Bilingual classrooms

6F) Compare and contrast languages

Provide explicit opportunities for children to compare and contrast the two languages to support cross-language transfer of learning.

Blog Series: Beginning with Biliteracy-A Kindergarten Story

This series includes 10 blog posts that share information from a bilingual Kindergarten classroom perspective. Some posts are written in English and some in Spanish. They cover topics such as setting up a biliteracy classroom environment, making language connections and bridges for young learners, and instructional strategies for biliteracy.
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Article: The Bridge Between Languages

This article introduces the term "the bridge" as the purposeful work to connect, compare, contrast, and transition between languages in lessons and activities for Multilingual Learners. Examples and instructional tips are shared.
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Stragegy Overview: El dictado

"El dictado" is a strategy that a teacher can use in Spanish or English to model and structure language practice for students in spelling, grammar, and fluency. This overview includes an example sequence for instruction, a rubric for assessment, and tips for differentiating the activity.
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Blog: Dictado with Dr. Mónica Lara & John Seidlitz

This blog post introduces the Dictado strategy and shares tips and pitfalls for teachers who hope to implement this strategy with Multilingual Learners.
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Website: Amigos Bilingües

This website offers many video read-alouds in both Spanish and English. Many of the texts can be found in both languages, allowing the teacher to preview content in a home language and then let students transfer that knowledge to the text in their second language.
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Website Article: Family Dichos – Bringing the Language of Home into the Classroom

Bringing proverbs and sayings or "dichos" into the classroom is an instructional move to bridge family language and culture into classroom learning. This article describes this practice and provides resources on familiar "dichos."
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Tip Sheet: How to Use Bilingual Books

This resource explains how to use a variety of bilingual books to support Multilingual Learners’ language and literacy development. This tip sheet also includes a list of books with side-by-side translations, books that include a second language throughout the book, and books available in multiple languages.
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Presentation Slides: Organizing Instruction for Explicit Skill Transference

This slide deck presentation was used to present research and provide examples on how language skills can transfer from Spanish to English.
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Blog: A Chat About English/Spanish Pedagogical Connections

This blog offers a quick review of pedagogical connections between English and Spanish. Teachers can make linguistic connections visible for Spanish-speaking Multilingual Learners, and set them up to draw on all of their language resources for learning that they are familiar with, particularly on the differences and similarities between the two language structures.
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Blog: How Can Cognates ‘Beneficiar’ English Language Learners?

This blog discusses how teachers can intentionally use cognates to build comprehension for Multilingual Learners. This practice helps emphasize connections between Spanish and English.
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Website Article: Using Cognates with ELLs

This article and accompanying video remind teachers about the power of cognates: words that are almost or exactly the same in two or more languages. When teachers highlight these words during instruction, they help Multilingual Learners develop their own word-learning strategies.
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Video: That’s How You Say It/Asi se dice- 2/3rd grade

Students learn both literal and conceptual translation skills by engaging in the "That's How You Say It/Asi se dice" strategy. The teacher assigns students to strategic groups and chooses a specific passage of text for them to translate. Students have the opportunity to negotiate word meanings and compare and contrast their two languages as they work together to write and share their translation.
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Video: Transfer and Integrated ELD in a Bilingual Classroom

The teacher in this bilingual classroom makes an intentional plan to develop literacy and oral language skills in two languages. She begins content instruction in Spanish to strengthen Multilingual Learners' understanding of key concepts, and then purposefully transitions to an integrated ELD block to offer speaking and writing practice in English.
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Strategy Overview: Sentence Patterning Chart / La tabla de formación de oraciones

This resource introduces a strategy to model and write good descriptive sentences with Multilingual Learners. It combines language-based supports with opportunities for children to practice academic vocabulary and apply it to structured, content-based writing.
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Strategy Overview: The Dictado

The Dictado is a routine in which the teacher dictates a series of phrases or sentences, and the teacher and students collaboratively correct them. The Dictado serves to teach and reinforce basic writing skills within each language, and to highlight cross-language transfer.
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