109. I teach a computer class in a high school. The class is an independent learning class where the student works with a hands on approach. The class is designed for the student to figure out problems on their own without assistance from a teacher. When the students are working on projects on the Internet they have a choice of what language the tutorials are in. Should I make the ESL students use the English Tutorials?

The answer to your question depends on the following two factors:

(1) Have you taught --or has the ESL teacher taught-- the computer language in ENGLISH that the students must understand to do the tutorial in ENGLISH?

(2) How proficient are the students in English? Are the students Beginning / Intermediate / or Advanced English-as-a-Second Language students?

The answer to these two questions should ddetermine which language the students should use to do the tutorial.

If neither you --the computer teacher-- nor the ESL teacher has ever taught the language that the students need to know to understand the tutorial program in English, then these students should NOT do the tutorial in English. They should work in the language they understand best and in the language in which they know the computer terminology used in the tutorial program. AFTER YOU or the ESL TEACHER or both, you AND the ESL teacher, teach the language --the terminology, the concepts, the key vocabulary-- needed to understand the tutorial in English, then ask the students to re-do the tutorial, this time in English.

Teaching the ENGLISH computer language found in the English tutorial is an ESSENTIAL teaching strategy, whether the students are at the beginning, intermediate or advanced level in ESL. It is also an ESSENTIAL strategy for English-ONLY-Speakers who may NOT know computer language. No student can understand computer directions if the student cannot understand the language in which the directions are expressed.

So, you need to make the best informed INSTRUCTIONAL decisions: Be sure you and the ESL teacher introduce, practice, and help students master the English language found in the computer tutorial programs in English. Otherwise, the students should be understanding what they hear --and that understanding can only take place through their native language, especially in the absence of any instruction in ESL or in the computer class, YOUR class.


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net