give students and parents about the importance of extensive reading in English - particularly of non-fiction texts.

As Cummins points out:. Towards a Critical Balance , Cummins, J. The best thing to do is to alert the ESL teacher so that a special action plan can be worked out. You may also wish to tell the parents what they can do to help. See my answer to the previous question. Before suggesting private tuition, it is recommended that you contact the ESL teacher.

See the newsletter article about private tuition if you want to read the advice we give to ESL parents when they ask if this is necessary for their child. If a student does poorly in one of your tests, it is helpful to analyse with her the possible reasons.

These could be any of the following or a combination of them:. Obviously, a child who doesn't work hard through the term, or who lacks good test-preparation and test-taking strategies, will struggle to do well in tests, and these issues should be addressed by the teacher.

The other reasons listed above, however, are more to do with language ability, and you may wish to adopt a flexible response in order to help the ESL student show what she has learned and understood. For example, you may wish to prepare an ESL version of the test. Alternatively, you could make sure you are on hand during the test to explain what the questions mean. Or you could allow the student to write part of an answer in her own language and then explain it to you or have it translated after the test.

ESL students usually need more time than their native-speaking peers to complete the test. It takes the pressure off them a little if they know they will have the chance to continue into break or finish off in the ESL lesson. Of course, it is very important that the language of the test questions and tasks is unambiguous, so the student can quickly understand what she has to do.

Plagiarism is quite common among ESL students and can have many causes. Please contact the child's ESL teacher if the problem persists despite implementing some of the advice on how to deal with it. It is helpful if you know a little about the ESL students' backgrounds and interests, since this will enable you to make connections to their personal lives. At the ESL placement interview the ESL teacher finds out this information and then sends it out to all concerned by e-mail. Little things can be important, such as spelling the child's name correctly and learning how to pronounce it with some accuracy.

It is also helpful in class to seat ESL students with native-speakers who are sympathetic and encouraging. You can also devise group activities in which the ESL student's contribution is essential to the successful completion of the task. On a more general level, it is useful if the culture and history of the student can be incorporated into lessons.

The ESL department has a very useful set of materials of the different countries of the world, called Culturegrams. There is also another set in the school library. Cummins has an excellent explanation of the importance of integrating ESL students' cultures and background experiences into your lessons, thereby validating their personalities and identities:. Cummins J Negotiating Identities: Two simple examples of including the non-native speaker's culture and previous educational experience:.

An excellent way of integrating ESL students into your class is via cooperative activities. Researchers have found that language learning takes place most effectively when learners are engaged in interesting tasks that allow plenty of meaningful interaction with sympathetic native speakers. However, it is not enough to just put the ESL student with 2 or 3 others and hope for the best.

If this happens, there is a danger that the ESL student will take on a peripheral role - or have it forced on her. Therefore, it is most beneficial if the group activity is so structured that the outcome is dependent on the contributions of ALL the group members.

As an example, consider the topic of pollution. First each member of each group chooses or is allocated a sub-topic. Those having the same sub-topic, say river pollution, meet together to discuss and research that sub-topic. The students then return to their original groups where they report on what they learned in the sub-topic groups. Group members then discuss how to include this information in their final report or presentation.

Using this method, the contribution of each group member is critical to the final outcome. To provide extra support to ESL students, you could arrange it so that they are given an easier sub-topic or task, or that the sub-topic group they go to contains a same nationality peer.

In summary, it can be said that pair or group work is important for ESL students because it gives them the chance to express their ideas and opinions or ask questions of the teacher or other group members on a smaller stage than in front of the whole class. It also gives the teacher a much better chance to offer individual and unobtrusive help.

There is a more extensive discussion in the following article, which also contains a wealth of other useful information: I have a copy of this book in my room if you would like to borrow it. In my room I have a comprehensive set of materials called Culturegrams. These contain information about every country in the world on topics such as: There is a further set of these materials in the library. Else Hamayan has devised an interesting graphic that makes it clear there is more to culture difference than the obvious elements of music, food and dress.

It is rarely productive to try and cajole a reluctant beginner into answering questions in class. There is a well-attested silent period that some ESL students go through in which they are not prepared to volunteer any spoken information.

In most cases however these students are learning and will emerge from their silent cocoon some time later with a surprising ability to express themselves orally. The issue is more complicated for silent students who are in their second or subsequent years at the school.

