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New Starter Who Only Speaks Polish


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Hi All, your advice again please - after Easter I have a little girl starting in my setting who does not speak any

English. Mum and Dad are Polish and speak only Polish at home. Mum can speak and understands English very

well but we have no experience in this area at all. So far we have never had a child for whom English is a

2nd language.

 

I'm sure you will have loads of advice.

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Are there any other children you could pair her up with who also speak polish but english too. Having a 'translator' works really well for children with EAL.

 

Lots of pictures to show routines, etc.

 

Learn a few words yourself ahead of time - just hello, thank you, etc.

 

When she gains confidence, get her to teach the others how to count, etc. in polish.

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Hi, DCSF produce a really good document heres the link: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/84861

 

I have attached some stuff I have put together and used. The pictorial welcome booklet can be ammended to suit your setting. Its really good for informing parents about basic information about the setting using simple visuals.

 

I have also used this before, not cheap but very useful:http://www.mantralingua.com/product.php?productid=203&cat=0&page=1

 

Some other good tips:

 

-Lots and lots of pictures and visual prompts

-The use of makaton can ease frustration

-Dual language welcome posters:www.schoolslink.co.uk/resources

-Ensure the child is exposed to lots of language (english), to support their development of english

-Often children with EAL will understand before they can speak so even if they dont respond its important adults continue to talk to children

-Children may go through a silent period when they first start with you, on its own its a natural stage of development, important to continue to talk to them lots

-Lots of references to the childs language culture within your resources and activities

-Use the childs family to translate posters/signs etc

-Google Newbury and Redbridge school and look at languge of the month

- use the library service to access dual language books

-you can request that the bookstart packs in different langauges

 

Theres lots more in the handouts Ive attached

 

I may be able to help if theres anything more specific that you wanted to know

 

Jo

www.inclusion-inc.co.uk

english_as_an_additional_language.docx

Strategies_to_support_Bilingual_children_attending_you_setting.doc

Welcome_to_our_setting_updated_version_10_10_07_1_.doc

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in gloucestershire they have the nursery funding form in polish. we had child start in jan who is polish. mun cannot speak english came with friend who translated. they said daughter could not speak english. her first day was when it was snow she was racing about outside shouting snow, snow. since then she always is the first to answer our questions at circle time. english is really good our problem is communicating with mum

 

buttercup

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My advice is to get the keyperson to sit with parents during settling in and ask them to write key words (you choose eg stop, wait, hello, help, toilet, snack / eat, mum, dad, share...colours, numbers etc in polish and then the keyperson goes through the list, listening carefully as the parents say each word and writes down phonetically how to pronounce them (purely for their own benefit and later to share with teh rest of the staff!).

This way you are able to recognise some of what the child is saying as well as reinforcing the english you are teaching (just by talking as you play with the child) eg you might be supporting the child to share a toy so you'd say "share" along with "Jel-est-cheh"(signing it or using visual symbol too)...

 

Use very simple key words when talking directly with child initially - one or two words rather than whole sentences and jsut

let them absorb the english that they hear all around them. Dont worry about them not speaking english (or even polish initially) ...this is normal...they need to do lots of listening before they are confident to talk. It takes about a year for some children to get this confidence.

 

Also its vital for the key person to bond well with the child and to really spend lots of time playing with them, talking with them, singing with them....and tuning into their efforts at communication...so that even though you dont always understand the language you can recognise what the child is trying to get across - I relate it to the way we communicate with babies - you dont need language so much as that special connection and trust and the skill of recognising all the other clues they present you with!

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Please don't speak in one or 2 words when talking to her. Whole sentences are vital from day one. Short simple sentences BUt full sentences.

She may be silent for some time, up to a year, but she will be absorbing the language around her hence the importance of it being natural.

The most important thing you can do is provide a secure enviroment in which she is comfortable and happy and isn't pressurised to speak.

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I too was taught that you need to model good English to the children .. full sentences short and simple using signs where needed to help or visual clues.

 

ensure parents speak home language at home.. this is just as important as learning the new one... I did find some parents who were so keen for child to lean English they neglected this... it is sometimes hard for them to understand why it is important but the child needs to hear both.. They may start using a mixed language to begin with but it soon sorts itself out and they become bi lingual. ( I once had a 3yr old who managed 3 languages..)

 

Allow the silence... they are learning by listening.. I have had some children never speak to me in any language, but made friends with other children and will chat to them where an adult is not present..

 

Visual timetable... very useful so they know what will happen next.. and be able to work out what is happening

 

Inge

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Lots of fantastic advice already, I'm sure once you get going your wont feel so anxious.

 

Children are remarkable at learning language and its really important that their home language is valued too. I would seriously consider investing in some talking tins, or talking cards/photo albums.. these are a fantastic way of getting any language into your setting if noone speaks it there.

 

various ones can be found at

TTS

RNIB

Mindstretchers

 

And I am sure there are other suppliers too.

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Lots of people have given you lots of advice here. I just wanted to say that I had a little boy who joined after Easter in the Reception year from Albanian. He didn't speak very much English but I was amazed how much he learnt within the first few weeks. We used a visual timetable and picture cards but just letting him play with the other children and enjoy school meant he came on in leaps and bounds. I think we were more worried than he was. He is now in year 4 and spoke out in front of the whole school in assembly this week! Try not to worry I'm sure she'll be fine. I think the earlier they start school/nursery the easier it is for them.

