FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS
Hispanics in Particular
The mission of For English Learners is fourfold : (1) To prepare students with no English background to pronounce, read, and write at a first grade level; (2) to prepare English-learner students to become basic-to-proficient in the English language, at their grade level, within two to four years from their beginning studies of English for Meaning; (3) for remedial students to advance from basic-to-proficient within one to two years from their beginning studies of English for Meaning; and (4) for all students who study the English for Meaning curriculum to learn through a critical-creative learning method.
"I am a fourth grade teacher in a public school. On February 14th, I received a student who just came from Mexico. She spoke NO English, but had been a good student in her country.
I put her on the CD's with the PROGRAM ONE workbooks for about 3 hours a day in the beginning, then 2 hours as she made progress. She also kept a journal writing about what she was learning in the program. When she finished in June, she was tested and found to have the language skills of a second grader in speaking, reading, and writing. Wow! A miracle. She's going into fifth grade, and I think she'll be okay, for now she has her foundation, and she can build on that. I definitely would recommend For English Learners."
"A friend told me about For English Learners when all of a sudden I had two boys in my fifth grade class who couldn't speak a word of English. I didn't know what to do with them. I tried integrating them into what we were doing, but they became restless and were looking around as if to say, "What am I doing here?"
So I decided to get the CD's and PROGRAM ONE studybooks. I bought the blackline master so I could make as many books as I needed. After a few weeks, I could see it was helping one of the boys a lot, especially since it's translated into Spanish."
"I am the bilingual coordinator for a school in the Menlo Park School District. One of our schools purchased the CELDT Prep workbooks for the English learners. Thirty-three percent more students scored Proficient than the year before. We will be using EIA-LEP funds to purchase the CELT Prep Workbooks for five more schools next year.
"After using the For English Learners for our afterschool students, CST scores increased significantly."
"I used three levels of Olympic Ingles to differentiate my students'. Their scores rose 9 points on the ACTAAP for students learning English."
"I like the For English Learners studybooks because there is a level for each of my student's literacy level, and I know my students understand the words they learned."
I: THE PROBLEM—Regarding English Language Learners
"Nearly 60% of English-language learners in California's high schools have failed to become
proficient in English despite more than six years of a U. S. education, according to a study released
May 27, 2010. The situation is alarming and urgent," said Laurie Olsen, the author of the study by
Californians Together. "These kids are a large part of our future. But if we don't have programs that
powerfully bring them into English, we're going to end up increaSingly with a state of kids who are
- LA Times, May 28, 2010
I: THE SOLUTION—Regarding For English Learners
For English Learners, in fact, does have "programs that powerfully bring them
[school children] into English…". These programs guarantee, not only children, but
adults, that they will learn English thoroughly, quickly (relatively), with understanding,
and enthusiasm. The contents of this website clearly outline efficiency of these
For English Learners
What is the process for learning English through the Olympic Ingles method?
This process begins with the student's learning 42 basic English sounds in one-syllable words (first level), then in simple sentences (second level); and lastly, in brief naturally spoken oral exchanges (third level). Each level of this learning process is integrated with appropriate vocabulary, comprehension, and writing (second and third levels) exercises.
In order to facilitate, expedite, and complement, this learning process,these three English levels are learned through studybooks with pictures, translations in Spanish, and CDs. This feature individualizes the learning process, and at the same time frees the teacher to divide her-his time appropriately between English and English-only (EO) learners.
This introductory phonetic word-picture studybook covers the basic phonetic sounds essential to English word pronunciation: the consonants, the short vowels, the long vowels, the main diphthongs,the main digraphs, and the schwa sound. Integrated exercises in vocabulary and simple grammar (word functions) complement these sounds.
Spanish translations of each phonetic word are included.
Three CDs consisting of each word pronounced fully, spelled letter by letter, sounded out phonetically, then pronounced fully again.
Picture and word matching exercises reinforce vocabulary.
SAMPLE: Part 1
Short 'a' sound
1. ant / hormiga
__ thing __ person __ animal __ place
__ idea __ action __ description
2. bag / bolsa
__ thing __ person __ animal __ place
__ idea __ action __ description
7 phonetic words and pictures, for each page
Vocabulary word-picture matching exercises on back page
(7 pictures, for each page)
This phonetic sentence studybook integrates the basic phonetic words into simple phonetic sentences.
