Students in Grade 1 have shown tremendous growth in their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in addition to their increased social skills.
At SIS we provide support to our diverse groups of learners through a variety of strategies and resources. Teachers and staff have experience helping nurture our English language learners on a daily basis – they use multiple ways such as visual cues, demonstrations, repetition, songs/chants, peer support, translanguaging, and many more. We have additional support offered through our English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher support team. The EAL support teacher provides more strategies and materials, and also another teacher in the room that helps support the language development and curriculum access for students.
The English language support given is mostly in the classroom, alongside the students and teachers of the homeroom class. The students are given opportunities to build their language skills at their own pace and developmental readiness. Students are encouraged to share their thinking using words, pictures, and/or actions in a variety of settings – one-on-one, partners, small groups, or whole groups.
In a community as diverse and rich as our SIS community, it is vital to recognize the importance of each culture and language the students experience every day. At school they are surrounded by friends from all parts of the world and are learning how to build empathy and global understanding. Children need a strong home language and culture foundation where they can learn and converse in the language(s) of their family. While at school, we are working together with students and staff to build academic and social English skills. At times this may looks like a demonstration, a picture representation, or a translation. There are many ways to build language skills and growth for your young learner:
- Read, read, read! Read the pictures in books, which means to look carefully at the pictures to tell the story through questions about the pictures – what is happening, what is the character doing, how is the character feeling, what could happen next, how would you feel if this happened to you? Read the words, in English or your home language. Reread books your child has read already to help build vocabulary, grammar, and fluency. Ask questions before, during, and after reading to build analysis, observation, and comprehension skills.
Remember that reading is a combination of accuracy, comprehension, and fluency.
- Keep using your home language! Continue reading, speaking, listening, and possibly even writing in your home language. By using their home language, students and parents can construct and build understanding that can more easily be transferred into English. Talk to your child about what they read/tried/learned that day. It also helps parents stay involved in their child's learning, plus allow for the possibility of multilingual students!