ESL Students and Linguistics: Support within the School Building

Lauren Kowalkowski, Saint Xavier University

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Linguistics is not an easy topic.  There are so many definitions and concepts that make linguistics very technical.  Teachers who have the opportunity to study linguistics have an advantage over other teachers who have not studied it.  It is not the easiest subject to understand or to teach to students with English as a second language. 

Teachers have a wonderful asset within their school building that can help when learning and teaching linguistics.  That person is the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).  What makes this person the greatest resource for teachers is that SLPs focus solely on language and linguistics during their schooling.  When a teacher and an SLP collaborate, the students benefit from having more than one teacher in the classroom.  Additionally, it is helpful for the teacher to use other people for ideas and suggestions.  SLPs can also help teachers in identifying a student that may need additional help with their language skills. 

Examples for collaboration with Speech Pathologists and Educators:
  • Identifying language differences vs disorders
  • Discussing and creating visuals for classroom
  • Provide scaffolding techniques
  • Co-teaching lessons on language 
While linguistics may not be the easiest topic to teach, it can be more manageable when the teacher collaborates with the Speech-Language Pathologist within the building.  That way, the student and teacher can benefit from having the expertise of the Speech-Language Pathologist.

Lauren Kowalkowski is a graduate student studying special education with an endorsement in ESL at Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois.

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The ITBE Link - Summer 2014 - Volume 42 Number 2

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