Part one, continues the emphasis on the 42 basic sounds through simple phonetic formal sentences with two or more of each sound in each sentence.
Each English sentence is translated into Spanish.
Sentence translation exercises reinforce the meaning and structure of the English sentences.
Integrated exercises in simple grammar and sentence-structure writing reinforce and expand these sounds.
Three CDs pronounce each word in the sentences phonetically, then the sentence slowly, then naturally.
SAMPLE: Part 1
Formal Phonetic Sentences
[Includes Simple Comprehension Exercises]
THE SHORT `a' SOUND EL SONIDO DE 'a' CORTO
1. Pass me the pan. 1. Pásame la sartén.
2. I am mad at Pat. 2. Estoy enojado con Pat.
3. Al is my pal. 3. Al es mi compañero.
4. Can you dance? 4. ¿Puede bailar?
5. The rat is in a trap. 5. La rata está en una trampa.
... [ 10 Sentences for each page]
SAMPLE: Part 2
Conversational Phonetic Sentences
[Includes Simple Comprehension Exercises]
THE SHORT `a' SOUND EL SONIDO DE `a' CORTO
1. He can act well. 1. Él puede actuar bien.
2. I can add large numbers. 2. Puedo añadir números grandes.
3. The boy and girl are friends. 3. El muchacho y la muchacha son
4. Ann is pretty. 4. Ana es bonita.
5. An ant is tiny. 5. Una hormiga es pequeña.
... [10 Sentences for each page]
This third and final studybook consists of 996 everyday, simple oral exchanges between two respondents, which include Spanish translations. By studying both the responses with their Spanish translations, and the accompanying CDs, English learners will gain a familiarity of spoken English. They will be able to apply this knowledge with English speaking persons, and to further English studies.
Besides, learning natural English conversations, learners will build their English vocabulary, considerably, will learn English usage, and basic grammatical structure of English sentences and idioms.
Each oral exchange is translated into Spanish.
End of book exercises test understanding of oral exchanges.
Three CDs clearly articulate the oral exchanges for easy repetition and pronunciation.
SAMPLE: Part 1
1. act 1. actuar
Don't act so silly. No actúes tan tonto.
But it's fun. Pero es diversión.
2. address 2. dirección
I have a new address. Tengo una dirección nueva.
Give it to me. Dámela.
3. afraid 3. con miedo
I'm afraid of snakes. Les tengo miedo a las serpientes.
So am I. Yo también.
4. again 4. otra vez
I'll see you again soon. Le veré otra vez pronto.
I hope so. Espero que sí.
5. ahead 5. delante
You go ahead of me. Usted vaya delante de mí
Okay, thanks Bueno, gracias...
... [12 Sentences for each page]
Program Two is designed to meet the English needs of pupils in K-3rd grades. It consists of three studybook levels:
Part 1: an integrated phonetic word study of the 5 English short vowel and consonant sounds with multiple exercises
Part 2: an integrated phonetic word study of the long vowel sounds, the diphthongs, and digraphs with multiple exercises.
Part 1: an introduction to the structure of simple English sentences using the 5 English short vowel sounds with multiple exercises
Part 2: an integrated phonetic study of the 21 basic phonetic sounds in sentences with multiple exercises
an introduction to critical-creative thinking through exercises in simplified grammar, English usage, vocabulary development, reading topics, and art
Program One does not include CDs since it is basically a teacher-pupil oriented learning process.
If this is the program your pupils need, please e-mail us requesting further information and samples at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recommend that the article, Learning English for Their Children, preceeding the program description below, be read in order to make aware the urgency that Hispanic parents learn a moderate degree of English in the home for the sake of their children; which would not only keep communication open between them, but would make their children especially proud of them for making that effort.
Language shapes the way we think and determines what we can think about.
- B. L. Whorf
The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
III: THE PROBLEM—Regarding Hispanic Parents
Hispanic parents need to learn English, if for no other reason than for the sake of their children.
Hispanic children are, in our times, immersed in English more than ever before through television, music, movies, magazines, English only school subjects and instruction, employment outside of Hispanic neighborhoods.
