Pupil Support Assistants

Guide for Pupil Support Assistants (236 downloads) Printer version

ARE YOU WORKING IN A CLASS WHERE THERE ARE LEARNERS OF ENGLISH? 

  • ENCOURAGE TALK! “Talk to” everyday classroom activities such as art activities, sand and water play and cleaning and tidying up afterwards. Contribute to children’s conversations to extend vocabulary.  A board game or jig-saw is an opportunity for conversation!
  • Join a group as an interested observer/participator.  Try to blend into the group activity and respond to what is going on. It is useful to notice if a child who has not spoken before utters a word, makes a comment or asks a question.  It helps to let the teacher know when these markers of progress are there.
  • Ask open-ended questions:  try to use phrases and sentences rather than single words to encourage fluency and verbal interaction.
  • When helping a child select a book from the book corner, choose the ones that have visual support for meaning and use a lot of rhyme and repetition; remind teacher that CRIS has bilingual books to borrow
  • Share discussions:  try to use phrases, simple sentences and questions instead of single words e.g. shall we put it in this box or this bag?
  • Take every opportunity to expand vocabulary by using number, shape, colour and texture words in the correct context.  Use mother tongue freely to support concept development.
  • Keep talking!  Don’t expect an answer immediately from young learners of English!  They are taking it all in, even though they are not ready to respond.  A “silent period” is normal!
  • Don’t talk at a child – talk to and with them as “talk partner” and “language bridge”.
  • Be aware of different cultural habits where dress, eating and toileting are concerned. Avoid showing surprise, disgust or anger.  
  • Being bilingual – living and working in two languages – is a cognitive advantage for children.  English learners are not slow learners!
  • Be Natural!  Keep smiling!  A smile is a smile, no matter what the culture!

BEING A LEARNER OF ENGLISH DOES NOTMEAN A LACK OF LANGUAGE OR A LEARNING DIFFICULTY!! 

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