|Institution:||University of Iceland|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1946/24474|
Today, many teachers get newcomers in their classes, but many of them might not have the experience to teach newcomers. This paper examines some methods for teaching a second language to newcomers in a mainstream classroom. The paper is based on my experience of learning a second language and supported with views of a teacher of Icelandic as a second language. The teachers’ role is important in the lives of newcomers and consequently, teachers need special training in working with them. In many cases, teachers are unable to communicate with the newcomers because of the language. It is important that the teacher build a supportive learning environment for the newcomers. The teacher can help making instruction in the mainstream classroom more comprehensible by using visual material and many other aids. In addition, when teachers have acquired knowledge about the stages of learning a second language they are better able to assist newcomers at their various stages of language learning. Teachers need to help newcomers develop both their social and academic language proficiencies. Lastly, teachers need to use assessment methods that are helpful and fair to newcomers. Teachers who are aware of the special needs and circumstances of newcomers are better prepared to help them successfully learn the second language.