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[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]PurpleArt
Mon, 22 Feb 1999 22:08:15 EST
Hi Cheryl! I teach art in an elementary school of 500 students, with around
75 of them who speak little or no English. It is amazing how quickly they
learn the language -- usually in a matter of a few weeks they have some
functional vocabulary. Because of my art therapy background, I requested to
have small groups of these kids come into the art room once a week (they also
come to regular art class with all the other kids once a week) -- we have what
we call art & counseling sessions which focus on reassuring, affirming and
acclimating the kids through art. The school counselor sits in on these
sessions and we have the kids make name plates, hand prints on a huge world
map, paint pics of their homes in their old country, etc. Some of the art is
fairly "normal" looking, some is quite disturbing--depending on the
circumstances of their departure from their home land. Once they have enough
English, we ask them to describe their art and talk about the country they
left -- their fears, hopes, etc. These sessions are often the high point of
my week! The great part of art, of course, is the ability to communicate
without any words at all -- especially a benefit when language is a barrier.
Good luck with your ESL students -- you will find the experience challenging
and VERY rewarding.
Lisa in SD