To bypass the usual second language ABC mix-ups, “A is for APPLE/manzana”, display PAN-AMERICAN (SPAN/ENGLISH) ABCs pictures, “A is for AIRPLANE/avion”. There is no room for second language confusion. Both languages represent the same sound to the Latino kindergartner from a Spanish speaking home. This also applies to the nineteen other Spanish English similar letter sounds: D, M, R, T, etc.
The strongest advantage of PAN-AMERICAN ABC sound clues is that Latinos learn the ABC letter sounds quickly and remain on grade level. They only need to learn two unknown sounds: ‘W’ and ‘H”, which are important sounds to know. No reason to wait for bilingual teachers.
“Phonics is a mess!” say kindergarten teachers chatting at a conference.
For the Latino kindergarten from Spanish speaking homes school is no piece of cake. Teaching the alphabet is the prime example of what not to do. “They got to learn English” is the cover for many education missteps.
Keep in mind, there are 26 letters in the English alphabet. 26 letter sounds to attach to letter figures, ABCs, etc. If the examples of these sounds are English visuals, A is for APPLE/manzana, B is for BEAR/oso, and each letter sounds has at least ten examples for each of the 26 letters. This means Latino kindergarteners in their first year have a tremendous bundle of English words to learn. Students also must know the beginning sound of these new words.
Yet there are only two letter sounds that are truly unknown to these students: ‘H’ and ‘W’ where English visuals are required. For the remaining 24 letter sounds PAN-AMERICAN examples, B is for BOAT/barco, T is for TURTLE/tortuga, will provide the needed sounds to be attached to various ABC letter figures, A, B, C, etc.
Therefore, there is no reason to submerge Latino kindergarteners from Spanish speaking homes into ESL in order to learn a large number of English ABC words. Students can learn English letter sounds from PAN-AMERICAN examples very quickly. M is for MUSICIAN/musico, A is for ANIMALS/animales. With teacher cultural cautions, Latino kindergarteners can be on grade level with their native English peers as well as be enjoying school.
See more about the valuable bilingual materials PHONICS FOR LATINOS – ABCs IN COMMON has to offer >> HERE <<