81. How much should another student help in the classroom with a student who does not speak English?

This question involves the word "should." If two students –one fully bilingual and another with very limited or limited English language proficiency—are in the same academic class LEARNING for the first time A KEY CONCEPT OR IDEA, then the fully bilingual student SHOULD NOT help anyone in the class. ALL students in the class are learning and mastering a concept for the first time. Now, if the teacher can fully supervise the conversation between the bilingual student and the non- or limited-English proficient student, that is, if the teacher is fully bilingual and can fully understand what the bilingual student is telling the non- or limited-English proficiency student about what is going on in the lesson, then the bilingual student COULD help the non- or limited-English proficient student, under the teacher’s supervision.

If the teacher is monolingual, and understands and speaks ONLY English, NO student should help any other student in the class because the teacher cannot supervise the conversation in any other language except English. If the bilingual student translates incorrectly, or does not understand, or does not know how to explain the concept in h(is/er) own language because s(he) does not know the terminology in the primary language, the teacher cannot help nor can teach the non- or limited-English proficient student!!!!!

Now, a bilingual student in a higher grade than the non- or limited-English proficient student in the lower grade class, a bilingual older student who has provided evidence s(he) can communicate correctly in TWO languages the key ideas or concepts taught at a lower grade, that type of bilingual student (a cross-age tutor) can and SHOULD provide help.


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