Kindergarten Meat and Potatoes

In the old days, kindergarten consisted of reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, the current, more diverse classrooms carry an additional subject for learning which did not exist before, ESL. How do districts expect their teachers to find  additional time in this subject given that the duration of the school day has remained the same for decades? While ESL instruction is important, the inclusion during instruction time has negative consequences for ABC learning. Teachers can no longer depend on the value of the usual outdated alphabet instruction examples (A is for Apple). Either more time or a change of instruction method is required.

The usual method employed by teachers is to drill in the names of the ABC examples. Students cannot advance to the following letter sound until they complete the particular example (B is for Bear). Therefore, learning English-only examples has eaten away at ABC learning progress.

Happily, teachers can maintain the time for ABC instruction by providing ABC examples that are easy to recall in two language (B is for bicycle/BICICLETA). With the inclusion of this method, ABC time in ESL classrooms will hopefully be restored to the time usually allotted to English-only classrooms.

There should be a time fully devoted to ABC instruction for dual language learners instead of it being eaten up by learning English.


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