Genet Elementary School English as a New Language Teacher Kelly Aldinger was named the NYS TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) Member of the Month for November last week. Ms. Aldinger was nominated and selected for demonstrating an above and beyond commitment to the TESOL field.
Ms. Aldinger works with 16 English Language Learners in Kindergarten and 3rd Grade, whose native languages include Spanish, Filiipino, Karen, Pashto, Dari, Tamil, Telegu, Hindi, Arabic, and Vietnamese.
She uses context such as visuals, real world examples and discussions to help them learn. On Friday morning, she was teaching kindergarten students the “y-” sound that the letter Y makes. She used the smart board to show images of different animals that start with the letter Y and displayed objects to reinforce that sound, including a yellow crayon, a ball of yarn and a small yield sign.
“It’s about making content comprehensible,” she said, “teaching functional language and meaningful context.”
Each of her students receives three to six hours of ENL services each week, based on their needs. Ms. Aldinger pushes into classrooms to help those students and she also pulls small groups to work with her on more fundamental skills.
Her favorite part of the job is seeing improvement in her students.
“It’s very rewarding to see how quickly, especially the young kids, can grow,” she said. “I also like partnering with their families. And that’s typically when we see the most growth is when we have good relationships with the families.”