Minority Languages

Unkotare

Diamond Member
Aug 16, 2011
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No, it doesn't mean what you think. The vast majority of students in my ESL classes are native Spanish speakers, but not all. I have students who speak French, Portuguese, Khmer, Vietnamese, Arabic, Pashtu, Igbo, and others. Now, there we have quite a few teachers at school who speak at least some Spanish, but speakers of these other languages get less language support than their Spanish speaking peers. I feel as if these students, especially if they are at a beginner level, are more isolated than their peers. I can communicate in a number of languages, but not all, and if I have a student in class from a particularly minority language I try to make time to learn enough of it to support the student to whatever extent I can. I remember some years ago there was a student originally from Ethiopia who was very much a beginner and very intimidated by the experience of adapting to a very different culture, language, etc. And all this in a very inner city school district where the great majority of students were Spanish speakers. She was not my student, but I offered to stay after school for extra help. To facilitate this, I took the time to learn as much Amharic as I could in a reasonable amount of time. Not much, but enough to help and more importantly make her feel a little less isolated. This confidence helped her to get more out of her classes during the school day. Don't get me wrong, there is no need to speak even one word of a student's L1 in order to teach them English, but even a word here or there can have a supportive psychological effect. Just as some people here seem to forget there are more "races" in the world than just black or white, there are more languages than just English or Spanish.
 
So illegals .. who don't know English and are learning it .. will know exactly what an American term is? ESL?

How about South Americans? Haitians? and the myriad of other illegals pouring over the border?
It has nothing to do with immigration status. Any students learning English as a Second Language will know what ESL means.
 
It has nothing to do with immigration status. Any students learning English as a Second Language will know what ESL means.
I'd like to see the stats on that .. especially since we have millions of illegals in the United States. Objectivity is better than subjectivity regardless if you teach students or not.
 
I'd like to see the stats on that .. especially since we have millions of illegals in the United States. Objectivity is better than subjectivity regardless if you teach students or not.
The name of the class is "ESL" - level whatever. Do you really think the students IN such a class don't know what it means?
 
It has nothing to do with immigration status. Any students learning English as a Second Language will know what ESL means.
I agree with what you say more often than you might think, but I gotta go with explaining what ESL means,at least once in your post. I'm famliar with your frequent remarks about ESL but without the context of your reputation, I too would take a minute to decifer that term's meaning is. Extra work for you? Yes, but think of it as a courtesy that prevents distraction from what you otherwise have to say.
 
Where are you that the "vast majority" of your students are native Spanish??
Why does this OP foreigner still refer to the Spanish as natives ?

I know they are a dreadful lot if you ever have to mix with any , but I gather they try their best as an emerging tribe .
 
It came in handy today to know how to say "Happy Ramadan" a few different ways in Arabic. The few Muslim students I have or know really appreciated it. Each year I bring in a bunch of food after Eid for a little feast in my classes with at least one Muslim student. Small things can make people feel accepted and appreciated. This is important for young people who might be feeling isolated.
 
It came in handy today to know how to say "Happy Ramadan" a few different ways in Arabic. The few Muslim students I have or know really appreciated it. Each year I bring in a bunch of food after Eid for a little feast in my classes with at least one Muslim student. Small things can make people feel accepted and appreciated. This is important for young people who might be feeling isolated.
That is a very nice thing to do. I am sure the students really appreciate it.
 
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