Monolingual kids, monolingual teacher - two different languages.
August 31, 2013 11:23 AM Subscribe
I am teaching weekly hour-long classes (stories, songs, etc.) at a public school where about half of the primary classes are bilingual - which, in kindergarten and first grade, means those kids are pretty much all monolingual (in Spanish). This is fine for me, but not fine for the teachers who share my lesson plans. What can they do with their Spanish-speaking classes when they don't speak any Spanish?
posted by goodbyewaffles to education (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I say "any," I mean ANY. I've been getting by fine on my rusty college Spanish and the assistance of the two or three kids who speak basic English. My lesson plans for these classes include books that have text in English and Spanish, songs in English and Spanish, and craft projects with simple enough directions that I can explain them in Spanish. It's a library class, so the last 20 minutes of each class are devoted to the kids independently choosing library books. This is fine - I see each class for an hour once a week, and that's plenty to go on.
However, there are two other teachers who also use my lesson plans, and they speak zero Spanish. The first week of school was a major struggle with those classes, because the teachers could not even communicate basic instructions to the kids, much less deliver the lessons I had planned. The classes are big - 35-40 students is typical. And, you know - there's 41 weeks to go.
Assume that the teachers are not going to learn Spanish (they've been there longer than me and it hasn't happened yet) and that they don't feel comfortable reading books to these kids in Spanish. I would prefer that they not just watch videos, but at this point I don't see any other options. Also assume that this is my problem and will stay my problem - I am the person who needs to find a solution.
So, what can I have them do with these classes for the rest of the year? How do you keep a class under control (and hopefully productive!) with a significant language barrier? Lesson ideas (or, if it comes to it, good video ideas, argh) and classroom management strategies would be appreciated.