I have a new student starting on Tuesday and he does not speak any English, he speaks Chinese. It has been a long time since I have had a student without any English. Any ideas or suggestions to help ease the transition for him and the rest of my class?
Picture books! lots of them!
Books with CDs & to take home too.
Put his seat next to a chatty boy.
Visual directions to instruct the order of an activity. For instance, if they are to draw, then cut, then glue, make a small chart with a crayon, then scissors, then a glue stick.
Have lots of picture cards with labels available to help with the transition. Include photos of you and his classmates. He’ll pick up the language quickly .
Try picture communication charts for choices, schedule and emotions. Also basic signing can help.
Give him a buddy who can show him and help him. Pre-teaching is also great for English Language Learners. Pull him aside to go over skills, vocabulary, etc that will be introduced the next day. He’ll pick it up very quickly. Students I’ve had like this are speaking English very well within 3 months
I can’t imagine having 27 kindergartener and one that doesn’t speak English.. How can you teach them anything! Feeling very very lucky!!!
Me too, Fran. And I agree, a lot of visual aides.
With my little ones with no English, I find it helpful to have a book with pictures in it. (My parents had something similar when they went to Hungary to visit.) If he needs to use the restroom, get a drink etc., he can point to a picture. Partnering with another student is a good idea too. Google translate is a wonderful resource. You can type in what you want to say and it will say it in the language you pick. Keep what you type short and simple without using idioms so you don’t translate something strange.
You might want to use Google translate for yourself, with my Chinese and Japanese kids I find it to be helpful, especially because it will say the phrase for you in Chinese. Wordless books are great with ELLs too.
I agree with Nancy – put him next to your most talkative child. I have done that on several occasions, and it really works!
I had a little guy come to me from Korea, literally the day before, with no English whatsoever. The first thing I showed him was the bathroom, and showed him sign language for “toilet” which my class already used to indicate they needed to use the bathroom. We made a class book, “I am…” where I took pictures of each student and wrote the caption “I am. _______ under each one. He was terrified when he first entered the room, but when he saw we had legos, he got a big smile on his face. My children were so excited to be his “ambassadors”, and went out of their way to welcome him. One excitedly told me that first day, “He already knows how to smile!”.
Lots of picture cards with basic communication skills. Bathroom, water, sitting, reading. I also used sign language. I had a family member help explain how to use the sign for bathroom and water.
I cannot thank everyone enough…thank you for all of the ideas…keep them coming! Tomorrow is the BIG day!
I have a little guy this year who came from China in August – no English. My district gave no help since he is the only one and we have many many ELL students in my district. I felt very unable to assist him but he is amazing! I downloaded some pictures, copied and pasted them on a single page and laminated them. (bathroom, water fountain, sit down, stand up, line up, etc.) He would quickly get the paper to show me what he wanted. He cried hard everyday. I felt awful for him as did the other 30 kids. Like Helen Keller with water, his breakthrough word/concept was banana. After that he just started using more words. He has taught me SO much about how language is learned! He has grown from no English to speaking English quite well. He loves to come to school and is such a joy to have in the classroom. I didn’t want the district to be correct…”He’ll be fine, you’re a good teacher, just do what you do…” They were correct and I’m guessing he will be quite fluent by the school year’s end! So I offer you the same advice: Just do what you do, he’ll get it from you and from the kids!
Yes picture charts . Take pictures of children doing activities during the day, and point to the picture when you ask him to join this activity.
Computers work because of the pix and help, when you are teaching reading, put him on the computer with Starfall.com or other easy to follow websites. Also, ask his parents to tell you how to say specific words and phrases (bathroom, lunch, etc). It helps. I have a friend teaching in China, if you send the sentences, etc I could get them translated. Kidteach076@yahoo.com. Good luck.
You’ll do great! All great suggestions. Google translate app for your phone should help. Wish I had had “an app for that” years ago for a sweet little girl from South America…BTW, she ended up just fine.
Use pictures to communicate. We have a great Special Ed department that provides pics for us. We have a lot of Spanish-speaking students. Good luck!
Lots of pictures and visuals for everything!!! Mostly school rules and emergencies!
Students could each make a book about themselves, draw pics of family, pics of pets, fav. foods, fav. thing to do, kids with writing ability can do the writing.
I have one this year too and he’s making tons of progress. Start slow and meet his/her needs where they are, one day at a time. Language is most important first.
Have him create name cards for the rest of the class using Chinese calligraphy. Then he can hand the name cards out, reading each name as he hands one to each student.
Have a Chinese speaker come in and help you test him on the skills he knows. If he knows the concepts. he will catch onto the words quickly. Have him teach your class how to count in Chinese. He probably recognizes the numbers. They will love it. Here it is phonetically. EE- R- SAHN – TSUH – OO – LEO – CHEE – BAH- JOE – SHUR. Learn a few other Chinese words that you can substitute for English words and then always use them. Once again phonetically spelled. Good Morning – ZOW ON. Hello – NEE HOW. Good Bye – TSIE JEN. Friend – PUNG YO. There are tones in Chinese but don’t worry. He will figure it out and feel welcome. He probably went to preschool in China but they can be very strict. He may find the American classroom noisy and he may seem shy but it may also be showing respect. One good thing, teachers are held with the highest respect in China.
Thanks again! Yesterday, Day 1 went well, he does have “a little” english, more than we thought…although he seemed sad all day, which I thought was normal, until I got close to him and realized he was burning up! Sent him home at 2:30 with a 103.8 fever…poor guy!