This newest article on how to keep a second language alive offers some good ideas for children and adults to engage in activities that will support and grow a second language that is not used very much—http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-bilingual/201202/keeping-language-alive
Coincidently, this week I had a conversation with one of the schools I work with on strategies to engage students who are learning in two languages to use the non-dominant language in this case monolingual English speakers learning Spanish in an English only dominant culture– and we came up with some great ideas with the help of our star intern Kelley!
1. Engage college students who studied abroad in the language in question to continue to develop their skills with students who know the language
2. Link with professionals or exchange students to read books to students via Skype in the language in question from the country that speaks the language itself
3. Identify schools in other countries that can build pen pals (epals.com- helpful website), if students don’t write yet, perhaps the teachers can do the Skypeing into each others classrooms
4. Identify volunteers, including parents, in the community where the children come from that can read or play board games in the language in question
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL IDEAS? Lets get this list growing– please share
Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.