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Use very simple key words when talking directly with child initially - one or two words rather than whole sentences and jsut

let them absorb the english that they hear all around them.

 

okay then....lets clarify - you need to emphasise the one or two key words you want to get across when talking directly to the child...its the same when working with children with language and communication delay (or indeed ANY child) ..we've always been told to keep it very simple..you dont say "can you pack up the cars and then you can go and get your coat and we'll go outside" ! :o

 

You pick out the key message...."cars in the box....pause while they do it..."then coat"...Pause while they do it...."now outside"

The highlighed words are the ones you'd ideally sign or point to the real objects....otherwise its going to take a very long time to decipher everything if you talk to them completely 'normally'. They will and should hear normal speech and sentences throughout the day of course.

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trekker, I disagree.

 

They hear English around them, they listen to English spoken to them.

It must be correct English not the pidgin English you are advocating.

They will (may) respond with something along the lines of "car in box", "on coat" but if you limit your English to them you are limiting their learning.

Correct English is vital for Englsih langauge acquisition.

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Thank you Kathryn.. I was trying to work out how to express that.. you have explained it well...

 

as with all children of this age we would give one instruction and not a string of them.. but it would be a full sentence simple but correct.. and when they give back the short version we often used to repeat back the long one for them so they could hear the full sentence..

 

so with the car in box one we would reply yes we put the cars in the box.. or similar..

 

Inge

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I agree. I've taught children with no or limited English and whilst you do have to simplify to a certain extent you certainly shouldn't say anything to them that is grammatically incorrect. When an english child is learning english you don't do this so why do it to a child just because they already speak another language? I'd argue working with a child with language and communication delay is vastly different to working with a child with a normal capability for absorbing and learning a language. So "can you pack up the cars and then you can go and get your coat and we'll go outside" might simplify to: "Put the cars in the box please." "We're going outside now. Put your coat on." Or however you want to phrase it as long as it's short grammatically correct sentences with key words perhaps reinforced with pictures/gestures etc.

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  • 1 month later...

-Google Newbury and Redbridge school and look at languge of the month

 

http://www.newburypark.redbridge.sch.uk/langofmonth/

 

Thanks, great resource.

 

Not only do they have loads of useful information, but they also have videos of children saying the words so you actually know how to pronounce it, as well as downloadable resources which you can print out.

 

Regards

Mark

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com

 

Hi, DCSF produce a really good document heres the link: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/84861

 

I have attached some stuff I have put together and used. The pictorial welcome booklet can be ammended to suit your setting. Its really good for informing parents about basic information about the setting using simple visuals.

 

I have also used this before, not cheap but very useful:http://www.mantralingua.com/product.php?productid=203&cat=0&page=1

 

Some other good tips:

 

-Lots and lots of pictures and visual prompts

-The use of makaton can ease frustration

-Dual language welcome posters:www.schoolslink.co.uk/resources

-Ensure the child is exposed to lots of language (english), to support their development of english

-Often children with EAL will understand before they can speak so even if they dont respond its important adults continue to talk to children

-Children may go through a silent period when they first start with you, on its own its a natural stage of development, important to continue to talk to them lots

-Lots of references to the childs language culture within your resources and activities

-Use the childs family to translate posters/signs etc

-Google Newbury and Redbridge school and look at languge of the month

- use the library service to access dual language books

-you can request that the bookstart packs in different langauges

 

Theres lots more in the handouts Ive attached

 

I may be able to help if theres anything more specific that you wanted to know

 

Jo

www.inclusion-inc.co.uk

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I've been using some of the strategies on this thread to support a Polish child recently started in my setting. Manager and colleagues were very impressed with these especially about speaking in full sentences. It's very easy to revert to pigeon.

Many thanks to you all. :o

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Google Newbury and Redbridge school and look at languge of the month

 

http://www.newburypark.redbridge.sch.uk/langofmonth/

 

Thanks, great resource.

 

Not only do they have loads of useful information, but they also have videos of children saying the words so you actually know how to pronounce it, as well as downloadable resources which you can print out.

 

 

I spent ages downloading lots of these little videos only to find they didn't work once at work on the laptop! Might try it again tomorrow now that we have wireless broadband :)

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Not much more to add really, everyone has such good advice. I've had several Polish children over the last few years, and one of the things I thought about is that they may not be able to communicate verbally, but their non-verbal commincation is good. Our ESL children can still play alongside other children, and communicate through gesture, facial expression etc, and they will find a way to communicate with the other children.

 

Another thing that worked wellfor us is singing. Nursery rhymes, repetetive songs with actions: I find that the ESL children pick these up quickly and are able to join in in a fun, informal way as there is no pressure for them to hold a conversation.

 

I'll just echo what everyone else has said - speak in full sentences and don't treat them any differntly. The children will be sponge-like and start to mimick and repeat words and phrases. It's similar to children who chose not to communicate verbally - we still talk to them to give them a language-rich environment and encourage their speech. ESL children need that same access to language even if they are not ready to use it yet. They will!!

 

Good luck :o

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