227.  Please send me any references that you may have that I can use to study common language errors made in different cultures. I need to be able to analyze them and identify them. I sincerely appreciate any assistance that you can give me! I would also like any resources that you may have that provide practical strategies for the regular classroom teacher of English Language Learners. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!


I am delighted to answer your very interesting question which, in a way, has already been answered and posted on my Web Sites.

Some years ago teachers in one large County in North Carolina and I teamed to produce a very good list of "AMERICAN CULTURE TOPICS."

According to Federal Compliance Guidelines (outlined in the County's Program for Students with Limited English Proficiency) every County teacher who teaches Limited English Proficient students or English Learners should have a copy of the "TOPICS." I am sure that the County's Federal Programs Director has a copy of the TOPICS. I have a copy on my hard drive. I cannot ATTACH you a copy to this message since I am responding to you using my laptop. However, the TOPICS are SO GOOD that I carry a "hard" copy with me to ALL my trainings!

The TOPICS came about because Co. teachers made me aware that Limited English Proficient (LEP) students --English Language Learners-- appeared to "do," "respond," "act" incorrectly in many social situations --in class, at school, and in the community. Together, the teachers and I developed the list of TOPICS to reflect these "cultural errors" exhibited by LEP students, and then suggested, for each TOPIC, a cultural contrast --so teachers could understand what the students' cultures would require-- as well as a set of instructional activities so that ALL Country teachers would have the opportunity to TEACH the skills needed to successfully live and operate within American Culture.

Now, if your question refers to English LANGUAGE errors on the part of LEP students/English Language Learners --given their primary language backgrounds-- then I would suggest that there are literally thousands of books on Comparative Grammar where you can find similarities and differences between English and other languages.  The similarities help predict grammatical patterns that LEP students master easily. The differences predict areas of difficulty in mastering English sounds and sound patterns (pronunciation and spelling), syllables and words including prefixes and suffixes (morphology), word order in sentences (syntax) and the meaning of words (semantics) including, of course the millions of IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS or Idioms in the English Language (i.e. "Raining cats and dogs").

For Spanish and English, Professors Donald Bowen and Robert Stockwell (UCLA) are the most recognized names in this field, having published "The Comparative Structures of English and Spanish" as well as "English and Spanish Pronunciation," classical works in their field of Comparative Linguistics.

Please visit my Web Sites, browse through cultural questions, and you will find the TOPICS, I am sure!!!

If you need further assistance, let me know. Otherwise, if you think this type of Question & Answer Service is beneficial for you and your County teachers, maybe we can set up a service contract so I provide answers to ALL County teachers' questions!!!! THANKS!!!!!!! C.S.S.



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