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Help Needed E2l


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Hi there everyone

this year is an exciting year as I'm lucky to have a number of children from a wide range of countries and continents (Iran, Argentina, Sri Lanka); it's great for the Knowledge & Understanding and PSED goals but I'm at a slight loss :o as the best way to enable them to become effective English learners.

 

I has a German girl 2 years ago and although she did not speak English in her home environment she seemed to get along with her peers and me fine and is now doing brilliantly in Y2. xD I know that this is the best time for children to acquire language and they do pick up an awful lot from their peers, but I am anxious that I give them the right opportunities and experiences that will help them acquire English.

Any tips and resource/activity ideas would be grateful received

merci :(

Lisa

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Sound as though you are already doing a good job Liza.

From my expereince of having taught EAL children and American/Canadian expat children in France and Germany the best thing to do is give them plenty of emotional support and just immerse them in the language they are learning. Your're already doing that anyway by the sounds of it. It is a very hard experience for these children. You'll do them no favours if everything is given to them in their mother tongue all of the time they'll be speaking that at home anyway. When in Germany I had an expat pupil who's teacher used to speak to him in English a lot of the time he struggled to pick up German. Another pupil went to a school where no one spoke English, within six months he was bilingual.

 

mousebat

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Common sense would tell me that the most important thing (apart from talking to them alot) is to give plently of visual clues. Unless they can find a way to interpret what you're saying the language will remain goobledegook. :o:D

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In my experience the children learn by looking around them all the time. They learn by hearing and looking at the same time, they don't need specific visual clues all the time. When a teacher says "asseyez-vous s'il vous plait" and the child see the whole class sit down they then associate that phase with the action and that's how they learn. Levez-vous and all the children stand up then you can guess what is meant by that phase and so on.

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I think Beau and Mousebat are both right :) The result of a teacher saying "Asseyez-vous" is in itself a visual clue. I think providing other visual clues such as lots of labels, interactive displays asking simple questions, picture/word cues for the order of events of the day or session will all help to reinforce language acquisition.

In nursery, we label door, window, workshop, book area, etc etc and this is a great way to extend the children's written and spoken vocabulary. You could also have notices you can use such as "Now it's singing time" with a photo of the children all bursting into singing!

Have you read "Foundations of Literacy"? There's an excellent chapter there on developing children's spoken language skills.

Have you come across the songbooks for teaching EFL, which we also use in our nursery; they are called Language Through Music. I did a review of them in the Resources section of this site. They might be useful to you.

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In our Foundation stage we have around 80% with English as an additional language, plus a fair number of chn. with speeh and language difficulties. To help these chn. all FS staff and support staff throughout the school have been trained in Makaton sign language.

The chn. love this - basically we use actions for everything!! 'Makaton Nursery Rhyme' video has been invaluable and chn. love it. Many chn. seem to use the signs even if they are not yet ready to communicate verbally.

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Hi Magenta - interested to read about your use of Makaton. I'm glad you've had lots of success and that children have enjoyed using it. I was just wondering if using Makaton delayed speech even further than if the children didn't use Makaton, or does it help compliment developing speech?

(I have a personal interest in the matter of speech and communication difficulties)

 

mousebat

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Hi Mousebat, you always model the language as well as the sign. We have been using Makaton for about 10 months an have found that the majority of children just use signs alongside their speech, EAL children who are at the 'listening' stage use signs to start then add speec when they are ready. We have one child with severe speech and language difficulties who wants to communicate but has problems articulating so this has helped him greatly, he does make speech sounds alongside the signs and some are becoming clearer. I also think it helps kinasthetic learners, they seem to emember because they are performing and action like with Jolly Phonics.

I'm not an expert, and it may be too soon to tell but I feel that it is benefitting all of the children, and the child with problems does not feel different as everyone signs, and they are also able to communicate with him in some way.

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Children who have english as second language generally fall into two categories: those who remain silent until they gain enough confidence and language before speaking and those who try to use whatever language they have as soon as possible.

 

As long as you are providing plenty of concrete activities with lots of appropriate language input (which you should be doing for all children anyway) then the children will start to absorb language remarkably quickly. Story time can be difficult though and it pays if you can arrange to have a smaller group that can have stories using story props either 2D or 3D. THis give added interest and reinforces the text. If not try and make at least half your stories with props.

 

Other acitivities that work well: All forms of simple Lotto games where children are basically matching words and pictures. Stories in home languages or done as dual languages if there is someone to translate.

Make sure you use visual as well as verbal clues when giving instructions - talk and demonstrate. Use and encourage gestures - it doesn't have to be as formal as Makaton

 

All art, creative and sand and water play.

Don't force children to speak until they are ready- once confident they generally don't stop talking!!

Remember that there has been extensive research into second language development and it all points to progress in home language helping progress in second language so positively encourage parents to speak their mother tongue with their children. Also if you have two children who share a language let them use their language to speak to one another. Parents can often think that they should only speak in english to their children and speaking in their mother tongue holds thier child back. Reassure them that the opposite is true. Encourage them to translate signs and labels into their home languages.

All songs and rhymes are good especially those with actions but something I've found works well is singing a song in a language not spoken by any of the children. For example I worked with a french nursery nurses who used to teach the children french nursery rhymes - it shows that it is ok to speak other languages.

Greeting children in a different language each morning works well.

I have worked in inner London for twelve years and it can be difficult where you have only one or two children who speak each language but good foundation stage practice will be good for developing language in all children. When doing EAL assessments I have often been struck by the fact that many children who have english as a first language do not speak english that well until they are 6!! If your children are getting good concrete experiences backed up by appropriate language intervention by practioners they will make rapid progress and they will let you know when they are ready to talk.!

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hi again Magenta - thanks for the quick response. It was very interesting to read your comments. I hope Makaton carries on being a success for you and the children.

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there's bags of great advise here folks and I appreciate your support immensly :D

What a blooming great website when you need direct support based on highly exprerienced practice

thanks onece again folks

 

P.S the little Argentinian girl who started this week is settling beautifully. My worries about communication are being over-ridden when I see the children enabling her to join... I shouldn't worry about we adults using language to help her as the language of children soon steps in to show her the way :):):)

P.P.S I've learnt to count to 5 in Spanish :D:D

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