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    By Jill

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    I was an ESL assistant for 3 years and dealt with a wide range of ESL students ranging from those students who progressed rapidly and those who still refused to talk after an entire school year. The one thing I can tell you is you cannot force an ESL child to talk until they are comfortable and ready no matter how frustrating it may be. It would be a great idea to label everything in your classroom (altho that works better for older students.) I had a kindergartener that I worked with and I made flashcards of basic things and people for him. I made flashcards with all the staff in the school and their names so he could take them home and become familair with them. Your students can go around with the flashcards of things and point them out for him. Also, make sure one of the first things he knows is where the bathroom is!!!! Having him listen to books on tape is a great idea or even have him play very simple games on the computer with a friend. These books and games will make him more familiar with sounds and words, etc. You will be very surprised at how the others students will really take him under their wing and help him. I can almost guarantee there will be a lot of tears in the beginning, but by the end of the year you will be amazed at the amount of progress he will have made. If you want any more info, please let me know. Good luck.

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