In many cases, Hispanic children are more comfortable speaking English than Spanish because they speak more English outside of their homes than they speak Spanish inside their homes.
It is important that Hispanic children are learning English at this fast pace, if for no other reason than for their economic and career future. They will, and have to, interact with mainstream Americans, if not so much in elementary or high school, then in college and the work force.
It is crucial and urgent, that parents learn enough English to at least speak with them in everyday matters of their children's feelings, relationships, beliefs and values, otherwise this language barrier creates a vacuum, between them as a silent distance gradually separates them.
It would be beneficial for parents to speak a moderate degree of English in the home for the sake of their children, because that would not only keep communication open between them, but would make their children especially proud of them for making that effort for them. A further element of respect would be added to their relationship. They would have something in common outside of their regular family interchanges.
They need to learn the basic sounds of English: the short and long vowels ( a, e, i, o, u), the consonants b, c, d, f, etc.), the diphthongs (aw, ow, or, ar, er, oi, etc.), and the digraphs (ch, sh, th) - which is not too difficult to learn, overall. Once they learn these basic sounds fairly well in simple words and sentences, they then can proceed to read simple English; and so, gradually increase their English vocabulary.
III: THE SOLUTION—Regarding Hispanic Parents
Olympic English is the ESL program that will accomplish this momentous task for parents. This program is an efficient and easy independent study program that teaches basic oral and written English to adult Spanish speakers. It is phonetically based, has three leveled studybooks with 9 CD's , and develops from words (studybook one) to sentences (studybook 2) to short oral exchanges (studybook 3). All English words and sentences are translated into Spanish, with self-evaluating exercises to facilitate understanding.
These books and recordings, if studied studiously, act as the teacher; and so no actual instructor is required; except, perhaps periodically to check adults' progress.
Upon completing this unique ESL study, adults will be able to "keep up with" their children regarding American culture, and their children's future in it.
AN URGENT MESSAGE
Learning English for Their Children
As an educator for many, many years, I have taught foreign students and adults: Korean, Chinese, and Spanish, both privately and publicly. I created and developed a critical-creative thinking program designed for students of English as a 1st language and as a 2nd language that has been considerably successful in both the private and public sectors. My main concern has always been that students understand what they read and write.
Of late, however, my concern has shifted to a pressing issue occurring in the Hispanic population: that of adults learning English for the sake of their children. I've observed this issue in the past, but its urgency has escalated exponentially in the past seven years, especially with the proliferation of internet access in the schools and libraries, with the proliferation of rap and hip-hop music in English, with the proliferation of Hispanic employment in indoor malls and fast food restaurants outside of Hispanic neighborhoods, with the proliferation of cable television channels, and, perhaps most significantly, with the all but total demise of bilingual education in the schools, so that Hispanic children are totally immersed in English language curriculum.
As a consequence, Hispanic children are learning English at a rate faster than ever before, almost at lightning speed compared to previous generations. And it is imperative that they are learning English at this fast pace, if for no other reason than for their economic and career future. They will, and have to, interact with Caucasians, if not so much in elementary or high school, then in college and the work force.
Being exposed to so much English, it is not surprising that many Hispanic children and youths feel more comfortable with English than with their own language. As a matter of fact, they become more expressive in English than in Spanish, in good part because of the minimal Spanish they speak in their home, because of textbook reading, television sitcoms, movies, teen and preteen magazines, and the like.
Accordingly, it is natural that they would want to speak English in the home as much as possible; and this is where the parents' involvement (duty?) comes in. They have to provide this outlet for their children as much as they are able to in their particular circumstances. This they can do by being fairly conversant in the English language themselves.
Let me give three situations, that emphasize this seriousness of this matter. In 1984, I had a Korean 5th grade student who spoke more English than Korean. He confided to me about a recurring nightmare that he was having, and that he wanted to discuss it with his mother, but couldn't, since she spoke no English, and his Korean was too limited. Two months ago, a Hispanic mother told me that her 4th grade son announced to her that he wanted to speak English in the home; and that she felt helpless, since she neither speaks nor reads English. She also said that speaking Spanish is hard for him; which makes sense, because the only Spanish the boy would know would be based on limited family matters. And just the other week, another Hispanic mother told me at her school the following: "I'm taking English classes in the morning, even though it's hard for me, because I have a baby; but I'm desperate to help my daughter."
