In this particular situation:
Teaching primary students ESL. . (grades3-6)
In a school that only teaches conversation with the complete focus being on speaking and listening.
Teachers are told not to teach any reading and very little to no writing.
English teachers see their students 2 times a week for 45 minute periods for English. .
All other subjects are taught in students native language by L1 teachers.
In the above situation if one is a bilingual teacher do you think he/she should use it as they teach or should there be a strict rule that only English is spoken in the class. .
Have been debating this with some co-workers and curious what others feel. .
How did I come to this position? I taught primary P2&4. I used Thai in the class room. I had a co-teacher who couldn't speak Thai. After 6 months her sts could at least communicate with me in patchy English. Most of mine couldn't/wouldn't. Never used L1 in class again.
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I could play guitar and rope a steer before I learned to stand
I must say that in past I would have fought those who go against using any Thai in the classroom, but as the years add up, I see that even I use less Thai in the classroom. I still do use it with some P1 kids, but some of our kids have an excellent command of English while others have not a lick. Using Thai with those students gives them a chance where otherwise they would fail out of the program.
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I use English most of the time. The only time I use Thai is for example with P1 where I would show the difference between English and Thai on a grammar point such as capital letters. Interestingly I never took this line with p2/p3 and P1 where more tuned onto basic grammar points. My bad. I know better for next time!
Always a tricky one. Thai is useful to ensure everyone understands. All depends on the level. My smart M3 always get 100% English. Whatever produces results works. I am always worried when Western teachers are told not to teach kids to read but only to teach conversation. I find the vast majority of kids at Pratom level leave unable to read basic English. As a a result teaching them conversation is extremely challenging if not impossible.