The first important task for young children begins with learning the names of objects all around them.  It is a big world with many names to learn.  At home, mother may point to an object and say its name.   Perhaps, it could be a fork or a dog, etc., but it is a simple matter.  The named object is something the child can touch, maybe touch over and over, repeating its name, and hearing their mom’s approval all the while.

Yet for kindergartners from Spanish speaking homes the ABC experience, which is their first major second language experience and is therefore very complicated. Students are required to relearn to recognize familiar objects, ‘manzana’ with a different name of ‘APPLE’.  Every ABC response to chart, work pages, and flashcards hinges on having to learn new words.  ABC flashcards must be identified by their English names and not the Spanish words of their first language. Learning the actual names of the alphabet (A, B, C, etc.) is far more difficult.

Learning ABC names, let alone their 26 individual sounds or more, often appears to kindergartners like trying to catch or bottle a cloud.  Students are actually required to label a SOUND, which obviously cannot be seen.

Further, to be successful, kindergartners must first identify the ABC images in their second language, English, to then remember the beginning sound of the object.

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