173. I'm in the Non-Traditional Teacher Licensure program through the Arkansas Department of Education. I recently attended your workshop on Language Acquisition and ESL. I have some questions that I'd like to ask you, since I did not have the opportunity at the workshop. I am currently teaching Spanish in a small school district in Northwest Arkansas. My bachelor's degree is in psychology from Hendrix College and I recently received my Master's degree in Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas. I took several Spanish courses at Hendrix, but am not fluent. My question to you is this: Is it necessary to be fluent in Spanish to teach it effectively?
No, you do not have to be completely and totally fluent in Spanish to teach Spanish, especially the lower level courses --beginning and intermediate. No question that it helps to know as much ABOUT the language as possible and to be as fluent as possible to teach as effectively as possible. However, effective language teachers need not be totally fluent, they just need to know how to promote second language acquisition and development in their students. You will find in my Web Sites answers to many questions similar or related to your question that may give you many effective language acquisition and development techniques.
You are to be commended for your interest in studying and mastering another language besides English, and in recognizing the need for foreign language instruction for ALL your students, especially your English-speaking students who will live in a world very different from the world in which their parents and grandparents lived. A world in which knowing a second language will give them an economic advantage and a means to understand better their own world.
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:
CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.
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