Resident Literacy Expert Jill Eisenberg began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.
Note: This lesson can be done with other books, but dual language/bilingual books offer a unique opportunity to engage non-English speaking parents in the classroom and provide a way to continue rigorous discussions with their children at home regardless of English in the home. Bilingual books additionally underscore the diversity of our classroom communities and equalize parents as teachers in students’ minds.
Using a bilingual book with a Spanish-speaking parent in the classroom is a strategy I learned teaching in San Jose, CA as a part of a parent engagement program called “Los Dichos de la Casa” by Silicon Valley YMCA. Whether your classroom has only a few English Language Learners (ELLs) or a majority, bilingual and dual language books can encourage close reading of a text and increase accessibility of the text to ELLs.
In this series, I’ve modeled how bilingual and dual language books are being used in classrooms to foster deep, critical thinking and a love of reading. Last week I looked at first and second grade, and this week I take a look at third and fourth grade:
Exemplar text: Grandma and Me at the Flea/ Los Meros Meros Remateros by Juan Felipe Herrera