Oct 31, 2008

Native Speaker solutions

This year I have one native speaker in my class. She is, as far as I can tell, on grade level in Spanish. I have tried several different strategies to get her involved in class and most importantly to not waste her time in my room. But it is a waste of her time. I cannot effectively differentiate for one student out of 118 to that degree. She needs high level grammar, detailed spelling, and reading comprehension - all skills that take a lot of time which is the one thing I don't have.

She has a Spanish for Native Speakers workbook that her mother has requested she work from, but she would rather play games with her classmates and act in the stories than fill in the blanks with verb forms. I don't blame her. But she is becoming a bit of a behavior problem, not that it's hard to understand as she sits in my room an hour each day learning nothing at all.

I have been brainstorming what I can do to make this a productive use of her time. Here are some of my ideas:

  • Purchase software which she can use to self-study another language. This would not be ideal, of course, but it would have to be better than sitting in my room doing nothing.
  • Have her self-study Spanish in the library. She can read novels and rewrite them/summarize them in basic Spanish to show me comprehension, and to work on her circumlocution, spelling, grammar and writing skills. The added benefit to this is it would make some of my higher level books more accessible to my other students.
  • I also thought of the idea of having her work with some of the other native speakers at my school who are in other grade levels.

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