Teaching ESL

Reading Ellyse’s blog on “ESL placement at Massey School” reminded me of the frustrations I encountered when I had to learn English as a second language. The best way of helping these kids is – read to them, let them read to you and let them write. Then you teach them and help them by looking at the mistakes they are making. This way you stay on their level of progression and they will feel comfortable.

I have 3 children which were all born in Canada, but spend a great part of their lives in South Africa. That was the reason that English were not their first language. After moving back to Canada we spent many hours just reading and writing in English and in a very short period of time they were fluent in English. At home we still speak Afrikaans to keep our connection and ties with South Africa and we will always keep that up.


3 Responses

  1. That is awesome that you are keeping your language in your family — so many people seem to lose it when they come to a new country and culture, and it is so unfortunate!
    And I like the new look of your blog, Irma!

  2. In the last 15 years; Brain Research on young children’s learning has benn published which shows that the brain has a window between 9 months and approx. 5-7 years as the optimum time for programming the brain structure for multi-lingual abilities. Once a second, or even third (or more) language is introduced and practiced with regularity during that time; the child’s brain has hard-wiring which allows the child to speak those languages as a native speaker (with no accent) and to use this multi-lingual ability to master other languages as adults much more easily. This same hard-wire programing is also responsible for enhanced mathmatical and musical learning. To find out more about this subject, check out the NAEYC website (naeyc.org) and search for Brain Research. As an Early Childhood educator for many years, I have seen this replicated many times as I worked with mult-lingual families at the University of Houston Child Care Center. Hope you all will enjoy the Brain Research information on the NAEYC site!

  3. Very interesting

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