These three cases give an idea of the poignancy of this communication problem.
Given this state of affairs, is it not crucial, urgent, that parents move along with this tide and learn enough English to at least speak with them in everyday matters of their children's feelings, relationships, beliefs and values?
Of course, many parents take this step by taking English classes or by being tutored, or by purchasing English courses and they succeed in varying degrees; and this achievement is much to their credit.
On the other hand, there are many parents who attempt to learn English, but have had to discontinue for one reason or another – it's too hard, it takes too long, is too inconvenient; classes are too far away; too much fatigue after work, and so forth. And so they give up; and so their children suffer; and so the parents suffer for their children's suffering.
Here is the worst part: if their children are not able to carry over their English in the home with their parents, at least minimally, an essential aspect of communication between them could very well break down. This aspect includes not being able to help them with their homework, not being able to read to them in English, not being able to enjoy television shows in English together. Siblings and friends will speak English with to each other, thereby excluding their parents; and to their consternation, their parents will not understand "what's going on." English, consequently, becomes a barrier, creates a vacuum, between them as a silent, unfathomable, distance gradually separates them. True, love between them will still be present, but so will a whole area of non-communication be present, as well, because of this language barrier.
That parents speak a moderate degree of English in the home for the sake of their children would not only keep communication open between them, but would makes their children especially proud of them for making that effort. A further element of respect is added to their relationship. They have something in common outside of the norm, their regular family interchanges. It not need be the best literate English, it may need not require long talks in English; just the basics: "Good morning," "How was your day at school?" "Time to get up!" "Take the garbage out," "How are you feeling?: and suchlike small communication exchanges. Of course, it would even be better, if the parents were able to help them a little with their homework, and read aloud with them; but that would be further on down the line.
What parents need in their beginning English study is a somewhat easy, quick, yet thorough, method of learning English to complement the typical English phrases and statements they learn, such as "How much does it cost?" "Where is the bank?" "Hi, how are you," "My name is …" and the like.
They need to learn the basic sounds of English: the short and long vowels ( a, e, i, o, u) the diphthongs (aw, ow, or, ar, er, oi, etc.) the digraphs (ch, sh, th), the consonants b, c, d, f, etc.) - which is not that difficult to learn, overall. Once they learn these basic sounds fairly well in simple words and sentences, they then can proceed to read simple English; and so, gradually increase their English vocabulary. They can then begin to view English television shows with their children, and read simple books with them.
But it's the basic English sounds they must learn proficiently first in simple words and sentences. Then they will be well on their way to learn English more thoroughly either on their own through reading and listening, or through English courses. but first they must learn how to read elementary English! And that is accomplished through learning the basic sounds of the language in an easy, learner-friendly structured learning process, from A to Z, so to speak.
The obvious question a reader would ask is "How is this 'easy, learner-friendly, structured learning process' accomplished?" The answer would be twofold. First, by the use of oral recordings either on CDs; and second, by the use of Spanish translations for all of the multiple English exercises.
These oral recordings are unique in that the words, sentences, oral exchanges (conversational English) are pronounced and spoken slowly, distinctly, and naturally with time spaces between each word or sentence so that learners can follow along effectively.
The Spanish translations are unique in that learners are learning indirectly the basic grammar and usage of the English language through continuous repetition of common spoken and written English. These translations provide a crucial, essential, link between their own language and the English language. In brief, through these two distinctive learning processes, English learners gain understanding of the language; not just a rote learning of it.
Furthermore, the great advantage of learning the English sounds through this method especially, is that (1) adult learners will be able to recognize the sounds in their reading, and so will be able to pronounce them, in good part, in unfamiliar words; and (2) just as importantly, will be able to recall forgotten words that they will want to speak by picturing the letter sounds in their minds until the appropriate sound triggers remembrance of the word or sentence.
And lastly, these books and recordings, if studied studiously, act as the teacher; and so no actual instructor is required; except, perhaps periodically to check adults' progress.
In closing, upon completing this distinctive ESL study, adults will have the means of "keeping up" with their children regarding American culture, and their children's future in it.