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Limited English Proficient Students

By Dr. Kathie F. Nunley

There are four main stages a student goes through to acquire a second language. The first one is a silent period. This is the equivalent to everyone's first several months of life. The person is dependent upon listening to other's language in order to build their own.

The second stage involves speaking one or two words and short phrases. Motivation and encouragement are important at this stage.

During the third stage includes expanding the person's receptive language. Now the person can speak with longer phrases.

The fourth stage allows the person to participate in conversations and speak with full sentences.

 Classroom tips for including LEP students:

*Look for meaning and connections in assessing assignments.

 *Create an environment where students feel free to take risks.

 *Provide written copies of lessons and lecture material.

 *Have a variety of textbooks available including ones for person's with low reading ability.

 *Offer some assignments that are to be done in a language other than English.

 *Have other, more advanced LEP students, translate assignment sheets. These can be laminated and kept on file for new students

About the Author:
Dr Kathie Nunley is an educational psychologist, researcher and author of several books on parenting and teaching, including A Student's Brain (Brains.org) and the best selling, "Differentiating the High School Classroom" (Corwin Press). She is the developer of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction and has worked with parents and educators around the world to better structure schools to make brain-friendly environments. In addition, her work has been used by the Boeing Corporation, Family Circle Magazine, the Washington Post, and ABC television.
Email her: Kathie (at) brains.org


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