249.  Is it OK for students to have a conversation in their native language, and how to help teachers understand that?


YES!!!!  Parents and students can SPEAK any language they prefer at school ľand there is nothing legally anyone can do to compel parents and students to speak English in the classroom or at school.    It is crucial that TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS understand that neither students nor parents can be forced, made, compel or required to speak English within the school building or within the school grounds.   The First Amendment protects their FREEDOM of expression.   There is no contractual obligation for either parents or students to express themselves in English ONLY within the school grounds, neither within classrooms, during classes, nor in any location within the school.

I believe that TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS can understand this concept if a lawyer is invited to present and discuss this issue during faculty or staff meetings.   Parents need to demand this type of clarification by a well-informed and fully qualified legal representative for teachers, administrators and school personnel in general.  

Teachers can and should motivate students to practice their English language skills in the classroom, but at no time can a teacher legally demand, or demand under threat, that students refrain from speaking their native language or any other language they may speak.  Once again, teachers need to motivate and praise students who behave in desirable ways within the classroom; speaking English may be a desirable conduct that teachers need to praise and acknowledge and encourage and celebrate.   But they cannot force this conduct upon students.



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