some circumstances, children find themselves in an environment necessitating to
learn more than one language. Children may learn two languages at the same time
whereby a child learns and speaks one language at home and begins to learn a
second language in school. In the situation one learns two languages at the
same time apart from their native language is referred to as Dual Language Learning
(Cook, 2016). Dual language learning needs attention as a teacher has to
understand how a child is acquiring and responding to the two languages.
Dual language is
important as it helps children grow and develops them across all domains (Cook,
2016). However, there are circumstances where dual language learning is not easy.
In this scenario, where four-year-old Sheila just moved into an English
speaking country from Bosnia, and she does not speak a word of English, it can
be hard. It would be challenging to get her to learn English because she does
not socialize, but instead, she sits by herself and waits for her mother to
pick her. As a teacher, to increase Sheila participation in class which will get
her to learn English, I will implement three DLL strategies which are planning
activities which are non-language dependent, facilitate problem-solving to help
her emotionally and work on cultivating a caring and respectful learning
activities which do not require languages to communicate are essential. This
includes gestures, games, drawing, writing, and using props (Cohen, 2014). Some
students would like to communicate, but they do not have a way to do it. Sheila
might be spending time alone because she feels left out during discussions.
Therefore, as a teacher, I am going to encourage her to use gestures when
communicating with classmates. Also, she can draw an animal she is describing or
write down the name in her language, and I will translate to other students. This will help Sheila to make friends with
other classmates who are going to help her learn English. A student teaching
another one is the easiest way as they understand each other personally.
Therefore, using non- language dependent activities to get Sheila to make friends
is an excellent strategy that will help her learn English.
The second DLL
strategy that I would employ as a teacher is facilitating problem solving to
help her emotionally (Cohen, 2014). Sheila is challenged emotionally that is
why she cries and throws herself on the floor when her mother leaves her at
school in the morning. This is because she is emotional about being left in a
new environment with strangers. I will create problem-solving lessons where she
manages to solve problems such as two friends fighting then she provides a
solution. She will do this by either using gestures, the little English she
would have learned or in her native language and I will translate for students.
She will solve it in any language she feels comfortable in. Helping solve problems
will help her grow emotionally and discover she can relate with other people
other than her mother. This will motivate Sheila to learn English so she can
help solve more problems in class in a language that everyone understands.
cultivating a caring and respectful learning environment is another strategy
that will help Sheila to learn English. One of the ways is by making all students
learn each other's names and their meanings. Sheila can also tell the class the
meaning of her name in her native language, and one student will tell her what
it means in English. Also, I would create a fun environment by giving Sheila matching
games on the computers where she matches her native language words with their
corresponding English words and she scores points.
not be referred to evaluation at this time. This is because she is still
learning and if an evaluation is done to assess her language, she will feel
like she is not good enough or rather her native language is not accepted. Sheila
should be allowed to get to a point where she appreciates her native language,
but she understands the importance of learning English as it is the primary
language used in the school. At this point she can be evaluated as she will be
good at it and fluent.
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