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    #1

    English teacher learning Spanish

    Hi all,

    I'm an English/ESL teacher (new to that role, but 14 years in education teaching non-ESL classes) and I am also a second-language learner of Spanish. I began about 9 years ago in this learning process, which is ongoing. It goes in spurts, really. I am fluent enough to converse on most topics and I passed the test that certifies me to be a Spanish teacher in the state of Texas. However, I have a long way to go before I get to my goal of 98% native-level in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Since I do not live in a Spanish-speaking country, this presents challenges.

    In addition to this, I will be teaching an ESL class for the coming academic year and I'm not sure how (if at all) to integrate any use of Spanish with those students. The majority are native Spanish-speakers, but we also have speakers of Chinese, Arabic, and Urdu in the classroom. I would want to, I presume, limit the use of any Spanish clarifications so as to not alienate the non-Spanish speakers, correct?

    Yes, I'm 40 years old and have 14 years as a teacher, but I'm always learning, too :)

    Thanks!

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: English teacher learning Spanish

    My recommendation is that you use nothing but English in your classes, even if they're beginners. I'm a firm believer in immersion language classes. If your students know that you will not fall back on another language to explain things, they have no choice but to really concentrate on what you're saying in English. This is particularly true when there is no common language among your ESL students, as is the case with your class. English, English, English!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: English teacher learning Spanish

    Thanks! That is the notion that I had as well, but in observing ESL classes at another campus, I observed teachers utilizing Spanish to clarify on occasion and responding (in English) to student questions or statements in Spanish. I was surprised, actually, that they didn't correct them and ask them to attempt their question/statement in English.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: English teacher learning Spanish

    I have to confess that I have used learners' L1 when I have had classes taking place for only a couple of hours a week and when all members of the class have the same L1. Spending five minutes trying to demondtrate the meaning of a word when you know that there is an almost exact equivalen in the learners' own languae seems to me a waste of valuable ttime.

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    #5

    Re: English teacher learning Spanish

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I have to confess that I have used learners' L1 when I have had classes taking place for only a couple of hours a week and when all members of the class have the same L1. Spending five minutes trying to demondtrate the meaning of a word when you know that there is an almost exact equivalen in the learners' own languae seems to me a waste of valuable ttime.

    Yeah, I guess the problem will come in if I have 18 Spanish speakers, 1 Mandarin speaker, and 1 Arabic speaker in the room.... It would certainly be easier for the 18, but the other two would not only feel left out, but still not "get" the word. Now, working one-on-one, I suppose helping with a directly translated L1->L2 word would be easier, but I wouldn't have that advantage with the non-Spanish speakers.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: English teacher learning Spanish

    I would not use Spanish in a class that had two speakers of other languages.

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