Teaching Strategies That Use Students ' First Language Essay

2130 Words Apr 8th, 2016 9 Pages
The second section of this paper discusses teaching strategies that use students’ first language, Spanish, to scaffold learning of the second language, English. It also discusses certain areas of the English language where teachers can support Latino students, such as phonology, phonics, vocabulary, sentence structure and writing. Spanish-speaking students enter the classroom with pre-existing knowledge of Spanish, or “linguistic capital” which improves their ability to master a second language. In order to help students transfer knowledge from Spanish, teachers can point out the similarities of both languages. Although Spanish is a Romance language, while English is a Germanic language, both languages are Indo-European. Spanish has a high percentage of words that are similar in English (Colorin Colorado, 2016), many of which are based on Greek and Latin. Both written languages use an alphabetic system based on Latin letters, with the same directionality and similar sound-letter correspondences. Because of these similarities, Spanish-speaking students have certain knowledge and skills that transfer to learning English.
In both Spanish and English, students employ the same cognitive processes when using an alphabetic system and decoding. Phonemic awareness skills transfer more easily if the languages have similar alphabets, roots, orthography, and phonemes (Moughamian, Rivera & Francis, 2009). Moreover, Spanish language reading comprehension skills tend to enhance English…

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