There is a term in education called ESOL which stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. Basically a student is labeled ESOL if 1) their native language is anything other than English; 2) their parents speak another language at home as the main language. There are many ESOL students across the country. In my internship classes I have no students labeled as ESOL, however, with their grammar styles, I can see the obvious language acquisition mistakes in their writing and when they speak.

However, I am writing this post because of something that I saw on Edmodo today while logged into my supervising teachers account. Another teacher posted this:

I have just received a student from China. He speaks absolutely no english. He has been placed in my most behaviorally challenged class. My district is total immersion ESOL- so I will not be provided with any supplementary texts in his native language.
Any time I spend trying to work one in one becomes time that the other 21 students debilve into chaos. We do not have 1 to 1 tech, and he does not have a BYOT device. Does anyone have any ideas or resources that I could use?
The course is 8th grade US History (exploration to reconstruction).
I am at a total loss. This is my first ESOL student that speaks not a word of English where no other student speaks the native language.

I know this happens all the time, but I still can’t believe that this type of thing happens like this. Especially since there is no one to translate in her school and there are no resources available at her school. Some other teachers from across the country have given ideas as to what to do.

What about trying to get some of the good students form a helping group? By giving them specific instructions on what you would like them to help this student

I am wondering, also, if you can find a resource from the chinese community in your area to help you.

if he has a smartphone, download a translator app that he can use in class. try and take the key vocab from the unit and post it in your room in both English and Chinese. Google translate can also be a powerful tool.

What about using one of the many free chinese to english translators and print.
Not sure how this helps. Unless you can buddy him up with some one. Any candidates? I feel for you -I’m assuming no english no writing no nothing! How hard is that:(

You also should get to know his other teachers and form a support system with them for him and yourselves on ways you can help him

I feel for you. I had a similar problem but fortunately I had a student to help with translation. Besides translating all of her work (Google), I gave her the English copy as well. That helped and, by the end of the year, she was able to point out some of the grammatical errors in the translation. I also have a hard time NOT using slang but it was critical in that class to avoid confusion. Good luck

I’m sure the student needs some materials in Chinese to start with. I found an online course teaching ‘A brief introduction of American History’ from the Khan Academy. The four online lectures are in English but translated with both English and Chinese subtitles if you turn them on. I don’t teach history, nor do I know much about American history. So I’m not sure whether it’s suitable for your student. But you can try it:)

Hello! I teach four ESOL students in a fifth grade inclusion class. A resource I have found that works well is Rosetta Stone. My school district provided the licenses so my students could use it. I put them on there for the first hour of reading instruction. It counts as three of their reading stations (independent work, writing in response to reading, and vocabulary on their grade level just isn’t happening right now). Then they sit with me for the last two stations for direct instruction. I also use iPads with translator programs on them for individual use when the students are working independently.

Edmodo is definitely a good place to collaborate and have a support system when needed.

Has anyone else ran into this problem? How did you work around it?


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