How fluent should you be to teach bilingual ed?

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How fluent should you be to teach bilingual ed?

Post by hazel359 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:25 pm

Hi ya'all. I'm a native English speaker who lived and studied in Mexico for six months and was nearly fluent while I was there - I comfortably had conversations with my Mexican friends and family. But since I've returned to the U.S., my Spanish speaking ability has dwindled terribly. I've recently been accepted into the Texas Teaching Fellows Program and they would like me to teach bilingual ed EC-4, but I'm worried about communicating with my students in their native language. I requested to teach ESL and told them that although I know Spanish and can understand and read well, my speaking ability has declined, and I don't consider myself fluent. I'm already taking Spanish classes once a week to brush up, but I still lack confidence and regularly forget simple words I used to know.

Does Spanish come back to you in a classroom? Does anyone have advice as to how I can prepare? How much Spanish does a bilingual teacher actually need to know? Also, if any one has experience with Texas Teaching Fellows, I'd be glad to hear from them. I appreciate whatever advice you might give me. Thanks!

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Post by joshua2004 » Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:50 am

If I were you, I would be forcing myself to watch a lot of Spanish TV and read a lot of Spanish. Nothing will bring back the ability to speak faster or better than getting more input and being reminded of how to formulate what you want to say. It might not be too fun, but it sounds like you have the right motivation to discipline yourself to do a little bit everyday.

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Post by hazel359 » Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:12 pm

That sounds like sound advice, and it's what I've been doing the past several weeks. Right now I'm reading "Bendiceme Ultima" and "El Alquimisto". Hopefully immersing myself a little each day will help....Thanks

Senorita Daniels
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Post by Senorita Daniels » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:56 pm

I think that once you get into class and use Spanish more and more, you will improve. I never studied in a Spanish sepaking country, yet work with Mexican students and families, and learned some words from them that I don't remember seeing in my books in class.

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Post by vcautin » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:40 pm

Hola profesora,
primero que todo, si necesitas ayuda con tu español, me puedes escribir por cualquier duda.
Otra cosa, trata de que tus alumnos tengan apagados los celulares en clases para que no te vayan a filmar un video y te suban a You tube como hay ciertas profesoras de español en USA que están ahí, pero que son bastante malas. :lol:
Si vas a leer libros en español, lo mejor es leer libros escritos en ese idioma y no traducciones, ya que se pierde un poco la naturalidad del idioma.
Si tienes Skype te puedes conectar con montones de personas que de seguro querrán hablar contigo a cambio de que les ayudes con su inglés.

No me queda claro, esto de hacer un curso bilingüe significa que los alumnos ya hablan español? porque si es así se te va a hacer super fácil.
Saludos y mucha suerte!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by lolaintexas » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:51 am

Can I revive this thread?

It's a good question that I've been wondering too. I've subbed all over some central Texan districts and found many "bilingual" teachers who spoke very poor English who were recruited from Mexico. This is not a slur on the teachers. They speak better English than most Texan teachers speak Spanish and the demand is high for bilingual teachers so the districts must recruit from other countries. Also I know that they are well-educated and that their English will improve.

Still it made me think that surely principals will prefer American teachers who speak perfect English and OK Spanish to Mexican teachers who speak perfect Spanish and OK English. It just seems like common sense.

Ideally, we could have teachers who spoke both languages perfectly, but I know there aren't enough!

So I'd like to hear from teachers out there who, like the OP, are qualified English speaking teachers who speak OK Spanish but not fluent. What are your experiences?

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Post by aprillove20 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:53 am

it sounds like you have the right motivation to discipline yourself to do a little bit everyday.

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