Feb 23, 2010

Teaching English as a Second Language-Adoption!

We are soon expecting our daughter to arrive from Ethiopia!!  We have never adopted an 11 year old before, with minimal English language skills. All our children either came too young to have acquired their given language, or came older but, through our own country (thus they spoke English).

I have seen adoptive families label objects with index cards, to help their new children learn names of things in English.  They put labels on things around their home, to help acquire new words.  However, I thought of another fun way to help a child acquire new vocabulary!

 It came to me as I was potty training Baby Mercy.  She had opened a kitchen drawer and grabbed a small camping flashlight that belonged to her brother.  I scooped her up, as it was time to give the potty another college try...along with her came this tiny flashlight.  As she sat, I turned it on for her. Amazing the batteries still worked, a small miracle here at our house for sure!   I began to show her that if you put the flashlight close the the floor, it is a small circle of light.  If you pull your arm away from the floor it becomes bigger.  If you twist your wrist a bit, the light will twist. We were potty training and learning some new words/concepts.  I took the light and began to point to objects around the bathroom, as the light hit an object I would name it.

 The light went on in my brain, in that split second...this would help teach English!

Certainly, if the household items had been labeled, this would help an older child learn not only the word but, how it is spelled.  The flashlight just made the learning a little *fun.*   Pressure off, fun on-thus making learning not only fun, but easy!

I ran right to the computer and began to jot down this thought, knowing that lately I have had a zillion thoughts; all pertaining to our Princess Sweetness passing court in Ethiopia and coming HOME!   My hope is in sharing the thought, that it will help me and perhaps someone else walking a similar road of needing to teach English as a second language. 

I am sure more ideas will come...that is just how the Holy Spirit works!  As I submit the need to Him, He begins to give me fresh ideas and pour out His help from heaven.  I'm getting excited about this new challenge...God is good! I need to stock up on batteries now.

ps- This lesson works best if you don't turn the lights on in a room, plus it adds to the drama!  Isn't teaching fun?!


Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Greatidea! If you use a laser pointer and include a cat in the lesson I can promise you it will become a three ring circus of fun for all!

MommaMindy said...

What a great spiritual and physical inspiration! The LIGHT will show the way! We're all excited for your household. We understand there will be hard times with language, adapting, etc., but we know your faith, joy and love will overcome.

mom said...

What a creative idea, Kimmie! Kids love playing with flashlights :-)

Tammy ~@~

Stephanie said...

That's such a great idea! Thanks for sharing your Holy Spirit revelation with the rest of us!

This is one of the things that I've been concerned about too, since we'll be getting a 3-4 year old this time around. Though I don't think labeling things will help much, as she will still be too young to read. But I'm sure the flashlight will be a hit! And I'm sure Jaedon and Audrey will be happy to jump in on the 'game' too to help their sister transition sooner! :)

5KidMom said...

I've also heard that turning the Closed Captions on while TV watching can be very helpful. Especially for a child old enough to read. Don't worry too much. It will all come together. God is good like that. 8^)

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