EAL: Caring for non-native English-speaking children
30 September 2011Add to My Folder
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Avoid non-English speaking children’s frustration at not being understood, with these helpful ideas.
Problem: A new child is going to be joining our nursery class. She is three years old and doesn’t speak any English. I’m dreading it because of our recent experience of a non-English-speaking child who used to push and snatch – presumably through frustration at not being understood. What can we do to avoid the same thing happening with the new child?
Answer: What you describe is not uncommon. It is certainly true that when non-English-speaking pre-schoolers are not understood, they can become frustrated and disruptive, if not violent. However, if you stop to think about it, the same is true of native English speakers whose communication skills are either poor or slow to develop. So, what should you do to avoid or minimize such disruptive behaviour?
As in most things in life, to get results, you will have to work hard and that may mean, working harder than you already do! When parents send their children to nursery school they do so, amongst other reasons, because they want their children to improve their language – that is, enrich their vocabulary, learn to speak clearly and in grammatically-correct sentences.
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