290.  Part 1


Subject: Re: Question about Esol, research for a case study

Hello, I found your site on the internet and thought you could help me.  I'm a student at USC Upstate working on a certification in ESOL.  I have been trying to find information for my  case study assignment that is due soon.  I want to find research on teaching sequencing using - first, last, next, then, finally.  I taught my student the lessons that were in the textbook- "Lifeprints".  I did sequencing with a story, telling the steps in making coffee. and etc.  Has there ever been any research articles written on how to help students?  My student is an adult.  I've tried searching on the internet and through ERIC. Please e-mail me back.  Thank you for your time. 


Thanks for visiting my Web Sites!!!  Hope my answer helps you!!!!!

I think the idea of teaching vocabulary with the words grouped into MEANING categories is fully supported by research.   You selected a category having to do with TIME sequence and taught the words within the context of a story with a sequence of events -- GREAT!!!!! 

Although not specifically for the category you mention, but for the general topic of "CATEGORIES" with words grouped by MEANING, there is plenty of information. 

To help students, do exactly what you did:   Introduce the category --the vocabulary words associated by having in common the KEY feature in the category, that is, TIME sequence.   Pictures of the coffee-making sequence of events with the words you listed in your category BEFORE each picture will work rather well to do a "story board" that helps students use the TIME sequence words in your lesson 

You have done a GREAT job organizing a simple but very important speaking/writing lesson!!!   Congratulations. 

Part 2


Thank you so much for your reply.  My student could tell me how to make a cup of coffee. We made a necklace with a pattern.  My husband and I adopted two children from Estonia seven years ago. The boy is ADHD. We adopted him when he was almost three.  He is now in second grade. He has a hard time in spelling. He can't understand the sounds.  He is in resource.  He didn't speak any English when he came to this country. He didn't speak any Estonian when he came to this country. Could his problems in spelling be due to English being his second language?


Great question!!!  
THANKS for your very insightful details in the question!  AND . . . .
You are absolutely RIGHT!!! 
I have NO idea when will teachers understand that there is very little correlation between sounds and symbols in English spelling.   AND that for non-English-speaking students, there is a lot of difficulty "hearing" sounds in a language they simply cannot understand.  
Try to imagine yourself "hearing" the sounds of Urdu.   (Unless you know Urdu, of course.  In that case, imagine yourself "hearing" the sounds of Hopi.  And I hope you do not know Hopi).   The point is that it is VERY DIFFICULT "hearing" the sounds of a language that you do not understand. . . . . and EVEN AFTER you may understand some or a lot, there are many sounds that you simply cannot "hear" nor can you say correctly!!!!!    Remember Henry Kissinger?   Well HE --with all his knowledge and education-- could NOT pronounce some English sounds -- still cannot do so!!!!!   How come?    Non-English speakers have a LOT of difficulty "hearing" sounds they do not know as sounds of their NATIVE or FIRST language.
Your child did not know Estonian.   But he had "an ear" for it since he did understand Estonian -- I suppose.   Now, your child is being taught AS IF HE SPOKE ENGLISH FROM BIRTH!!!!!!   That is the problem!!!!!
Some teachers think that if it works for English speakers it MUST work for everyone else; anyway, "they" are all kids and "they" all learn the same way!!!!  
Spelling in English is, almost 99%, total memorization of complete words:  
(1) Because "English" --Anglo-Saxon or whatever, really-- was written down by LATIN-speaking scribes --the only people who knew how to put something down on paper when "English" (Anglo Saxon) was FIRST "heard" by Roman soldiers and the scribes that accompanied them, and
(2) because the Roman soldiers and the Roman settlers who moved into "England" (or whatever it was called around 46 AD) brought so many, many, many inventions, technologies, laws, knowledge, etc., 
(3) "English" (or Anglo-Saxon) acquired a huge vocabulary of Latin words which the Anglo-Saxons mispronounced BUT that were written down following LATIN spelling patterns.
There is literally NO rhyme or reason for English spelling!!!!!  It is ALL tradition!!!!   It was spelled like that in 46 AD, it is still spelled like that in 2005!!!!
The day most teachers will accept that English spelling in particular (maybe not Estonian spelling, nor Spanish spelling, or Urdu spelling) takes a lot, a lot --lots and lots-- of memorization (and thus, computers could be very helpful with "spell-checks"), that day children will be a lot happier and a lot less in "resource."

Part 3


Anrei's birth parents were Russian. He was in an orphanage from the time he was a baby till we adopted him at age 2. So how do we solve his spelling problem request at his IEP meeting Friday that he gets served in an Esol program?  I would like to take your e-mail where you answered me to his IEP meeting Friday April 22.I look forward to your reply.

Anrei needs to be served in an ESOL class and in all of his classes.   He may need ESOL -- but he may ALSO need a teacher who is qualified to provide the kind of English Language Development Program that will help your child -- ANYWHERE, in ALL his classes.  
If the problem is SPELLING ONLY -- Then, as I mentioned, there may be a need for additional sound-recognition in English,   HOWEVER, please, DO REMEMBER -- ENGLISH SPELLING (except for a very FEW MONOSYLLABIC words and even fewer "INITIAL WORD SOUNDS") is more a matter of TRADITION that anything else.  
So, Anrei may need a lot of VISUAL stimulation as he sees, sees again, sees many, many times the words he MUST REMEMBER how to spell. He MAY HEAR adequately but he may not remember well the visual configuration of words.  
If he can RECOGNIZE words when reading and has little or no problems reading in a smooth and fluid manner, then the spelling problem may be due to just visual perception + motor coordination to spell correctly.    That is why I suggested "Spell Check" which is available in any computer.  
Once he misspells a word, using "Spell Check" will display a list of possible correctly spelled words.   THEN he can choose the one he wants --to convey the meaning he needs-- to communicate accurately his own thoughts.   
You need to think about the EXACT NATURE of the problem of misspelling.   Then, a solution can be found.   BUT HEARING the sounds correctly MAY BE part of the problem, but not THE ONLY reason for the problem.  
Hope this helps.
BEST WISHES for a very successful IEP!!!!


Part 4

I showed the IEP team the e-mail you sent me.  The principal said that he couldn't get help through ESL because he has been over here 7 years. I found out from a resource teacher that I work with that a student can need ESOL and be in resource. I showed the team the wilson reading program which is what we use in the self-contained class that I work with. The students in the class are MR or  have a learning disability.
I am glad that I found you through my internet search for information. I can learn so much from you. My first certification is in art. I taught for 16 years at the elementary level and 2 years at the community college level.
Thanks for all your insight. Andrei will have additional time in resource for math and language arts. He reads very expressively.




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