teaching kids speaking 3 languages

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teaching kids speaking 3 languages

Unread postby reader1 » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:58 am

I am from Poland. I would like to write here about my latest experience that is teaching English to young learners that use ...3 languages.
First thing I have to say is that the self-identity of these kids is worse than zero. What nationality are they? Where are they from? Where is their homeland?
I have to also say western schools don't help them to solve their problems at all:(. Teachers demand more and more and still I can notice with astonishment that 13 years old kid cannot understand what is written on a scheme with ...a map of London tube. Whose blame is it? Whose blame is it - I wonder.
These kids have such a hard life - indeed. They come for holidays and use the language of their grandparents, then go to school when most of subjects are in the official language of the country (which is half-mystery to them to) and still they have English nearly every day that is the biggest mystery to them specially when they are to say how to get from one place to another using underground when in fact they have never seen any tube at all:(.

What I notice is that these kids want to be taught half-Polish half-English and store everything inside their heads in German which is the language that is used in school every day. So I think these kids are right.


English in the Western Europe,

Unread postby reader1 » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:49 pm

Generally I think level is much better in public schools than in my country. Kids SPEAK. But the rest... hmmmmm... readings are very difficult. I think they are much easier to German kids than to Polish kids who live there. Because kids in western Europe understand history much better while most of readings has cultural aspect. Well ... tomorrow (for example) I am reading with my pupil a very difficult text about a story of Perceval (who was one of knights of King Arthur). Such stories are total abstract for kids from Poland who learn with German kids. They mostly know history of Poland in a very limited scope - not a word about King Arthur and his knights. Moreover during lessons I have to check in Polish-German dictionary what Polish word "rycerz" means in German and explain to them general meaning of this word. Isn't it bit crazy? These poor kids have really total mess in their heads. They hardly understand what means CHIVALRY in German while they have to learn about British Perceval.
Well... personally I think that all what teachers like me can do is ...explain to these pupils what happened in 1410 at the battle of Grunwald, let them ask their English teachers in Germany why in English textbooks any word about British Robin Hood is written and make them familiar with a legend about Polish Robin Hood that was called Janosik.
Thanks for reading about my teaching problems,


teaching 3 lingual kids - part III

Unread postby reader1 » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:06 pm

today next girl has joined the first one. The other is one year older, lives near Berlin and has manners of the young lady. But comparing to her one year younger cousin who uses quite different student book and lives in the country her skills aren't better at all.
The older has a lot of different troubles that are totally irrelevant as deals the course of the lesson like problems with her hair, her student book, her shoes that all can be boiled down to her general problem that should be named VOCABULARY (apart of grammar and pronunciation what her English teacher pinpointed to her mother).
The younger girl does much more things on her own thus her vocabulary seems to be equal to her older cousins knows.
So with the younger we have read a text about how miserable Percival became a knight even though at first he was advised to go back home and take care of the pigs by other King Arthur's knights but King Arthur gave him a chance. So he was given a horse and killed bad Red Knight who had stolen a precious Cup from King Arthur's table and boosted with this deed (what worse). Poor Percival stabbed him with his hunting knife into his eye and killed him. Then he took his gold and red armour and became another King Arthur's knight (he did what he was advised by king Arthur).
Finally he could also became his knight cause his late father and two dead brothers who all died in battle were also knights.
Percival's mother was crying that her son joined king Arthur's knights cause he was only 16 when he met angels in the forest (what he thought about the men in wonderful armours whom he met while rambling the local forests). But it was heaven who decided.
We even wrote toger a summary of this story.
I also have had to explain to 13 years old kid who is being educated in Western Europe why kings and queens are so important for British nation untill today (truly speaking it isn't possible to explain at all). Much easier for me was to explain to her why in US are no kings at all.
Besides I hope now she can understand what is written on the tube map even though she has little notion about maps at all as it seems to me.
And the most surprising for me is always to get know two most important jobs in Germany. Any computer scientists! Forget.
But try to guess if you like.
thanks for reading,


to add -

Unread postby reader1 » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:20 pm

oh - I forgot to say that poor Percival first asked politely Red Knight to give him back King Arthur's stolen Cup and his armour (he had a horse from King Arthur) but in the answer Red Knight stabbed Percival with his LANCE (again a problem what the word LANCE means). Percival managed to save his skin.Moreover, he attacked Red Knight with the hunting knife.
What do you think about this reading?
It is so far from all nice and polite student books that we can use today. But isn't more truth about many things that happen in life in such readings?
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

ps1 Of course knights were everywhere in Middle Ages Europe. And I wonder why King Arthur is so famous?
Batlle at Grunwald in 1410 also was a good one.
I think we should revive continental stories about knights, their monasteries and saint wars.


next day,

Unread postby reader1 » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:47 pm

Hi today I have come to a very STRANGE conclusion in reality that sorrounds me. Namely, that kids who are taught in West come and tell to other teachers what lags and behinds they were pinpointed by their first teacher and really try to improve and make a progress.
Maybe they are the only positive examples there? Or rare exemptions to the rule? :roll: I don't know.
So what I like the most is that they allow me to teach them and don't comment things they aren't able to judge right in their age. So - at least for them - a teacher is someone who has any value.
I would like to see the same in my country. The same honesty of learning - I mean.
Well I have to admit... I have always been a dreamer:)


next day,

Unread postby reader1 » Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:49 pm

probably I will start a blog about my teaching to these to 3 lingual kids. I think it can be interesting and less awkward than putting my ideas here.
What I have noticed is that their books are so lovely down-to-earth. I liked tasks in the series "stupid question-stupid answer". These things are fine.
I prefer teaching the younger than the older. She is still so nicely moved by cruelty of king Arthur's knights and poor existence of Percival. But th most she cares about his mother. How she was weeping after his decision to be another knight.
The older girl thinks a lot about future career and is very ambitious (as deals earning good salary). She also cannot understand why does she have to read in British English readings about US. And why does she have to learn British English at all - she asks - Because it is nearer?
Well... every second sentence both girls are reminded what is the worst crime of all crimes in this world.
Sometimes I feel tired reading that again someone stole something and thus he was killed.
nice day.

Well... another difficult question.

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Re: next day,

Unread postby GiddyGad » Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:00 am

reader1 wrote:...I think it can be ... less awkward than putting my ideas here...

Not at all, reader. Your ideas are just as welcome.

Good luck,



hi GiddyGad,

Unread postby reader1 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:12 pm

Thanks for your support in this plot. I mostly like reading your post on this forum cause you are very professional teacher and your vocabulery is really wide. I don't have such a frequent contact in English nowadays. Last time I had a good contact with English was 2 years ago when I taught in Polish high school.
You can be surprised but even once I wasn't forced there to open any book with activities for oral part of Polish New Matura exam. These two 3 lingual kids forced me to open them and find there some exercises suitable for them. But what I can see is that they prefer working with their handbooks that are rather difficult and full of puzzles which are difficult to follow to them like matching questions and answers the following way:

- Which letter has the most trouble?
- The letter u cause it always stands in the very centre of it!


-Which two letters have to wait the longest?
-Letters UE UE cause they appear twice in the word "queue".

You know - we do every example and then they have time to think it over on their own.

The tasks are full of geographical informations, put into cultural context with a lot of grammar everywhere.

The oldest has very big diffilulty with catching the differenced among I, II and III conditional.
She wasnot able to get it at all!:(
I had to think hard how to explain it to her the way she could get it and use it during speaking.
It isn't anything easy:(
Read me soon,


self-correction of some MY language errors in my post above,

Unread postby reader1 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:12 pm

1....I mostly like reading your posts on this forum....
2......your vocabulary is really wide.....
3......contact with English
4...... matching questions with answers....
5......The elder has very big diffilulty with catching the differenced among I, II and III conditional..

Plus some grammar errors but I think the whole message above is understandable without any futher corrections.
What I can say/write is that I am very proud of my idea how to explain conditionals and differences among them. I made up a graphical explanation.
I am a real inventor as deals exaplaing grammar via graphs.
Read me soon then:)


last but not least,

Unread postby reader1 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:15 pm

6. ....catching the differences among I, II and III conditional.....


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