Home › Forums › Linguistics for Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals Course Forum › Session 1 Introduction to the Course › Welcome to the Course!
June 27, 2019 at 11:40 am #1099
Welcome to Session 1 of Linguistics for Teachers of Emergent Bilinguals! My name is Ingrid Heidrick and I’m your instructor.
Allow me to introduce myself: I am a NYC-born and raised German-Puerto Rican! During my doctoral studies in Linguistics at the Graduate Center, CUNY, I specialized in bilingualism and language and literacy acquisition. Because I’m also the mom of a dyslexic child, I expanded my area of expertise to special education in literacy, and tutor children with learning differences in Orton Gillingham. I’ve spent years working with NYC teachers of ELLs in their classrooms. When teachers are given expert training and tools, students succeed. The science of reading and strategies for ELLs is well established – we know what kind of instruction helps kids! I’m looking forward to working with all of you this semester.
Please take a moment to introduce yourself, and tell us a little bit about yourself and your teaching practice: grade level and experience, student demographics, teaching challenges? Why did you decide to take this course? How do you hope to improve your teaching practice?
Also: reflect on the 2 articles you read this week. Did the articles on language and reading acquisition align to your understanding, or did you learn something new that you hadn’t thought about before? Do you agree or disagree with the “Academic Achievement for English Learners” article – how can we balance our expectations of the students?
June 27, 2019 at 11:54 am #1139Paule Faustin GromerParticipant
Hi, my name is Paule Faustin Gromer. I’m a second grade teacher and this year, I taught a class with a majority of ELLs. I did get support but I didn’t feel that I had total control of needed strategies to help my students more forward consistently.
I’m hoping to get well informed strategies for scaffolding in order to help my students end the year on grade level. I came close this year, which not the goal I had in mind at the start of the school year. Thank you
June 27, 2019 at 12:22 pm #1150
Welcome Paule! Happy to meet you. The second grade is a critical year for students because it’s really the last year they have to focus on foundational skills like phonics. I think you bring up an important point: you had a goal for where you wanted to get your students, but couldn’t quite reach it (congratulations for getting them close though!). We need to think about what is realistic for students at different levels of language and literacy ability. This is tricky because you are under pressure to get them to a certain level by the end of the year. But what if you have a class of newcomers? Or the majority of your students are ELLs, as you mentioned? I hope with the strategies and activities we do together in the course, I can give you more ideas about the kinds of support your students need and how to get them speaking, reading and writing.
June 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm #1169Deonna FaganParticipant
Hi, my name is Deonna Fagan. I currently teach in a correctional facility in upstate NY. I teach adult basic education and half my class of 24 is ELLs. I have dual certification in Childhood and Special Education so I do rely on my experience as a Special Education Teacher to help support them but it is still difficult given we do not have access to technology to assist them. I mainly have workbooks for them to use in the classroom. I have been teaching for ten years; four in public school, three in private school, and three in corrections. I am taking this course to learn additional ways to support the ELLs in my classroom and for CTLE credits.
June 28, 2019 at 2:32 pm #1192
Welcome! Wow. You are the first participant I’ve had that teaches in a correctional facility. Your student population is one that I know nothing about and I am really looking forward to hearing your viewpoints in the coming weeks. As I discuss in Part 1 of the lecture, the graduation rate for ELLs in NY State is 29%. The rest are either taking longer to graduate, or drop out. Research shows that dropping out of school and having a learning disability like dyslexia puts you at a disproportionate risk of going to jail. I wonder what the school experiences of your students were. I’m excited to be able to share my knowledge with you, for you to then be able to practice applying it in this special setting. I firmly believe that the life of a student can change with literacy and highly trained teachers.
In terms of technology, of course it’s great to have. But nothing can replace good pedagogy, even if it’s just pencil and paper. For visuals, I would recommend printing out pictures that are big enough to see in the front of the class, or in a group. Of course it requires printing expense and extra work on the part of the teacher, so hopefully you have access to a printer? Most of the strategies and actvities we’re going to do in the course don’t require technology, so I hope that’s helpful to you.
