7 Tips for New Dual Language Teachers

Are you a new Dual language teacher? Welcome! I hope you'll find this tips helpful! 

This post may contain affiliate links. 

It might seem obvious, duh I'm a teacher of course I have to be patient! 
It is so different when you have a room full of kiddos who are learning a language. 
You will give directions and some students will give you a blank stare because they have no idea what just happened. Let me tell you, when teaching language learners, you will have to find the patience you didn't know you had. 
Speaking to a group of kids who are learning a language will not be easy. You will become more and more creative to get your point across. When you feel like you're about to lose it, take a deep breath and remember you can do this!

Wether you're a one or two-teacher model, work with your colleagues whenever it's possible. It will make your life easier! It will lessen your work load and you might find a good teacher friend to go out with on Fridays! 
Plan together, help each other and share ideas. Dual language works better when all teachers are working as a team!! 

If you're lucky enough to have your district give you a scope and sequence or a pacing guide you've hit the jackpot! Read it! Learn it! Use it!
If your district does not provide one, look at your standards  and try mapping out one or two weeks. 
This is also when #2 comes into place, work with your team. Divide up the load and collaborate.

I know this might seem dumb but my first year teaching I bought a planner that I didn't really use because I didn't like it. I refused to buy a new one because I didn't want to spend again but I wish I had. 
Planners are not just about having pretty paper to write with. Your planner will become your bible. Take it to all faculty and grade level meetings. 
This is my favorite planner.

I have been using it for two years now and I love how flexible it is to my needs. I can add pages, folders, and don't even get me started on the cute stickers and washi tape!

I know you probably already heard in all your college classes that it takes YEARS to acquire a new language. Your students will not become 100% fluent in a year. The Dual Language program takes time. 
However, if you stay true to the program, follow the guidelines and don't give up when you're working on a target language you WILL see results and progress. 
If you are working on a specific target language, do not translate. 
What can you do instead? Use visuals, gestures, peer discussions, sentence stems, etc.
It will be difficult at the beginning but your students WILL learn the language. 

Do not be afraid to ask for help. You will need to reach out to someone MANY times during the school year. Veteran teachers still ask for help. No one will think less of you because you are asking for help.

I'm also here to help!! If you need help finding a resource, setting up centers or need classroom advice, contact me and I'll be happy to help! 

If you feel the urge to prepare over the summer (also completely ok if you're not), begin by making a list of the must-have resources you will need in your classroom (word walls, schedule, rules,objectives, etc..)That will give you time to THEN move on to the cutesy wants. 

Some BONUS tips from fellow dual language teachers:
  • "Lots and lots of patience. They're will be a lot of changes your 2nd year and every year after." - Veronica 
  • "Get your hands on the curriculum and study it well. Make sure you have a print rich environment in BOTH languages!" - Janie
  • "Love your students as much as you can! It encourages and comforts them in what can be a very stressful process." - Adriana

Good luck! Remember we are here to help <3


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