Sensitize Your Mainstream Students

Sensitize Your Mainstream Students

by Judie Haynes

You want your newcomers to be accepted on the playground and on the school bus. Sensitize mainstream students to the challenges that new learners of English face.

You want mainstream students to accept and help the new learners of English in the lunchroom, on the playground, on the bus, in their neighborhoods. ESL and bilingual teachers need to help classroom teachers train their students to become sensitive to the challenges the newcomers face.

Use background information

Using cooperative groups of five or six students, have a group leader discuss the following questions: (This list can also be used in staff development to make adults more aware of the challenges newcomers face.)

Have each group of students present a short summary of what their group discussed and what conclustons they reached?

Reverse Roles

Rearrange the students again in groups of five or six. Have them discuss the following: Imagine that your parents had to move to Japan and took you to live there. You have to go to a Japanese school because there is no American school near your new home.

Ask each group to present a short oral paragraph about their group's discussion. Brainstorm with them how they would feel if they were newcomers in the United States. How would they want the students in their new school to treat them? How would they be able to communicate with their classmates?

Related Links

Help Your Newcomers Develop Pride in Their Heritage
Do you know how to use the diversity in your classroom to help your newcomers develop pride in their native languages and cultures? Try some of these ideas.

Establishing an Atmosphere of Acceptance
Discover how you can alleviate many newcomers' fears by creating an atmosphere of acceptance and welcome in all of your classes.

How Does Your School Rate?
Participate in a district goal to make your school a wonderful place for newcomers. Here are some practices you could adopt.

Pair Your Newcomers with Buddies
Assign a buddy or a cross-grade tutor to your English language learner and watch them both blossom. Buddies gain in self esteem and your ELLs will feel welcome in your class

Activities for Newcomers
When brand new English language learners first enter your school, it can be overwhelming for the teachers responsible for their instruction. It's hard to know what to do first. Here are some activity-based tips to get you started.

Working with Bilingual Parent Volunteers
Develop a resource of parents who can help translate, interpret, and communicate