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Case
Posted on December 30, 2012 10:59 am
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Heather Blue
Heather Blue
Reps: 142
New Circumstances
Mrs. Stewart is teaching a fifth grade class again this school year. This will be her fourteenth year to teach fifth grade in the school where she began her professional career. Mrs. Stewart has been very excited about teaching in this school for yet another year. After thirteen years, she knows many of the actively involved parent volunteers who faithfully commit their time working in the classrooms. However, this will not be a typical school year for Mrs. Stewart. This particular year did not have a familiar start compared to previous years. One week after school began, an ESL (English as a Second Language) student moved into the high income neighborhood surrounding the school. A young girl from South America became Mrs. Stewart's new student. The Spanish speaking girl, Anna, would be hearing the English language for the first time in Mrs. Stewart's fifth grade classroom. Mrs. Stewart was told by the office Secretary that Anna had been attending public school for five years before leaving South America. Additionally, Mrs. Stewart learned that Anna and her family only speak Spanish in their home. Mrs. Stewart fears that her collective experiences teaching fifth grade for all of those years would not compare in complexity to her new circumstances.

Questions:
1. After being so familiar and comfortable with her fifth grade lesson plans, will Mrs. Stewart need to change her curriculum?
2. Will the language barrier and cultural differences prevent teaching and learning from happening in the classroom?
3. How will Mrs. Stewart involve Anna's parents in school activities?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted February 10, 2013 11:38 pm

Sara Jernigan
Sara Jernigan
Reps: 78
This is a truly difficult time for Anna and her family especially since this transition is occurring at such a late age. While in my PPB Field Placement, I was placed in a Pre-K classroom with four ESL. Since they were a lot younger they had an easier transition and could catch on to a lot going on in the classroom. While I do not think that the curriculum should change, I do think that adapting her lesson plans is a necessity in order for Anna to learn. Anna will need a lot of one on one work and a lot of encouragement to interact with the other students in the classroom. I do not believe that the language barrier and cultural differences will will prevent teaching and learning from happening in the classroom. It will with the wrong mindset. There are so many resources available to teachers now days. While Anna may be doing things differently for a short while, encouragement and motivation can mean the world in this situation. Mrs. Stewart needs to establish a relationship with the parents right away. Many school have translators and there are programs on computers to translate what you are saying into a different language.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
good idea
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:43 pm

LuLyHa
LuLyHa
Reps: 226
If I were in this situation, I would exactly do this.
  Posted on: July 10, 2016 6:23 pm

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Solution 2
Posted February 11, 2013 12:25 pm

Emily Austin
Emily Austin
Reps: 41
1. Of course Mrs. Stewart needs to change her curriculum to adapt to her new student, Anna. She does not just have English speaking students anymore so she needs to make it a point to utilize Anna and assist her as much as possible in the curriculum and daily instruction.
2. No. Having the luxury of having a bilingual student should have a positive influence in the classroom and instruction. Anna as well as the English speaking students are real life examples and tools for learning.
3. Due to the fact that Anna's parents speak Spanish, it would be a great idea for there to be a translator there to assist the parents and Mrs. Stewart in communication. Anna's parents can be involved in school activities just as the English speaking parents are. This can mean financially supporting the classroom, coming in and teaching about their home country, or even teaching Spanish to the students.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:43 pm

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Solution 3
Posted February 11, 2013 2:42 pm

Rachael Beck
Rachael Beck
Reps: 26
1. Mrs. Steward should not have to change her curriculum, but there are some changes she would need to make in her lesson plans for this particular student. She should not have to change her lesson plan all together, but add some sentences for this student and how she will change the activity on this particular student's activity.

2. It will be harder for this student to learn since she will not comprehend everything that Mrs. Stewart is saying, but that does not mean that she will not learn. Mrs. Stewart should help her to learn by pointing things out and making things more apparent for Anna.

