Easing Latinos into Early Literacy

Perhaps you will be surprised that many ABC teachers today do not recognize that Spanish and English are similar languages that share many letter sounds. Before ABC instruction should begin, teachers need to know which letter sounds their Latino students already know. Traditional English-only examples – B is for BEAR/oso – moves the ABCs into ESL. B is for BICYCLE/bicicleta already reveals their ABC know-how.

However, ABC instruction is delayed if teachers do not include dual English-Spanish examples – T is for TIGER/tigre – in their curriculum. We want to avoid the trap of spending teaching-learning time on known letter sounds. When they use dual language examples, then ESL is placed on the sidelines and literacy goes forward. With these dual sound examples, teachers know how to pinpoint their instruction away from known letter sounds.

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