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edu180atl: karen taylor 9.24.12

Today I continued my education in communication:  I have a new student from Mexico in my fourth grade reading/language arts class.   A common language is just one method of communication that we have to make our ideas known to each other.  I used gestures, facial expressions, body language, and bad Spanish, to make the rules of my class known to my new pupil.  I had no trouble giving him his supplies, a peer to translate and help him along, and a computer program to work on some basic English skills.  With the rest of the class, I was midway into a biography research project.  I realized that most of my class, whose English is pretty good, were having trouble grasping the assignment of demonstrating how a person showed courage during their lifetime.  Gestures and computers do not help here.  Language is the only way I have to convey higher-level ideas.  I was having an easier time with Angel from Mexico than with his English-speaking peers.   I am thinking of another way to re-teach the assignment tomorrow.

About the author:  Karen Taylor teaches ESOL at Lake Forest Elementary in Fulton County.

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