3. Mrs. Stewart could get Anna's parents to come in for conferences, while another teacher who speaks fluent spanish can help to tell the parents how Anna is doing according to Mrs. Stewart. Also, she can send home reports in Spanish.
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Danielle Brock
Danielle Brock
Reps: 100
I agree with this case study. I will utilize this information once I become a teacher.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 10:46 pm

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:43 pm

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Solution 4
Posted February 11, 2013 2:49 pm

Kemmer Mingis
Kemmer Mingis
Reps: 25
1. Mrs. Stewart will most definitely need to change her curriculum to accommodate Anna's needs. Her lesson plans now only accommodate students who speak English so she will need to make modifications in order to help her with her school work.

2. No. While it will be harder for Anna to learn in this classroom, she will be learning. Mrs. Stewart should view Anna as a positive asset to her classroom. Anna can bring in things about where she is from and the other students can do that same so that they are all learning about Anna and she is learning about them as well.

3. Mrs. Stewart will probably need the help of a translator in order to involve Anna's parents in her schooling. As I mentioned before, this is a great time to let the other students learn about a new culture. Anna's parents can come in and talk about their culture and speak Spanish with the other students.
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:44 pm

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Solution 5
Posted February 11, 2013 9:45 am

Kelly Gardner
Kelly Gardner
Reps: 33
Yes, there is a possibility that Mrs. Stewart will need to change her curriculum. The new girl in her classroom will not be able to speak English like her other students and will need additional help and supports. Mrs. Stewart will need to modify Anna's assessments to fit her level of reading and understanding. Mrs. Stewart may not be able to teach topics a certain way because Anna will not understand them. This situation may prevent learning and teaching in the classroom. Some students may get bored if Mrs. Stewart has to constantly stop and explain things to Anna in a simpler way just because she doesn't speak English well. On the other hand, though, students will also get a daily Spanish lesson from listening to Anna speak every day. Mrs. Stewart should try to involve Anna's parents as much as possible. The parents also need to start learning how to speak English properly in case Anna ever has any problems with homework or specific concepts. They also need to start learning English for parent teacher conferences so that they will understand how their child is performing in the classroom.
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:44 pm

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Solution 6
Posted February 11, 2013 3:13 pm

Maggie Coyne
Maggie Coyne
Reps: 31
I think Mrs. Stewart should continue following her original curriculum that she has been using in the past. She should probably just be more mindful of her new student, Anna, who may need some modifications to accommodate her hearing English for the first time. I think the language barrier will sometimes get in the way of the flow of Mrs. Stewart's lessons but I also think it is important that Mrs. Stewart keeps Anna in mind at all times and helps her to understand as best she can. I think Mrs. Stewart could also use symbols and pictures to help Anna have a better understanding of what is going on. One way Mrs. Stewart could involve Anna's parents is to invite them to come into the class and share about their culture in South America. They can show how people dress and what they eat. This was the class can better understand Anna and where she is originally from.
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:44 pm

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Solution 7
Posted February 18, 2013 12:17 am

Kayce Cook
Kayce Cook
Reps: 24
Mrs. Stewart will definitely need to modify her curriculum. Whenever a new circumstance like this presents itself, a teacher must always accommodate for the new diversity in the classroom. Obviously, the language barrier is going to be difficult to overcome and may slow down the learning process for Anna. Mrs. Stewart needs to be open to collaboration with ESOL personnel or other community volunteers that may be useful for this new situation. With this same thought, Mrs. Stewart can also get Anna's parents involved in school activities by linking them with other parents in the community. Making sure parents always know about upcoming events and activities, whether via newsletter (translated in Spanish) or any other type of communication, is a must to get Anna's parents involved. It is important that Anna's parents feel like Mrs. Stewart really cares about Anna's education.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:45 pm

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Solution 8
Posted February 12, 2013 4:27 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
Ms. Stewart may not need to change her curriculum completely. However she is going to need to modify it to fit Anna's learning style. I do not believe that the cultural and language barriers will prevent learning. Anna will be able to learn from her classmates and she will be able to teach them as well. I think a good idea for Ms. Stewart to do would be to place vocabulary words all over the classroom in both English and Spanish so all students are learning, all the time. Ms. Stewart will be able to involve Anna's parents the same way she involves the rest of the parents. It may be a good idea for her to translate the weekly newsletter into Spanish as well and always make sure they feel included.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:45 pm

