If you ask me about teaching newcomers, the very first thing I will point you to is songs. I learn and retain information so much better with a song and a video, and there are so many good, simple songs out there for practicing vocabulary and sentence structure! Here's a link to my YouTube playlist so you can check out some of the songs I use for yourself, or check out one of my favorites below:
You may be thinking that these songs are really young for some of your students, and I have the same problem. My fifth grade boys aren't always enthusiastic about the songs, but I've found that offering them choice of which old songs we get to sing helps them to be more invested.
2. Oral Language Routine
We use our oral language routine as a spiral review time. With every vocabulary unit we finish, I add a new question to the oral language routine, which they will practice regularly in order to maintain the vocabulary they have learned.
We go around in a circle, asking and answering questions so that everyone has a turn practicing each question. Some of the questions we ask and answer are:
- How are you?
- What did you eat for breakfast?
- What are you wearing?
- Who is in your family?
- How old are you?
- What do you look like?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What did you do after school yesterday?
3. The First Week Bag
When new students first arrive, they get a bag from me with a few things in it. I usually get the bags from the dollar aisle in Target- their Dr. Seuss bags are so cute and perfect for what I need.
|Photo via http://www.allthingstarget.com/category/dollar-spot/|
There's obviously a lot more to teaching newcomers, but I start with those three things and that at least gets them into our routine quickly.
What about you? What tips and tricks do you have for a new student's very first day in the country?