Imagine moving to a new country as a child. You go to school and the teacher is talking to you in a language you don't understand. Or, imagine speaking social English, yet not being comfortable with the academic vocabulary bombarding you as you wade through Math, English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. These are the types of students I teach every day.
As an ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teacher in a low-income/high poverty school district, my English Language Learning students are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom.
Despite the many challenges they face, I hope to keep things simple and provide my students with creative and meaningful learning experiences to facilitate their ability to use English productively and their competency in using academic vocabulary.
Developing a rich, engaging, multi-cultural classroom library is my priority in order to engage the students from the cultures represented at our school and in my English Language Learning groups. For example, Amelia's Road touches on the themes of the need to belong and the transient life of migrant workers. Creating a text set that includes such realistic fiction as Amelia's Road and non-fiction books, such as The Story of Cesar Chavez, promote student identification, understanding, and context to grapple with historical and social issues.
The 12 books in the multi-cultural classroom library reflect the Asian, Hispanic, African-American, and European heritage of our student population.
I want my students to see themselves reflected in the books we use to encourage growth in academic vocabulary and positive discussion of academic content.
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