147. I was ill the Saturday you spoke to the Arkansas Non-traditional group. I have looked over the website and have enjoyed learning more about ESL. I teach in a private school and we do not have any ESL students as of yet. However, I have found many of your answers to be quite helpful to me with the students I currently teach. Some of my own questions follow: How can we continue to improve self esteem and positive attitudes in all children, but especially in the children who are less fortunate and exposed to more than they should be at such young ages?

Brilliant observation!!!! YES!!!! ALL students are English language learners: they must ALL master the English language of the content areas and, in that respect, ALL students are acquiring and developing English language skills, just like ESL students!!!!!!

Yours is an extraordinary question!!!! What a wonderful heart and professional understanding you have as a teacher!!!!!! YES!!! we must help each and every individual on this Earth to develop a very positive self esteem and very positive self image. Reading the daily news about the horrors that happen in this country alone, convinces me every day that we do not really understand this basic human need of having a positive self esteem and a positive self image.

Now, ALL children --ALL human beings-- do small, very small, almost insignificant but positive actions every day. WELL, that is OUR opportunity to help them develop a positive self esteem and positive self image. Using positive words to label the performance of very small, very insignificant but positive and helpful actions that less economically-able students do every day helps them see themselves in a positive light.

You have no idea how difficult it is for economically disadvantaged students to perceive themselves in positive terms. In my own classroom --as you can see in my Web Sites in descriptions of my classroom-- I had three very simple actions, but very important and significant actions, for conducting classroom conversations and discussions, which is the way I teach. These three
actions (depicted in three posters) were: (1) Raising hand to indicate the need to speak or ask questions; (2) Attention position while in class, that is, feet on the ground, back against the back of the chair, hands over the table and EYES on the teacher; (3) Throwing trash into the trashcan.  For each of these actions I listed very positive words, and every time that a student failed to
perform as desired, I always told that student: "In my class ALL students are self-controlled, self-directed, cooperative, (etc., etc.), because they (description of the desired action)." Then I would give the student the opportunity to perform the desired action and I would tell h(im/er) the positive words after performing as desired.

It took forever to make my students (ALL our 4000 students in the K-12 Learning Center where I teach for the Los Angeles Unified School District are minority students, 75% Hispanic and 25% African American, and ALL are poor) to make my students of color and poverty realize that these positive words I would say (and I would add different positive words every six weeks or so) described THEM!!!! No one had ever used these positive words with them or to them or for them!!!!!

Now, as you can see, I selected simple but very significant actions that ALL my students could perform. That is the way to build self esteem and positive self image. Now, eventually I will add other significant actions I value either through posters depicting the actions or through verbal descriptions in print.

The point is that ALL important and significant actions count for developing self esteem and positive self image. And there are thousands of seemingly insignificant, but important and valuable actions that students perform that are never recognized. Use these with ALL students but especially with students who may not be able to do other economically demanding actions.


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