How to Help Non-English Speaking Students Feel They Are Part of the Class
In a school setup, different learners from diverse backgrounds can be either English or non-English speakers. As a result, tutors often experience the challenge of handling non-English-speaking learners and their families. Nonetheless, Bredekamp (2012) offers different strategies teachers can use to engage non-English speaking students and help them equally. The strategies include adjusting the questioning procedure, monitoring speech as a tutor, and promoting cross-cultural peer collaboration (Bredekamp 110).
Tutors can ensure non-English speaking learners feel part of their class by being mindful of their speaking (Bredekamp 112). The tutor can do this by pausing a couple of times between sentences. After using unfamiliar phrases or idioms, the tutor can spend time explaining or rephrasing them. Secondly, tutors can readjust their questioning procedure using different strategies, such as asking individual learners to answer questions by name. They should also give learners time to discuss questions with their neighbors/deskmates before answering. Finally, they should promote cross-cultural peer collaboration (Bredekamp 118). Tutors can promote cross-cultural peer collaboration by creating small groups of native English speakers with non-native speakers. While in these groups, educators should guide them as they discuss the concepts together. This way, they will freely interact, and non-English speakers will engage in communicating smoothly. In addition, teachers should encourage group activities such as drawing using different colors. Accordingly, non-English speaking learners and native speakers should work together on the activity. Such activities will compel the learners to communicate with each other and help them learn the English language and interact freely.
Educators can find it challenging to communicate with non-English-speaking parents or families. However, such families can be involved in communication by preparing family meetings in school. During such meetings, educators should take time to learn and listen to the non-English speaking families and identify the language they prefer for communication. Secondly, they should communicate with such families using Standard English, avoiding expressions and idioms. Finally, they can use technology to help translate information into the preferred language to enhance the teachers’ and parents’ communication and understanding (Lawal 166-178).
Bredekamp, Sue. Effective practices in early childhood education: Building a foundation. UpperSaddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2014.
Lawal, Adekunle. “How Teachers Can Communicate Effectively with Parents Who Speak a Different Language.” International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation 4.9 (2021): 166-178
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