September 20, 2019 at 8:11 am #1383Jessica LinParticipant
Hi everyone! My name is Jessica and I currently work as a special educator and travel to a wide range of schools to service 3-5 year olds who have IEPs in NYC (aka SEIT). I previously also worked as a Lead Teacher and Director for a school that had a large Chinese population. I really enjoy working with young learners and personally find this age group to be very important. Many of these students are going to school for the first time where their foundational schooling experiences are formed and it can be extra challenging for ELLs and their families. For example, many young ELLs I’ve encountered often struggle with communication and culture shock being in school for the first time and develop behavior problems in school. Teachers often refer them to special education because they don’t have strategies to work with them or not aware of the linguistic and cultural challenges they face in school. In addition, for young ELLs with disabilities, the special education system in NYC is very difficult to navigate and it is very challenging for the families to get the services their children need in a timely manner. Furthermore, some families come from cultures that are not very knowledgeable about special education. They can be very resistant to having their child get services and are not aware of how early intervention can greatly help their children.
I decided to take this course for CTLE credits to maintain my certification and also learn more strategies working with ELLs since my students are very diverse. I’m really hoping to learn positive strategies to help young ELLs improve their acquisition of English while also affirming their own cultural backgrounds.
September 21, 2019 at 6:52 pm #1391
Welcome! And thanks for your thoughtful post. You hit upon an important point: our English Learners are often shocked to be in a new system and not sure what’s expected of them. It’s confusing and emotional. Many end up acting out and oftentimes are labeled as disabled when in fact, the school needs to provide or get more training in how to culturally relate to students. It’s wonderful that you can communicate in Chinese and make the process easier for them and their parents. Your work is important.
September 21, 2019 at 6:46 pm #1389Bienvenida SanchezParticipant
I am Bienvenida Sanchez.
I am currently teaching 3rd. grade on a dual language setting at P.S.108K, Brooklyn, NY.
My students’ population is Hispanic and they mostly speak Spanish at home.
I have a vast variety of levels in my class from entry, emergent, transitioning, expanding and commanding levels which is my main motivation to take this course.
The more I learn about the subject, the better I can help my students succeed.
I read the 3 articles assigned. Not sure if I should reply in this forum, but what resonates with me the most is the idea of seeing my students’ knowledge as an additive to the class body. Instead of seeing them as students who can’t speak English, for example, I can see them as students who can communicate in Spanish and build on what they bring to the community.
Oral Language in my understanding is the backbone of the linguistic knowledge students have to acquire to be successful readers and writers. Students should engage in conversations with the peers and, as a teacher, I should facilitate understanding of the language (English and Spanish) and its structures as well as similarities and differences amongst the English and Spanish languages to transition from one language to another and to build on comprehension and communication skills through the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
The goal is to improve the language building academics through the social language and incorporating opportunities to develop and practice academic language. All students can communicate through the incorporation of nonverbal language, explicit instruction, peer interaction as they speak/listen to each other, read, exchange ideas, write and revise their writing.
September 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm #1393
Welcome Bienvenida! Yay!! A dual language teacher! You are so much of what NYC and other students across the country need right now. If we had more bilingual education, students would be doing better. As a bilingual teacher, you are in a unique position to develop not only their academic English, but also academic Spanish.
Yes, our ELs come from rich and diverse backgrounds and have so much to offer in a learning environment. They just need help tapping into their knowledge, and applying it to learning new topics.
January 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm #1509Savannah McEntireParticipant
Hello, my name is Savannah McEntire. I am a 2nd grade teacher in an ICT classroom in Flushing, Queens. It is my 5th year teaching, but my first year with this grade level. So far it is my favorite age group yet.
Although my school is in Flushing, a majority of our students are from District 24 which is primarily Elmhurst and Corona. A majority of my students are Spanish speaking, with a handful who are Arabic speaking. Our school also has a small population of Chinese speaking students, although I do not have any in my class.
Because I teach in an ICT setting, as the Gened teacher, I do have quite a few SWDs who are also ELs. This is a population I have not worked with very much before. I did study TESOL and have my certification in it, but it has been now 5 years since I completed that course work, and I know that the practice is always changing as new research comes out, so my hope is to use this course to keep myself up to date on best EL teaching practices, and learning more about teaching EL SWDs.
I work in a charter school, so none of our students receive formal EL services like they would in a public school (something I wish was different), so it is up to me to supplement that not just for my students, but for both second grade classes since it is my specialty on our grade team.
July 13, 2020 at 1:47 pm #1619
Great to meet you Savannah! I will check in with you over email to see how you’re doing.
