Teachers, can you help please!(9 Posts)
I have 2 new children starting in my Year 5 class next week who do not speak any English but have been at school in their countries they have come from. Do you have any ideas of activities for them, especially when the TA is not there to help? I have various things I am going to do but any extra help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
I teach KS 1 so rather different. I assume you are talking about non-core subjects? I have laptop activities (can't remember the internet site, but it has basic english activities for EAL children), adapted tasks (depending on topic, obviously) with more pictorial scaffolding, careful pairing/grouping during activities. In Literacy and numeracy they get the usual differentiated stuff. Lots of nouns, verbs, basic sentences in literacy. In numeracy I usally find a wordbank of the basic vocabulary in English and their moter tongue on a wordmat, so they can access the maths at thier level, even if they don't understand the English.
Sorry it's all a bit vague. If you post on TES or primaryresourcecentre.myfreeforum.org I'm sure they'll have lots more ideas at KS2 level.
All LEAs have an EMTAS who you need to contact for advice and support
British Council website Children's section has a number of activities which might be useful?
I have had several EAL/EAL children in my classes over the year including a few who have arrived with no English whatsoever.
As well as the already offered suggestions, I would say that one of the most effective things I remember doing in this situation that might work is of you can do A LOT of group work in the first couple of weeks of school. One thing I did was to organise the class into groups and they had to complete a pretty structured topic based on different countries of the world - and the EAL/ESL child was placed in a group studying their native country, so the 'old' children had the language but the 'new' child had the knowledge.
It is amazing how quickly children do pick up a new language if they are immersed in it. I do think it is advantageous that they are arriving in primary school where you can give them a lot of consistency.
It can be a challenge but I really enjoy having children from other countries/cultures in my class - one year I had children from Poland, Russia, Indonesia, Sweden and Slovakia all arrive with limited or no English. We had a fabulously mixed 'Christmas' celebration where I asked all the children in the class to bring in something and tell us where it came from. Lots of children brought e.g fruit from Spain, cheese from France but the children who had previously lived in other countries brought in lots of really great food for us all to try (and yes, I ate the mealy worms in chilli and lime!)
Sit them next to good average children and let them copy - they will learn from this. DO NOT set them with SEN unless they have SEN.
Ask other children to act as buddies, in the classroom and outside.
Monitor them in the playground.
Use lots of visuals, hands on equipment - differentiate. Frames, written language.
You can plan in Guided Speaking with TA or other children, think PSHE / Citozenship.
IMPORTNATLY Assess them (APP?) so that you can show progress.
There is a scheme called Seema out there too.
Kids pick up language very quickly and are not as shy as we would be.
Which languages do the children speak? The same as each other or two different ones? Do you have other children in your class who speak the same language/s who could be a 'buddy' in the early days? Depending on where they have come from, and the type of schooling they have received, you may find that they are already used to speaking one language at home and another at school e.g. French/Arabic.
I would second all the suggestions above but also give lots of opportunities for the children to copy out English texts e.g. poems, cloze phrases e.g. Hello, my name is ____ which you have already modelled using your name and the names of the children in your class - if everyone wears a sticky label with their name on it, it will help the new children to realise that it is the name that goes in the gap. Maths may be a good ice-breaker, provided you set straightforward calculations work (rather than investigative/word problems which require English language to interpret). Blank timestables grids with numbers written across the top and down the sides and then completed (either mentally, by written calculation or using a completed 10x10 grid) by children might be worth trying, after modelling, obviously.
When I've had children join my Y5/6 classes with no English whatsoever, I've utilised any 1st language support available but also encouraged children to write in their home language until such a time as they are confident enough to attempt English - usually children understand a new language before they are able to speak/write it so they may grasp the instructions but not be able to generate their own, English version of a task. I've yet to teach a child who hasn't been pretty much fluent in English by the end of the school year and that's with me doing very little to adapt things for non-English speakers aside from teaching them how to answer the register, and ask for the toilet in English.
Brilliant, thanks everyone. There are a few children in the class who speak the same language as one of the kids so that will make it easier but I have very little info on the other child.
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