Learning to Teach in 200 Foreign Languages; Immigrant Students Prosper in a Strange Tongue

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

Learning to Teach in 200 Foreign Languages; Immigrant Students Prosper in a Strange Tongue


Byline: Patrick Badgley, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Area teachers are learning some new lessons themselves, as more non-English- speaking students attend schools in the Washington metropolitan area.

The growing number of immigrants and U.S. citizens who are not fluent in English has teachers trying to figure out how they can teach subjects to children who may be having trouble understanding them. Currently, schools in Maryland and the District teach students who combined speak more than 200 foreign languages.

More than 11,000 of 140,000 students in Montgomery County are enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. Those students come from more than 160 countries, and they speak more than 120 languages.

Nearly 16,000 of 130,000 students in Prince George's County schools speak about 130 languages.

In the District, more than 8,000 of the school system's estimated 67,000 students are enrolled in the city's bilingual education program. Those students speak 113 different languages.

The task of teaching non-English-speaking students can be frustrating for some teachers, who feel they are losing their students' attention when they're not speaking in the students' native tongues.

"When teachers haven't worked with English learners before, it can be intimidating for them," said Lisa Tabaku, director of the D.C. Office of Bilingual Education. "But once they begin to learn and develop the skills, they understand the importance of it and see that it's working."

Carolyn Bernache, an instructional coordinator in the ESOL program at Langley Park McCormick Elementary School in Prince George's County, said general education teachers sometimes are not sure if they could help students who speak languages other than English.

"We had a teacher who was very frustrated because she didn't think students were coming along," she said.

However, teachers, with some training and experience, learn that they can teach non-English speaking students by using other methods, she said.

"The bottom line of ESOL instruction is, you facilitate the language with visual or hands-on models," Mrs. Bernache said. "So a lot of times you don't speak the language of the child in front of you."

At the District's Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center in Adams Morgan, Estella Gonzales, the school's English as a Second Language (ESL) coordinator, said it may be more difficult to communicate with non-English-speaking students, but they are learning the concepts vital to math, science and other courses.

She said that while students may not appear to be picking up information quickly enough, they are learning the sounds and meanings of the words.

"It's immersion in skills," she said, referring to the type of classes that mix students who are just learning English with those who are fluent in English. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Learning to Teach in 200 Foreign Languages; Immigrant Students Prosper in a Strange Tongue
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.