Introducing English As Second Language – What Is It and How Do You Go About It?
The word “Tikmate” means “fire stone” in the Lakota language of the Plains Indians. This particular spelling is a result of a collaboration between an American student, Victoria Laguna, and an indigenous village of the Lakota tribe. Their collaboration, and her efforts to help their people preserve their language and culture, have been featured in national and international media, including the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Victoria Laguna is a Lakota cultural leader who continues to use traditional Lakota teachings as well as the tools of her chosen art form-lingo! She has been described as a “language artist,” and her art has been exhibited all over the country. Her work has been described as beautiful, intriguing, and informative. If you want to learn more about the Lakota language, you can visit the Indian Cultural Center in Phoenix or conduct an online search. Even more importantly, you may learn more about your own Native American heritage by learning more about Victoria Laguna and her work through the Internet!
The Lakota/ Dakota language is very complex and most Native people do not even have a very clear picture of its basic components. However, even when you study the language at the most advanced levels, it can still be very difficult for most learners Tikmate. One of the great frustrations of learning a new language, is that there are words that you do not understand at first, yet you associate certain grammatical structures with other parts of the language. If you have already learned a good portion of the vocabulary of a language, this process becomes easier because you have some idea of how each word relates to the rest of the sentence. However, if you have not yet studied the entire vocabulary, your challenge is even greater.
Fortunately, there are numerous programs that can be used to supplement your classroom teaching, especially if you do not speak English well. Native English-English teachers (also called ESL teachers) have gained invaluable skills in teaching students who are native English speakers but who have attended a high school or college that does not offer significant exposure to the English language. Through specially designed programs, these teachers can supplement their classroom work with the study of the English language on their own. They gain valuable insight into the grammatical structures of the English language and can add additional words, grammar, and orthography to their students’ work. This helps their students tremendously in reading, writing, and speaking English as a first language.
Immersion programs such as Tikmate offer two important advantages. First of all, by providing daily exposure to the English language, your students will gradually increase their proficiency in English. Second of all, they will also develop an enriched view of the world around them. After spending months within an immersion environment, your students will have a firm grasp of the many different cultural nuances that are unique to North America. In this way, even those who have not previously taken a course in English education can do so successfully.
The greatest advantage of immersion courses like Tikmate, however, is that it provides a one-on-one instructional environment in which your students can work individually. Unlike most classroom-based instructional courses, where the teacher sits in front of a classroom of students, holding up a chalkboard and discussing with each student what the sentence means, with immersion you and your students are engaged in the same activity, using the same vocabulary and grammar. In this way, your students benefit from one-on-one instruction. They get to practice speaking and listening in tandem, and they develop real skills with their language education.
Immersion in the classroom allows you to introduce students to the written word. When students read from a book, they tend to concentrate on the main point of the passage. With an immersion program, by the time the book is finished, they will know the main point of the book, what the author is trying to say, and how to properly express it. This is important because most people, when given a chance to learn, tend to read what’s on the page as opposed to skimming the cover or flipping through a book for mere curiosity.
Another major advantage to immersion in English is that it increases students’ confidence. By participating in an immersion program in English, students will get the opportunity to speak with native speakers. Through the stories they hear, they will get a feel for the intricacies of proper sentence structure, word usage, and grammar. Through this method, you can help guide them toward the future of their language education career.