Monday, February 15, 2016

Using Google Translate and Images with ELLs

For the last five weeks, I have been covering a maternity leave for an ELL teacher.  As a former general education teacher, I know that teachers need resources to help include their students in their lessons.  Here are a couple of strategies that have worked for me.

I use Google Translate for single words and short phrases.  It doesn't work well for whole sentences and paragraphs.  (Just for fun, go to You Tube and look up Google Translate Sings.  My favorite is "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan.  You will get an idea of Google Translate's limitations.)

A fifth grader who recently moved from El Salvador uses Google Translate with me to communicate what she wants.  We have tried unsuccessfully to translate her writing this way.

When I developed lessons for Martin Luther King, Jr., for example I used the book Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and translated words like love, peace, and freedom into my students' native languages.  I read the book aloud to my students and we discussed the concepts Martin Luther King, Jr. represented.  I used the section "translations of" much like I would use a thesaurus to make sure I was getting the word closest to the definition of the original word.

I also use Google Images to illustrate concrete words.  I look up the topics we will be learning and tab the images I want to use ahead of time.  If I do need to look up a word on the spot, I turn the computer screen away from the students to avoid having them view inappropriate images.

One year, I had a student move directly from another country.  I would find pictures of the lunch choices each day to help him with that part of the routine. By making images a part of ordering lunch, I helped him practice getting what he needed in English. 

I know that you probably have other ways you assist new to English students.  I would love to read your suggestions in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...