Guide for Pupil Support Assistants (250 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!!