Enriching the Classroom with Languages

Posted by Big Universe on Dec 3, 2012 9:27:02 PM

This year I've been blessed with a handful of wonderful ELL and bilingual students. They have enriched our class with their perspectives and ideas as well as their languages. It is a great way for all my students to learn and appreciate other cultures and understand that our world is "small."

One way I encourage my students to share about their backgrounds is through language. Kids love learning about and listening to new languages. It's like music to them! In the past weeks, I've been sharing some of the bilingual books from Big Universe to a class of eager listeners. Here are some books I've shared or plan to share:

It's fun to watch the students listen to my two Spanish speaking students read stories like these to the class. My ELL students then become the experts and are asked questions or asked that all time favorite read aloud question, "Read it again!"

This has also prompted other students to bring in books in other languages from their own home collection to share!

I've also enjoyed getting in the mix of reading books in different languages to my class. Although my French is rusty, my students love listening to the words of the stories and together we use our reading comprehension strategies to create meaning in the words. It has also served as a way for some students in the class to realize and remember how difficult it is to learn to read.

Finally, looking through some of these resources on Big Universe has helped us to share a bit about ourselves. At this time of year, my students are knee deep in an immigration unit, during which they research and discover more about their own heritages. I've enjoyed sharing with them a bit about my Armenian roots and am happy to show them the collection of Armenian books on Big Universe! It brings up great questions about written and spoken literacy, similarities and differences between and among cultures and even how immigrants can lose their language when immersed in a new country.

Language is such a complex and beautiful thing. It's fun to share it in new ways with students. What are other ways you use the bilingual resources on Big Universe?

~EMP

Topics: Literacy

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