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Solution 9
Posted February 12, 2013 6:45 pm

Chelsea Yoshimura
Chelsea Yoshimura
Reps: 24
This is an eventful period for Anna and her family. They are going through a major transition and need all the comfort they can get. Although it may seem rather frightful to take on an ESL student of this age, Mrs. Stewart needs to take a breath and put her best foot forward. Her curriculum should not change, however there should be adaptations and/or accommodations made for Anna. For example, Mrs. Stewart could label different items around the room using the Spanish translation. She could also have a small translation card on Anna's desk to assist her with common, necessary classroom words.
Although it may be difficult for Anna to transition right of the bat, teaching and learning will continue. I believe there truly isn't a day that nothing is learned. This cultural difference could be used as an even greater learning experience for the class. This grade level is perfect for understanding and grasping the culture of others.
Mrs. Stewart should attempt to get her classroom newsletters translated. By using the school translator, she could set up meetings with them to go over any questions or concerns they may have. Many schools offer English classes for adults, which could be a great tool for Anna's parents. This could truly benefit Anna by having her parents learning along with her. Communication between teacher and parents is key!
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:45 pm

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Solution 10
Posted February 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Madeline Westog
Madeline Westog
Reps: 30
1. Mrs. Stewart will not have to change her lesson plans completely, but rather differentiate them so that Anna can succeed. All students with diverse needs need accommodations, and Anna is no different.

2. The language barrier and cultural differences might cause some difficulties with teaching and learning, but I believe all parties involved will learn. It has been proven that having a schedule and labeling common items in the room in both spanish and English can help in accommodating the English Language Learner. In addition, modifications like these can help in teaching the other students about a new language and cultural differences, as well as teaching the teacher new ways to teach her lessons and teach an ELL student.

3. In my past experiences, I have known teachers to treat the ELL students parents the same way that she would treat the other parents, only with the addition of a translator. The translator simply translates everything that the teacher says to the parents and visa versus. This allows the ELL parents to feel comfortable and feel like they are involved in their child's academics, which helps the student succeed.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:46 pm

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Solution 11
Posted February 11, 2013 4:19 pm

Olivia Giauque
Olivia Giauque
Reps: 29
Mrs. Stewart will need to differentiate her lesson plans for her new student. Anna will need assistance on assignments and will need modifications until she has acquired English and is very comfortable. I think it is important for teachers to incorporate new ideas and lessons and not use the same lessons for multiple years. She should add variation to the lesson plans, and by adding anna to the class will help this.
The language barrier and cultural differences will not prevent learning and teaching from happening in the classroom. It will increase the learning and teaching. Anna may take time to adjust and will need more attention and assistance but there are many strategies that will allow for her to learn and develop. Not only will anna learn but Mrs. Stewart will learn from anna as well as the other students in the classroom will learn from anna. She will be able to tell them about her different culture.
Mrs. Stewart will be able to involve anna's parents just as she was able to involve all of her other students parents. She must be willing and open and to allow for anna's parents to share different information about themselves and their culture. She should treat them like any of her other student's parents.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:46 pm

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Solution 12
Posted February 12, 2013 6:55 pm

Mary Beth Brammar
Mary Beth Brammar
Reps: 30
1) Mrs. Stewart doesn't need to change her curriculum. However, she does need to make modifications to fit Anna's needs. Teachers should always make modifications to fit the diverse learning needs in the classroom.
2) No I do not think the language barrier and cultural differences will prevent teaching and learning in the classroom. I think if Mrs. Stewart makes the right modifications effective learning and teaching can still take place.
3) Mrs. Stewart will encourage her parents to attend all school activities just like she would encourage her other students parents. She may just want to send home reminders with Anna and discuss them with Anna to make her excited. If Anna is excited and feels welcome her parents will want to come to the school and they would also feel welcome.
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:46 pm

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Solution 13
Posted February 13, 2013 9:28 am

Julia DiTillio
Julia DiTillio
Reps: 28
1. Yes, Mrs. Stewart will need to change her curriculum. Good teachers are always looking for new ways to engage students and help them understand concepts, so this should only make Mrs. Stewart a more effective teacher. She will need to include a lesson or unit about culture and diversity, and she will have to use resources (books, visual aids, etc.) that depict people of many cultures, not just the dominant one. In addition, Anna might need some accommodations, such as having directions in Spanish and getting extra help on assessments or possibly after school.

