I am only fluent in one language. There have been many things which have deterred me from learned another language. The most prevalent is I would not even now where to start. When I tell people I am an EL teacher their first response is to inquire about my fluency in Spanish. While many of my students speak Spanish it is not the only language I work with on a daily basis. The languages which are more widely spoken in my school, such as Spanish and Kurdish are not the ones I would want to learn first because there are so many students and parents who are able to translate or explain the majority of what is necessary when needed. The language I have a desire to speak from year to year differs based on the students I have. One year I had a student who spoke Karen. There w...
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My personal language learning experiences influence the instruction on my EL students by my ability to be patient with them and try to understand where they are coming from. I have learned that I do not appreciate when conclusions are assumed because of external factors in which I have no control. I try and take that knowledge and apply it to my EL students. One of the most important lessons I have learned and apply to my teaching is one of love. Love is powerful and strong. It possesses the unique ability to stretch across any language, social, political, or any other barrier prevalent in a child’s life. As a child all I desired love and that is what I consistently and tirelessly offer each of my students EL or not.
Ogulnick, K. L. (2000). Language crossings: Negotiating the self in a multicultural world. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
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