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Journal 6 Post

lesaluna12's picture

I thought about how convenient it was for the student to have a teacher that understood both English and Spanish in terms of being understood. However, I soon thought about the teacher’s continuous attempts to have him speak English which, made me feel like maybe it’d be best to let him answer in whatever language he was comfortable with but as the class went on, I then realized just how important it was to have him to be able to speak English... because once the students enter Kindergarten its most likely that their teacher will not know Spanish and thus not be able to understand them and fairly evaluate their learning abilities.

I wondered if there was anything else the teacher could do to make her students even more comfortable using English? For instance, possibly try to explain to her students in some form of why English is important? If they are told why the material they are learning is important then they will be better prepared of what they will face when entering elementary school as opposed to being surprised and feeling like they are alone in facing this situation. Although these students are young, I believe that if worded in a way that they can understand the concept, these students especially the shy ones will be more willing and thus settle themselves into getting more comfortable in using the English language. 


Carmen's picture

Breaking the barrier

Thank you for your post. I really appreciate how you recognize it is a great convenience if a teacher is able to speak Spanish but the at same time state the importance of learning English respectively. Referring to this week's reading by Connie North, I believe that there is definitely a possibility to make Spanish speaking students even more comfortable using English. In other words, I believe that the creation of a third space is an option and not having the need to be oppressive but at the same time gain respect. However, that being said, the student and the teacher both have to acknowledge that something is not right and both have to have this 'willingness' to learn more about each other's expectations. From my field placement, I have observed that even the shyest Grade 1 student would be willing to open up once you gain trust and give them time. I do have to insert that sometimes talking to children is a one-way street and a lot of times you will be doing more things from them than they will do for you. Patience, tolerance and "human connection" are definitely some tools that can engage a student but every individual is unique and have their own weaknesses and strengths that we need time to find out.