In school today, to function in our society Latino kindergartners from Spanish-speaking homes have to learn two basic subjects: English and the ABCs. Yes, this is true, but should these two topics not be taught wisely at the same moment, during same lesson?
When Latino students are given English ABC materials to work with the ABCs lose out. Latino students are told they must first learn English ABC picture names before ABC associations can begin.
These universal English examples serve no ABC purpose. They are outside real comprehension with students who do not speak English. English-only examples, B is for BEAR/oso are ahead of the game, ahead of their time; they are a destructive element within the ABCs.
However, user-friendly, COGNATE alternative ABC examples, T is for TURTLE/tortuga, are also extensive and clearly possible and desirable. This is the subject for our upcoming pilot study for this following school year.
Stay in touch with the students. Use their personal names—Ramon, Anna, Sara, etc.—when and where possible as English letter sound examples. Also focus on present Spanish/English image examples, TURTLE/tortuga, BOAT/barco, etc. These are objects and people whose names they can recall and associate to letter figures. Then students are ready to move on to learn another letter /sound relationship for their literacy journey.
PHONICS FOR LATINOS – ABCs in Common
P.O. Box 5314 Culver City, CA 90231 * (310) 836-6730