204.   I am not sure if you remember me. I meet you when you did a workshop in El Dorado, Arkansas this summer. I was the girl whose mother taught ESL with Nancy. I am now teaching in El Dorado. I teach 8th grade English at a Junior High, and in one of my classes I have one ESL student. Nancy and mom couldn't take him because their classes are so full. He speaks Russian so they thought he would be better off around English speaking kids. I was wondering with a class size of 19 and fifty minutes a day. How can I best use that time for teach the other 18 kids plus help him? I really want to help improve his English.

Well, for sure you have a DIFFICULT job!!!! Not impossible, but just HARD!!!!!
To best answer your question I would like to know how much English your Russian-speaking student
knows. If we assume that your student knows:

NO ENGLISH ("Silent Period")-- If the student speaks NO ENGLISH at all, well then the student MUST have access to an ESL class --at the absolute very least-- to make sure that the student is provided the necessary instruction in English to be able to understand and participate in your core-content area class, English, which I assume is what you are teaching to 18 English-ONLY speakers.

SOME ENGLISH -- If the student is at the "Early Production" or "Speech Emergence" level of English Language Acquisition (and assuming that he has had a solid background in Russian schools up to the 7th grade) the student needs at least an ESL class, but there is much you can do to help him and help all other English-ONLY students in your core-content area class. 
Use lots of visuals
Develop the vocabulary for all class assignments and homework assignments BEFORE you introduce the assignments.
Provide additional audio tapes of all assignments so student can READ ALONG with the audio tape.
Concentrate on Oral Language Development as a means to develop reading and writing skills.
Work together with the ESL teacher so that students is well prepared in ESL class to fully participate in YOUR core-content area class.
Provide lots of practice writing in English -- through the use of word processing programs.
Remember that Russian is written using another alphabet. Writing using the Roman Alphabet is very

SUFFICIENT ENGLISH -- If the students is at the "Intermediate Fluency" level of English Language Acquisition, your students should still receive an English-As-A-Second Language class to totally develop the needed language skills BEFORE attending your class DAILY. You still need to help your student develop English language skills, but it will not be such a difficult job. You can use some of the ideas I explained above while encouraging the student to participate as much as possible ORALLY in your class. The ESL teacher can still help that student PREPARE for your class with lots of vocabulary development.

Hope all of these ideas help. Please, contact me for more specific ideas if you need more assistance. Your question is truly excellent and shows how well prepared and how professionally concerned you are about your students. Keep me posted!!!!


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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