They may in fact desire the opportunity to participate orally, but do not yet have the language processing skills to quickly understand the question and formulate their answer in English. They are disadvantaged therefore in classes with rapid teacher-student interchanges, particularly where the students are not called on but allowed to respond at will.

If teachers allow sufficient processing time, then ESL students may feel comfortable in raising their hand to answer. But in general this should be done only if it is believed that the student will have a correct answer, and not if he or she is generally shy or lacking in confidence.

So, there is not one rule that fits all students. Shy students will feel very stressed in class if they believe that the teacher may call on them at any time.

Conversely, some students may feel the teacher has no confidence in them if they are never called on. There is a detailed answer to this question elsewhere on this site. In short, assessments, both formative and summative, will often need modifying in order to make them fair and reliable ways for ESL students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in your subject. Other accommodations, such as allowing extra time to complete the assessment, may be necessary.

Students whose English proficiency is as yet limited may need different assessments altogether than the rest of the class. ESL teachers can advise on the language demands of a given task, and suggest modifications and accommodations to make it a fairer and more accessible way for ESL students to demonstrate content knowledge and skills. This is a complex issue, and closely related to the previous question: How should I assess my ESL students?

In general, students who have reached a certain level of English proficiency at FIS this means students in ESL2, Advanced or Transitional classes should be assessed and graded according to the same criteria as the other students in the class. This may mean that for some students their grades are low at first, but nevertheless it is important that ESL students, together with their parents and their ESL teacher get accurate feedback on the standards they are reaching in their mainstream classes.

Such a grading policy also helps the ESL teacher to determine at the end of the year if the student is in need of further support in the following year. It can be difficult to recommend that a child continues in ESL if his grades in the other subjects have been artificially inflated.

Within the above guidelines, however, it is still possible to treat ESL students in a way that is appropriate to their particular status and needs.

Sympathetic is a useful term to describe this special treatment of ESL students in terms of grading and assessment. It means for example that students are given credit for demonstrating understanding even if their ability to express their understanding in clear and accurate English is limited. It means that they are not graded down for grammar and spelling mistakes unless these are an integral and clearly stated part of the assignment.

It means further that students have the chance to give an oral explanation of answers that they were not able to write down very clearly.

It also means that they may be allowed the chance to redo homework or retake tests. It need not, since many of the strategies which are good for ESL students are good for the others, too.

This is a situation where the internal grouping of students takes on greater importance. It is generally helpful if ESL students can be paired or grouped with others from a different language background, although it can be useful if beginners can also have the chance to be helped in their own language.

In general, the advice is to teach to the native speakers in the class so that the cognitive demand on students is not compromised. There is an interesting discussion of the dangers of reducing the cognitive level in the classroom in Vol. Embarrassment and hygiene in the classroom Mackay, R. The ESL department holds a copy of this article if you wish to read it. You may also wish to read my answer to parents who ask a similar question. Much of the work that is set in the mainstream whether to do in class or at home takes the ESL students much longer to accomplish than the native-English speakers.

Of course, mainstream teachers are aware of this and may attempt to adapt the tasks that the ESL students have to do. This concern for ESL students is admirable, but it carries with it two dangers. The first danger is that the cognitive demands of the task may be reduced, or that the task may be replaced by different, simpler task. ESL students can certainly be helped by making the language of tasks easier to understand, but they have the same cognitive abilities as the other students and should be required to use them in the completion of the same assignments.

The second danger is that the teacher ends up spending so long on regular adaptation of materials for ESL students that he or she does not have the time or energy to devote to preparing engaging and instructive lessons for the class as a whole. A solution to the dilemma of ensuring that ESL students are cognitively challenged but do not end up working twice or three times as long on an assignment as a native-speaker is to reduce the amount of work they have to do.

For example, instead of requiring them to do 20 word problems in mathematics unit, permit them to do Consider a mainstream English assignment as a further example - book review. Instead of requiring a word report, allow the less proficient ESL students to write words.

Do not, on the other hand, permit them to write only about plot and not about theme or mood, since this reduces the cognitive challenge of the task. The ESL department is very happy to advise on the modification of materials to make them linguistically more accessible to ESL students. How the liaison takes place is a matter for each subject teacher to determine in consultation with the ESL teacher.

