Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TESOL Teaching Tip #26 - That Word Sounds Like….

My class consists of 20 students, of which only 1 speaks English only in his household, and even he began his life in a bilingual environment. The other 18 speak at least one, if not two other languages in their homes, and go to school in English, although they don’t live in an English speaking country. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. Here’s this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:

TESOL Teaching Tip #26 - Teach cognates. Looking at words in English that are similar to home languages help students learn English. Find more information on this topic at my blog - Raki's Rad Resources.

ELL Teaching Tip #26: Help Your Students Explore Cognate
All languages are related, and there are words called cognates that help language learners to “guess” the meaning of new words.  Cognates sound and/or look the same in two or more languages.  For example:
Night in English is nuit in French, noche in Spanish, nicht in Scots Cognates for the Word Starand nat in Danish.
Star in English is etoile in French, ster in Dutch, sterk in Kurdish and estrella in Spanish.
Active in English is actif in French, activo in Spanish, ativo in Portugese and attivo in Italian.
Family in English is famille in French, familia in Spanish, familie in Dutch and pamilya in Fillipino.

Sometimes we have what is called “false cognates”, where words give us meaning clues, although they may not be exactly the same.  For example:
Snake in English is serpent in French.
Glacer is a large piece of ice in English, glace means ice in French.
Molest in English means to abuse, molestar in Spanish means to bother.

When we are learning, or teaching, a new language, these cognates help us to learn and remember new vocabulary.  Help your students learn these cognates by being aware of some yourself.  Here is a website with a list of common Spanish cognates.  Here is a website with a list of common French cognates.  A Google Search will reveal cognate lists for other languages as well.
Also, when introducing new vocabulary, encourage your students to tell you if they can find a cognate in their home language.  Have students write these cognates in a “Words I Know” or “My Own Dictionary” type of book, to help them spark their memories.

Everythings-Intermediate-Expo722Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Would you like to view an hour long presentation on this topic? I recently presented on Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo. Now you can grab the presentation for just $4.95 from Teacher’s Notebook.

Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources