Monday, November 28, 2011

Teaching English as a Second Language

Question: How can a teacher with several students whose first language is Spanish help them to recognize English words?

Answer: Cognates. “The Spanish and English languages share more than 20,000 cognates, most of which derive from Latin. Spanish-English cognates are words that are spelled similarly or identically in both Spanish and English and have the same or nearly the same meanings in both languages. The following: pairs of words are examples of Spanish-English cognates: naciĆ³n/nation, realmente/really, and seguro/secure. These cognates can be found at all levels of word frequency in English.” P. 161.

Quote: “Cognate instruction benefits all levels of ELs [English Learners] and all elementary school students. Even in classes where the majority of students are native English speakers, students not only derive much from lessons on cognates but also express an interest in learning more about them and about learning Spanish.”  P, 164,

Comment: Excellent idea. Grab that high school or college Spanish I textbook you put away and start looking for Spanish cognates for English. RayS.

Title: “Identifying Spanish-English Cognates to Scaffold Instruction for Latino ELs.” JA Montelongo, et al. Reading Teacher (October 2011), 161-164.

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