Some prefer to have a brief regular meeting to discuss work in progress and students of concern; while other find it easier to keep in contact by e-mail. See the sheet of general information about how ESL teachers can help , containing a list of times that they are free to discuss with you or visit one of your classes. The decision about the initial placement of a student is made after the student has been interviewed by an ESL teacher who assesses the linguistic competence of the student in the major language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The reading test generally consists of a short story taken from the appropriate grade level literature anthology. The student's educational and language background is also taken into account. Subsequent placement depends on the student's progress in English as assessed against the ESL objectives. Placement changes can take place at any time, although they are generally not considered desirable in the last two months of the school year. A majority of changes take place between one school year and the next.

The placement decision does not only depend on the child's linguistic proficiency, as measured against ESL course objectives, but on such factors as the child's nationality, motivation and ability to work independently.

An essential part of the decision-making process is the continuing discussion with the child's subject teachers about her progress in those subjects, including the level and quality of her participation in all of the class activities, her results in tests, the quality of her homework etc. The child's longer-term academic plans are often also taken into consideration after discussions with the parents. Some of the indicators of a learning disability that are exhibited by an English native speaker are also shown by ESL students in the first stage of their English language development.

These indicators include difficulty in following oral instructions, poor eye tracking when reading, inconsistent spelling, limited attention span, avoidance of eye contact, etc. The crucial difference is that the problems experienced by the learning-disabled native speaker are for the most part permanent, whereas ESL students display such behaviours for a temporary period only. There are significant variations in the duration of this temporary period for ESL students. It is important, therefore, that mainstream teachers are aware that a normal i.

Such students should not be prematurely labelled as having a learning problem when in fact they simply have a temporary language or acculturation problem. Nevertheless, every so often we have an ESL student who doesn't make the progress expected of him or her, even allowing for the large variations in the speed at which English language proficiency develops.

In most cases such a student will have been identified by an ESL teacher, and the 'learning-disabled specialist' will have been contacted in order to undertake a joint diagnosis.

This diagnosis will usually include testing in the child's mother tongue. If the child does indeed turn out to have learning problems, then some kind of additional support is offered. If you suspect that an ESL student's difficulties in your class are the result of more than a simple lack of English language proficiency, please collect evidence and contact the child's ESL teacher.

It is helpful for the ESL teacher to know, specifically, the types of task that cause the student problems and the kinds of atypical behaviour that the student exhibits. For a further detailed discussion of the issue, refer to the following article, a copy of which is available in room The topic is given comprehensive coverage in this more recent work by Hamayan: Delivering a Continuum of Services. In particular you may need to talk to them on the phone or during parent conferences to discuss their child's progress.

In all of the dealings with parents, it is important to modulate your language in such a way that it can be more easily understood. Of course this does mean not patronising them by speaking more loudly or excessively slowly, or using "baby language".

What it does mean is that you may have to repeat or rephrase the important parts of your message. You should also try to avoid most of the idioms and colloquialisms that are typical of natural everyday language between native speakers. Telling a parent that her daughter takes a long time to cotton on and that she needs to pull her socks up is likely to be met by a confused stare! You should be aware too that much of the school jargon that we use without thinking about it will be inaccessible to ESL parents.

For example, it is unrealistic to expect them to know what you mean when you talk about authentic assessment or Learning Center. More on school jargon. You also need to be careful with euphemisms. While they may be appropriate and expected by native-English speaking parents, your message may not be understood by ESL parents.

To tell a Korean mother that her son does not take full advantage of the learning opportunities offered to him will probably not communicate effectively what you are trying to telling her. It is often better to say gently something like: Your son is a little bit lazy in lessons , and then give specific examples of how he could participate more.

More on euphemisms You need be a little careful, however, since some parents may regard the difficulties their child is having as reflecting poorly on themselves and their family as a whole.

You should also know that many ESL parents will feel very uncomfortable if they think that other parents or students can hear what you are saying about their child. For this reason, you are strongly recommended to close the door of the room in which you are having the meeting or conference with the parents.

In general it is important that parents are not left feeling frustrated, confused or embarrassed after meeting with you. Making ESL parents feel valued and welcomed in our school and involving them in the education of their child is an essential aspect of helping the child to fulfil his or her potential.

