194. Does employing the use of my English speaking student to help translate impair her learning experience?

I remember visiting a class in Arizona where a very strict lady was teaching Math to a "low" group of middle school students. In total and absolute silence, with perfectly clean boards where only the number of the page where the problems to be solved was written, the teacher --in a very low voice--was using a bilingual child to translate into Spanish what she was telling this other child in English.

Now, I thought, here is a bilingual child learning something in English. No one has explained to this child how to say in Spanish the mathematical terms the teacher was using in English. But even if the child knew the terms in Spanish, the teacher --who spoke ONLY English-- could in NO WAY verify that the translation was correct!!!!!!! Who benefited in this incredibly BAD teaching situation? I have no idea.

I do NOT mind cross-age tutors, that is, high school students who are totally bilingual, bi-literate and have already provided evidence they understand the lower grades' Math, giving help to the lower grade students in Spanish AFTER the ESL teacher has provided the language lesson so that students understand the language of the Math lesson AND AFTER the Math teacher has taught the Math lesson.



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