Heritage Speakers – 1

The heritage speaker “problem” is not a problem at all in a nontargeted CI/Invisibles classroom. Why? It is because the students have something to do in class that interests them.
Scenario 1: Few Heritage Speakers in the Class.
When there are just a few heritage speakers, or only one, in a non-targeted class, it is easy to differentiate for those few because of the way the jobs work. Since the heritage speakers must work on their weaknesses in the language – reading and writing – they must be given jobs that involve those two skills.
But reading is not so easy to address with heritage speakers. It is a delicate game to get them to read with interest. In this interest, many of us have tried to place a heritage speaker in the back of the room, but have found that they irresistibly get drawn into the class conversation. This throws off our pacing and our ability to keep the class moving along at a slow enough pace for our novice students.
Therefore, we should address writing with these few students.
The way to address writing with heritage students is simply to give them jobs as story writers. Story Writer 1, of course, is the non-heritage fast processing novice student who writes the story up in English simply to give us a copy of the story so that we can write it up in the TL for the next class, or use Write and Discuss to do that, as we prefer.
So if there are one or two heritage speakers in our class, they simply sit in Job Hub A and write the story in the TL. This keeps them quiet, which is the main idea because they shouldn’t be in our class in the first place. It is their job to stay quiet and write. (We need not “grade” their writing.)
So the class for them is one big free write. In the rare case when the heritage speaker can write well, we can project their version of the story as the reading. It erases the need for a SW1 or W and D. But this seldom happens. Generally we take their writing and put a smiley face on it and give it back to them. Rarely would they ever read our corrections anyway, as we all know. (We know that practicing writing does not lead to better writing, but their writing gets them reading. That is why they write.)



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