2. The language barrier and cultural differences will only prevent teaching and learning from happening if Mrs. Stewart allows it. By using materials that depict people of different cultures (particularly Anna's) and having lessons on and experiences with culture, Mrs. Stewart will make the students more aware and welcoming. To overcome language barriers, Mrs. Stewart should use labels on classroom items and write rules and essential questions in English and Spanish. Since Anna's biggest problem will be with simply not knowing English, Mrs. Stewart could pair her with a buddy in the class or school who also can speak Spanish. This will help Anna learn English more quickly.

3. Mrs. Stewart could bring Anna's parents in for conferences and have a translator, translate classroom newsletters to Spanish, and also create a classroom website that uses English and Spanish. This will help Anna's parents understand what is going on in the classroom and school. Seeing the newsletter and website in English and Spanish may even help Anna's parents pick up some English, as well.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
I would exactly do this
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:47 pm

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Solution 14
Posted February 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Sarah Brittany Sandbach
Sarah Brittany Sandbach
Reps: 27
1. Mrs. Stewart should not have to change her curriculum, however, she will have to accomodate her new student.
2. The language barrier and cultural differences will do the exact opposite of preventing learning. It will allow the other students in the classroom to learn so much more. This is an exciting experience for all of the students. There will be challenges, but they can be overcome. By labeling different objects in the classroom with english and spanish words, this should significantly impact the teaching experience.
3. There is always the option of having a translator. This should help with the communication between the teacher and the parents. Mrs. Stewart should encourage the parents to take part in any school activities to better understand why their child is experiencing every day. This will build relationships as well as understanding.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
good idea
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:47 pm

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Solution 15
Posted February 11, 2013 1:45 pm

Brittany Cantwell
Brittany Cantwell
Reps: 27
1. I don't think she should have to change her curriculum, but maybe just modify some of her lessons. Since there are so many parent teachers that help, she could even use that as some assistance.
2. Yes, the language barrier can prevent Anna from learning in the classroom, because she will not understand the materials presented. The teacher can start by labeling things in the classroom in English and Spanish so she can learn common words. She can start expanding the labels, until she learns all the classroom objects. Also she can write all the essential questions in both languages so that she can still participate in discussions.
3. Anna's parents can play a huge role in helping Anna learn English faster, by trying to learn it themselves. Being in America, they will have to start learning it at some point anyways and if they try to start using the language at home in their daily lives they can pick it up a lot faster.
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neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
good idea
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:47 pm

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Solution 16
Posted February 19, 2013 2:40 am

Taylor Bocook
Taylor Bocook
Reps: 32
I feel like this situation is very common in some areas. Growing up I never had a classmate that did not speak English so it was a new concept to me. I think that Mrs. Stewart will definitely have to change her approaches to teaching especially if this is her first time having an ESL student. In school now, we are constantly taught to have sure that our lessons are very diverse so I think that Mrs. Stewart will have to add this type of differentiation to her lesson plans. I do not think that the language barrier will prevent learning but I think there will be some struggle. Mrs. Stewart is going to have to learn Anna the best that she can in order to help teach Anna in the best way that she can. Mrs. Stewart will always have to keep in mind that Anna's parent speak Spanish as their first language. I think Mrs. Stewart should make sure that she is pulling Anna's parents aside to discuss things going on in the classroom.
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Comments posted for this solution

neHaGy
neHaGy
Reps: 200
good idea
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 6:48 pm

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Please read response(s) below (if any) before posting your solution.