27.  What do you do with a 17-year-old non-English speaker that enters High School?

Well, you teach (h)im/er!!!! Non-English speaking students enter public schools in California and all other states at ALL grade levels, and, in many states, they come from many language backgrounds. What to do? Open the door of the school/classroom and ADAPT / CHANGE / MODIFY INSTRUCTION TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THAT STUDENT!!!!

Most of the time a school or district assumes that any and all students, no matter what prior knowledge, or language/cultural background the students bring with them, they must all fit the instructional program offered by the school. This is NOT the case. For example, by law, that 17-year-old non-English speaking student cannot be suspended, failed or retained because of (h)is/er lack of knowledge of English. That student MUST BE TAUGHT.

In fact, chances are that by age 17, if the student is literate and has received instruction through (h)is/er primary language (L1), the student has developed extensive knowledge and skills in many content areas. The student simply cannot give evidence of (h)is/er knowledge and skills IN ENGLISH, but probably (s)he can do so in (h)is/er L1.

Many states grant high school diplomas to students who can pass all graduation examinations and requirements through L1. An L1-literate student can learn all needed concepts and skills through L1 materials and courses WHILE (S)HE LEARNS ENGLISH. Learning and knowing American History through Russian is just as good as learning and knowing American History through English. So schools and districts MUST PROVIDE appropriate courses in English and the student’s L1, instructional, reference and resource materials in English and L1, and L1-support through bilingual teachers, tutors, peers, or volunteers to insure the student’s success.

A 17-year-old, non-English speaking, L1-literate student probably brings a solid base of CALP to the learning situation in English. Whatever the student brings should help propel (h)is/er proficiency in English, and transfer all of (h)is/er learning from L1 into English, transferring all learned concepts from one language to another.

This 17-year-old non-English speaker must be provided an INTEGRATED instructional program that includes these components: (1) English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD) classes, (2) Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), (3) Primary language instruction and/or support, and (4) a very strong multicultural/positive self image program woven through all of (h)is/er classes.




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