After watching the video, How English Sounds to Non-English Speakers by Brian and Karl in our lesson this week, I felt what it was like to be a student in a classroom that is not a students native language. I found myself becoming frustrated and confused as the video progressed because sometimes I would hear a word I understood just for it to change again to something I did not.
If the video clip was longer than 4 minutes, I think I would have gone crazy. I could barely make it to the 4 minutes and even then I felt relieved when I turned it off. This concept opened my eyes to how important it is to work with our English Language Learner (ELL) students and their advisors. ELL student advisors are important educators that help guide students through classes as they become familiar with a new school.
I had a really hard time drawing a conclusion as to what the video was talking about. I think that the video was portraying a special dinner that was being prepared by a man’s wife who had just gotten home from work. I could understand a few words and could see that in the middle of the dinner they become upset about something that was said. As the wife gets upset and leaves the dinner table, she comes back with a pineapple and it surprises the husband (Brian & Karl, 2011). I got all of this information solely from visuals and would not have been able to understand anything if it was audio only. I used visual cues and communication experiences to draw my conclusions as to what was going on in the video.
Students who do not speak English and come into a room that only speaks English is a tough situation to balance. According to Anita Woolfolk’s book, Educational Psychology, we must practice differentiated instruction, which starts from the very basics. Our room must be inviting to students with a multitude of backgrounds and we must incorporate that same idea into our lesson plans (Woolfolk, 2013). We must be sensitive to the idea that students have different cultural and religious beliefs and follow their mannerisms as such. Woolfolk explains that many students interact with other students and/or educators according to their upbringing and may be easily offended if those beliefs are crossed. In our book, we examined how to avoid these situations by being educated in a students culture and asking questions before engaging in an act. An example of this idea would be to ask a student before opening a gift you received from them. In some cultures, it would be offensive to open it in front of them (Woolfolk, 2013).
Our main focus is to help ELL students to master the English language and prepare them formally and informally in their language skills. In order to do this, educators must embrace the idea that many ELL students have strong backgrounds and information that can be very useful for the classroom and instruction. Educators must incorporate lesson plans that help ease students from a tough language transition. From watching the video earlier in this lesson, I have learned that visual cues are another strong aid in helping guide ELL students through material and lessons in the English-speaking classroom.
Brian and Karl, (2011, October 8). How english sounds to non-english speakers. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt4Dfa4fOEY
Woolfolk, A. (2013). Educational psychology. (pp. 180-188). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.