1. Observe for strengths, being aware of culture and of the strength of this child’s developing second language.

2. Be aware of the importance of the affective filter. His comfort in learning will play a role in his comprehension of English

3. Value the child’s first language. If you speak it at all (even a couple of words) attempt to speak it with the child. Your not being fluent will help to put him/her at ease; your trying to speak in their language will make them feel seen. Ask how to say some words in their first language. Try to repeat them

4. Reflect on how much you initiate conversations with this student. Is it as often and as engaged as with monolingual English speakers?

5. Don’t say “He doesn’t have enough language.” He has plenty of language—he is now acquiring his second one. It’s his English that is limited, not his experience with language.

6. Learn about the child’s culture and language. What is valued in their culture? How do parents prepare children for school? How can you build on that with the parent.? What is the syntactic order in her first language. How is tense marked in the language?

7. Think of the parallel between Krashen’s “input + 1” and Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development? What is this child’s present productive and receptive English? How can you teach just a little beyond that?

8. Be especially conscious of using consistent instructional language with the child – this will accelerate his acquiring strategies in his second language.


9. Consciously teach in visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities, and observe how the child draws on
them. Which is the child strongest in, most comfortable in? How can you build on that strength throughout the lesson?