Launching Young Readers: Becoming Bilingual
For a teacher who speaks only English, having students who speak another language can be a daunting prospect. How do teachers teach English language learners (ELLs) to read in a new language?
Becoming Bilingual visits schools and programs in El Paso, Texas; Arlington, Virginia; Long Beach, California; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; and Woodburn, Oregon, to highlight the different ways schools are working to create bilingual readers. The program is divided into the following segments:
First Steps: Find out how Ms. Espinosa and her team at the Escontrias Early Childhood Center in El Paso, Texas, teach a significant number of their young learners to listen, speak, and write in English.
New Kid in Town: Watch as the Arlington Public Schools Intake Center in Arlington, Virginia helps place kids like eight-year-old Marlon, a new student from Honduras, in the right classroom.
Parents as Partners: Meet Kathy Mayer, the principal of Rachel Carson Elementary in Chicago, Illinois, who learned early on that one key to teaching young readers is getting parents involved.
Two Languages at a Time: Learn how Ms. Gonsalves gives equal time to both her native English and native Spanish speakers in her class at Webster Elementary in Long Beach, California.
Poet Francisco Alarcón: Bilingual Poet Francisco Alarcón visits Oyster Bilingual School in Washington, D.C., where he helps a group of third-grade students tap into their dreams and write poetry.
Beyond Survival English: Travel 30 miles south of Portland, Oregon to Heritage Elementary, where part of the job is teaching kids one word at a time – first in their native Russian, and then in English.
A Welcoming Library: Join librarian Laura Kleinmann in the Oyster Bilingual School library, a place where English language learners can go to put everything they've learned about phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension together.
Becoming Bilingual is the seventh episode of Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers, WETA's award-winning series of innovative half-hour programs about how children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help.
Available in DVD format.
Running time: 26 minutes