With over 80 languages spoken by their students, teachers helping English learners with new strategies are developing new techniques which include power point presentations and utilizing technology.
One of the first things that the teachers experienced was a similar class time to their own students, as teachers Tetyana Roger and Lauren McMahon only gave the class directions in Russian and Mandarin. After 15 minutes, the exercise fell apart.
“One teacher said, ‘I’m exhausted!’ ” said Shelbie Ray, one of the teachers in Roger and McMahon’s “Newcomer 101” class at Tulsa Public Schools’ English Language Development Summer Summit.
The experience accentuated for teachers what the 7,150 students in Tulsa classrooms who are still learning English go through every day, especially at the beginning.
“It was overwhelming. It was a relief when they finally started speaking English,” Ray said. “There’s a big push in TPS, especially, for every single teacher to know how to embed English-learner strategies within their classroom. Teachers freak out when newcomers are in their class because they don’t know where to start.”