February 18, 2021 at 1:10 pm #1782Adriane GarlandParticipant
My name is Adriane and I have been teaching for 12 years. I started out in NY but have been teaching internationally for 10 years.
I have a real passion for BML education and want to know that my practice is supported by the research. I also want to improve my teaching practice particularly with foundations of reading.
Looking forward to the course,
July 16, 2021 at 1:37 pm #2123Koren StanislausParticipant
My name is Koren, and I have been a Special Ed teacher for almost 20 years. My school has a High School and Middle School. I have taught primarily in the Middle School, and have really enjoyed teaching this age group because the growth from 6th to 8th grade is an amazing process to see. The demographics have changed over the years in my school, and so the students who are English Language Learners have increased slightly. I have only worked at my current school, and have learned a lot over my years as an educator. I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can from this course, and be able to take back what I have learned back to the classroom.
July 19, 2021 at 1:26 pm #2131
Welcome to the course Koren! Special Education teachers are so important to our understanding of the needs of emergent bilinguals – so often kids are put in Special Ed when they really just need more time to acquire English, or vice versa, they have special needs, but are not given the services because it’s assumed it’s just a language issue. We need Special Ed teachers to help us design and deliver accommodations that work specifically for these students.
August 12, 2021 at 6:03 pm #2202Victor BarrientosParticipant
Hello every one, My name is Victor Barrientos. I am 10th. grade high school math teacher. with ICT classroom in Bronx New York. It is my 8 years teaching at this school. I really enjoy teaching this population of ELLs. Young adults. because they are from different background and cultural . The majority of the population of students are Spanish, Bengali, African country and Arabic. Our School is for English Language Learner, students who primary language are not English they are ELLs or MLLs. There is a grade challenge for me when I need to teach some concept to student that they are not speaking my language like English or Spanish and I need to find some way to help them to understand the concept like everybody else in the classroom.
I decided to take this course for CTLE credits to maintain my certification and also learn more strategies working with ELLs since my students are very diverse. I’m really hoping to learn positive strategies to help young ELLs improve their English development by understanding their own cultural backgrounds.
I hope this course help me to improve my teaching style and all student in my class will be able to learn the necessary skill to improve the learning in the new language and be able to pass the NYSESLAT with high grade.
August 17, 2021 at 12:26 pm #2210
Welcome Victor! I am thrilled to have you. Secondary teachers of MLLs have a very unique situation because of the short time frame of your students. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and thoughts on this forum.
September 9, 2021 at 5:15 pm #2305Katherine ReyesParticipant
Hello my name is Katherine Reyes and I’m a sub teacher. I’ve been working with Ells for ten years. The population I’m dealing with are Spanish, Russian and mostly Asian. When I meet my students I most be able to assess them quickly and create lesson plans. This is a challenge for me because I can work in various locations. I’ve been using oral language components and reading practices.
I’m taking this course to maintain my license.
I’m hoping to be able to help students with writing. I’m also in special education classes to I’m trying to help that population also.
September 25, 2021 at 11:01 am #2338Katherine ReyesParticipant
The articles on language and reading acquisition aligned to my understanding.
Through word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation the student is able to read.
We use the word wall for sight words. That’s way each week they would have a new list of words. And could look up at it as those words became automatic.
We used other programs to help them with phonemic awareness.
I would read a letter and they would place that on a magnetic board.
In order to develop reading comprehension I would use an arrow to show the students to read left to right.
The students were at oral language development age kindergarten and older.
The components are phonological, semantic, and syntactic. There are rules of sounds units of sound and rules to make up a sentence
Students really enjoyed reacting a story through drama. Also, students really enjoyed shared book readings as this gave them the opportunity to practice and share what they learned.
These methods are proven to work.
I agree with the article, Academic Achievement for Learners. It will take 5-7 years to become proficient in a language. In the studies learners can start at different rates. There still can be a drop out rate.
Even with Wida assessments and being taught more formal English we still need to do more studies. We need to find more ways to engage our learners though linguistic-the study of learning English though speaking. We have to look at these students culture and academic reading so they can become proficient learners.
October 8, 2021 at 8:25 pm #2376Linda Lee WayneParticipant
I am a paraprofessional who has had experience in so much more Ethan my title will explain. I am lucky enough to have taught English to non English speakers. I have created a program with special books as I too was not an English speaker being born in America! I look forward to learning more through this course.
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