140. If I am sending home sight words (kindergarten) for the parents to go over with their children, how can I be sure that the parent fully understands the words?

GREAT QUESTION!!!!! Indeed, how can you? So, my question to you is this? WHY are you sending sight WORDS home? ARE YOU SURE the child can name the object(s) the words name, can use the sight words in fluent ORAL English conversations? Does the child use these words in full ORAL English sentences? If not, there is little parents can do to help.

Parents can help with their own NATIVE language, the child's PRIMARY language. They can name, in their own language, the colors, the shapes, the textures, the numbers, the animals, characteristics, actions, etc., etc. Thus, parents can provide excellent speaking models in their own language, and help in concept development since what is important is ACQUIRING the concepts. The language through which a concepts is acquired in NOT important. Once I can understand "counting" by counting in Spanish, all I need to learn is the names of the numbers in English since the concept of "counting" is the same in both languages. Take advantage of what parents can do: They can help build concepts and, thus, they can help in vocabulary development IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE.

Send home lots of pictures of the concepts the students need to learn. Ask parents to talk about these pictures in their own language: Tell parents to help their children look for "red" or "blue" every time they get dressed, or as they ride to school in cars passing by, or at the supermarket in the fruits or vegetables or boxes. Have parents help their children, through their primary language, count how many houses, or cars, or trees, or windows they see on their way to school.  Parents can do that!!!! But YOU and the ESL teacher need to help ALL students learn sight words AFTER and only AFTER they can use these words in fluent ORAL English sentences. Sight words need to be taught within the context of what students say. In isolation, they are like Chinese symbols with NO MEANING at all!!!



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.


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