Thank you to Duolingo from an ESL teacher
I am a preschool teacher in an ESL class. At my center, the preschool teachers all do home visits once a month. Scheduling translators for these is difficult, but usually there's somebody in the family that speaks enough English that I don't have to.
Today, I went on a home visit to one of my Spanish-speaking students. Thanks to Duolingo, when the grandfather began translating what someone was telling me today, I felt confident enough to tell him, "No traduces, por favor." The home visit proceeded almost entirely in Spanish, with only a handful of "¿Como se dice?"s thrown in, and I felt confident that I understood at least 95% of what they were saying. And I learned a delicious enchilada recipe to boot.
Thank you, Duolingo.
And I can imagine how happy the student and his family were that you had learned their language. My hat is off to you.
Of course some countries are poor. but if you are an ESL teacher of English and your students have computers and internet access they can learn English very quickly. I realize that other resources such as dictionaries and basic grammar books may be needed although again there are free internet resources to consult. I can't imagine learning more quickly from any other resource than Duolingo. I have thought about becoming an ESL teacher of English? Would you mind sharing in what country you are teaching, how long you have been doing it, and what resources you are using to teach English? I have never taught anything but were I teaching Spanish in an American public school, I would be encouraging the students to use Duolingo.
I am in the United States. My students are four years old, so Duolingo, or anything that involves reading, really isn't an option for helping them learn the language (also, most of them speak Vietnamese, which makes Duolingo not an option even for their parents who are in our adult ESL classes). Actually, at their age they learn a lot faster than anybody who is old enough for Duolingo to be effective, mainly because the mind is better structured for learning languages before the age of about seven or eight. Even my least proficient student this year is progressing by leaps and bounds faster than a student who had equivalent English exposure at the start of the year when I was teaching in third grade.
The biggest thing for ESL teachers in early childhood to remember is that repetition is useful, and choose vocabulary carefully. Also, I encourage the students to teach me bits of their home languages too. I do this for the same reason that I encourage Duolingo users to teach the language you're learning to someone you know; by teaching language it helps to reinforce the knowledge you have gained yourself. For more about my language instruction strategies in that third grade classroom I mentioned, I recommend you take a look at one of my blog posts that I used Duolingo to help me translate to Spanish here: http://www.duolingo.com/translation/137f3b5cc8d443b491bff71b688b2c74 (written before I had discovered Duolingo).
Thank you. I checked the link and found it very interesting. Best wishes to you and to your cpntinued success with your students.
That's fantastic! I bet you made an impression on the whole family- well, clearly, because they gave you the recipe!
Nice to hear ur experience, just one tip : it's "No traduzcas, por favor" instead of "No traduces...." if u meant to say him to stop translating. good luck
Thank you. I'm sure that wasn't the only mistake I made, but I was able to be understood. I'll keep that in mind for the future.
You could show the Spanish speaking families the SPA->ENG Duolingo course, too! If it's good enough to help you carry on a conversation in Spanish, it's probably good enough to help them speak in English. Sounds like a really awesome experience!