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.