I teach ESOL in a public, Title One school in Laurel, Maryland. My students are English language learners coming from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. My school's ESOL population continues to increase with over twenty percent of the school population receiving ESOL services. Some of my students are newcomer students from immigrant families, just beginning school in the United States for the first time.
Many students in my school do not have the same rich home experiences of other American children, living day-to-day with very low family incomes.
They don't have resources at home such as computers and books to help them practice and develop important skills. They don't have parents at home modeling the correct use of English.
Each school year, our school's English Language Learner population grows and we continue to add resources to supplement their English language development. Having hands-on resources, such as flash cards and word games, will help Spanish-speaking students new to the United States make connections between their home language and the English language. These resources will help engage students in learning and show respect for their home language. They will also encourage students to continue using Spanish to strengthen their bilingualism. Finally, these resources could be used as independent center activities in the general education classroom to offer opportunities for language practice.
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