More on making language comprehensible: The shock can be caused by difficulties in adjusting to Germany and German culture. It is more likely however to be the result of trying to cope with the demands of a very different school system from the one they have left behind. The effects of culture shock - or to be more precise, school shock - are described in some detail in my article to parents elsewhere on this site.

My intention here is to make mainstream teachers aware of some of the teaching practices at FIS that may be unfamiliar and stressful to ESL students. Of course it is not suggested that colleagues change their teaching methodologies to avoid all possibility of discomfiting ESL students.

But an awareness of the points below will often be sufficient to prevent teachers drawing the wrong conclusions about the behaviour and attitude of the ESL students in their classes. It can help to alleviate stress if ESL students feel that the teacher is knowledgeable about and sympathetic to their difficulties.

Teachers can also help adjustment to the new culture by reinforcing the student's pride in his own culture. Possible sources of school shock Students may be used to acquiring a large number of facts by rote; and unused to discovery learning, analysis or critical thinking as practised at FIS. They may also perceive a wrong answer as causing the teacher to lose face and, for the same reason, feel uncomfortable with the idea of asking questions or for help.

Students may not wish to share opinions or beliefs, regarding them as private. Students may be severely embarrassed if reprimanded or excessively praised in front of others.

Students may be unused to mixed classes or being taught by teachers of the opposite sex. Students may find it difficult to come to terms with the open and friendly relations between teachers and students. They may be uncomfortable with the amount of noise in the classroom. Students may be uncomfortable with some expectations regarding teacher-student behaviour e. Students may be from a very competitive school system and unused to working co-operatively with other students.

Conversely, they may come from an educational background in which grades do not have the importance to students, parents and teachers that they do at our school. Students may believe that having fun in the classroom is incompatible with learning. Of course not all ESL students come from countries whose educational culture is different in the ways listed above.

And most of those who do will not experience more than a temporary discomfort on joining our school. What is common to all ESL students, however, and probably the main cause of school shock, is the huge mental effort required to work for more than 8 hours a day learning new content in a foreign language.

For this reason it is clear that students will benefit directly from any efforts by teachers to make the classroom language and homework tasks as comprehensible as possible.

Ways to do this are described in the following articles:. Many ESL students are very motivated to learn English as quickly as possible. They spend a lot of extra time at home doing language work of one type or another, and often their parents pay for private tuition.

Unfortunately, in more than a few cases, this time and money could be better spent. The single best thing that students can do at home to improve their English is to read extensively in the language. It is the best thing because it allows students to engage in an activity that most enjoy - particularly if they are able to choose their own reading material.

There is also plenty of research evidence to show that learners of English who simultaneously maintain and develop their proficiency in the mother tongue do better in school. For this reason parents can be advised on the benefits of their child reading good literature or non-fiction in their native language too. So if you are asked the question above, please advise students and parents on the considerable benefits of reading in both languages. At the same time, however, it would be good to suggest that they contact the ESL teacher for more specific advice on the kinds and levels of reading in English that the child should be doing, because this will play a significant part in the success of any such program.

Extensive reading and the development of language skills , Hafiz, F. The immediate concern is to help students do assignments that will satisfy them and their subject teachers. The long-term concern is to help the students learn enough English that they can function successfully in the mainstream without ESL support. The amount of time that is devoted to each of these concerns depends on the particular group of students and the time of year.

So, for example, more time is spent on other subject work with beginning students than with more advanced students. Students generally become more independent as the year progresses, so more time is devoted to general language and skills development towards the end of the year than at the beginning. Beginning ESL students tend to lose their voice and their personality when they enter the mainstream classroom in the first few months at FIS.

They may believe themselves to be or even be made to feel stupid. For this reason we incorporate into our teaching activities that allow students to demonstrate their intelligence, their imagination and creativity, their linguistic knowledge of their own language and their personality. Cummins ECIS-ESL Rome conference presentation has spoken convincingly of how the above can be done via cooperative work on what he calls identity texts.

There are examples of identity texts in the Dual Language Showcase. Should I correct an ESL student's grammar mistakes? Should I correct an ESL student's pronunciation mistakes? Should I correct an ESL student's spelling mistakes? Should I let ESL students talk in their native language in my classroom? Should I encourage ESL students to use their dictionaries in my lesson?

Why don't my ESL students look at me when I'm talking to them? How can I judge if a task or assignment will be too difficult for ESL students?

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