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Development of Bilingualism and Biliteracy

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Full Member
+5
1 month ago
I attended a presentation titled "The Development of Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Social, Political, and Cultural Contexts" by Dr. Lily Wong. Dr. Wong discussed the research on the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in immigrant and indigenous children. Examined were efforts by families and communities to ensure that their children will be proficient in both the spoken and written word of their ancestral languages, as well as how they deal with structural and societal barriers against their efforts.

Dr. Wong said that there is empowerment on the importance of other people?s cultures and the need to expose best practices. She said, "Times are changing...The things you can do when you have the will." I tend to agree with her. We must work hard to effectively deal with the various challenges we face in teaching our ELLs.

What are some effective strategies that you have found resourceful in teaching ELLs?

Last updated: 1 month ago

Full Member
+4
1 month ago
Quote from Dr. Matilda N. Rivera
I attended a presentation titled "The Development of Bilingualism and Biliteracy in Social, Political, and Cultural Contexts" by Dr. Lily Wong. Dr. Wong discussed the research on the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in immigrant and indigenous children. Examined were efforts by families and communities to ensure that their children will be proficient in both the spoken and written word of their ancestral languages, as well as how they deal with structural and societal barriers against their efforts.

Dr. Wong said that there is empowerment on the importance of other people?s cultures and the need to expose best practices. She said, "Times are changing...The things you can do when you have the will." I tend to agree with her. We must work hard to effectively deal with the various challenges we face in teaching our ELLs.

What are some effective strategies that you have found resourceful in teaching ELLs?

I don't think this would necessarily work in every situation but my second year at my district, I took a Conversational Spanish class. I think it's very important to show the students that I am trying to learn Spanish, that I appreciate their help in learning a new language, that learning a new language isn't easy, that I care enough about them to pronounce their names correctly, and that I am always willing to help them if they struggle with their English skills. I also think this is an effective strategy with parent communication. In my experience I have found that parents are more likely to communicate with me knowing that I am making an effort to learn Spanish. It definitely doesn't always work but U think they have a better attitude towards me - even when I mess up - and that means a better attitude towards school which transfers to the child.

I especially have trouble in music with my English Language Learners as music is truly an entirely different language itself. So I am trying to teach these children yet another language while mostly using a second language that is not mastered and in some cases is mostly unknown. I don't mean I have trouble with behavior but with comprehension. Sometimes the skills are harder to grasp because the students are so busy translating words that they do not comprehend what the message as a whole is. One subject that came up in our district's music teacher forum a few years back was "my Spanish speaking children cannot match pitch! Why can't Hispanic kids sing on pitch?" to which I replied "they can; mine do; how many chances are you giving them to sing in Spanish or neutral syllables?" It's really hard to be concerned with or notice the high and low sounds when you're a five year old who mostly has no idea what the maestra in the front of the room is saying...

I probably veered off from your original topic but those are some thoughts.
Full Member
1 month ago
I am a bilingual (English/Spanish) licensed Music Educator. I have taught across K-12 in many different capacities. When I come in to a music room, I love seeing posters like "Music is the language of the heart/soul" Or "Music: The Universal Language". I have always maintained that learning Italian musical terms is easier when Spanish is your 1st language. There is a plethora of easy pieces in foreign languages that can be included in the music curriculum. Depending on where you source it, pronunciation guides are often included as well as information on the composition. From the social justice perspective, try and find posters of Latinx musicians as well as musicians of color. (Remember those series of composer posters? Useful, but not very ethnically diverse)

Art and music is integral to HUMAN nature! The more examples we find, the more comfortable our students feel! :D
Full Member
+7
1 month ago
Quote from Ms.Jean
I am a bilingual (English/Spanish) licensed Music Educator. I have taught across K-12 in many different capacities. When I come in to a music room, I love seeing posters like "Music is the language of the heart/soul" Or "Music: The Universal Language". I have always maintained that learning Italian musical terms is easier when Spanish is your 1st language. There is a plethora of easy pieces in foreign languages that can be included in the music curriculum. Depending on where you source it, pronunciation guides are often included as well as information on the composition. From the social justice perspective, try and find posters of Latinx musicians as well as musicians of color. (Remember those series of composer posters? Useful, but not very ethnically diverse)

Art and music is integral to HUMAN nature! The more examples we find, the more comfortable our students feel! :D

Hi, I really loved "Art and music are..." Thanks, Maria :)
Full Member
+5
1 month ago
Thanks for sharing your experience! Indeed, families appreciate when you take the time to learn more about their language and culture. This brings forth a positive attitude for all. There’s no doubt that a positive attitude will make a difference. In addition, music is the universal language, so you are doing great things, even if it may be challenging at times. I can imagine that you are passionate about teaching. Kudos to you!
Full Member
+5
1 month ago
Nice to hear that you are a licensed Music Educator, which makes you an expert in the world of music! I like your thoughts regarding music being the language of the heart/soul and universal language. Indeed working with one’s first language most certainly will make an impact! Wow! You are so passionate about art and music! I concur that we need more opportunities to explore the fine arts! Kudos to you!
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