Take a moment to imagine your morning routine. What do you do for breakfast? Who do you interact with before you leave the house? What are the experiences you carry with you to your office or your classroom?
Imagine all the unique life experiences that each one of us and each student brings into each of our days. Along with our life experiences, we also bring our language experiences. We bring the way we express our emotions, the vocabulary we use to identify things and the cadence we use to inquire about things or express our opinions.
These language experiences are a beautiful reflection of who we are as people, the culture we identify with and our own family patterns. We all have unique experiences.
When students come to school, even from the first day, there is an expectation that their experiences have prepared them for their school environment. There is an expectation that the books that will be read and the words the teacher will speak will be understood.
Yet, we know that this is not a reality. Teachers have too little time and far too few resources.
We can get frustrated with blank stares, “How many times do I have to tell this child?” We can be insecure about our ability to communicate with a child who speaks another language entirely, “I don’t speak Arabic, so how will I know if this child needs help?”
With GrapeSEED, all children will be given a chance to understand and be understood. They will be allowed to absorb things over and over to the point where those language experiences become just as natural as the ones they have at home.
Teachers can breathe easy knowing that these GrapeSEED materials have been specifically created to fill in oral language gaps, a necessity for student success at school.
Parents can feel proud that simply reading the provided books to their child and letting their child listen to the CD or watch the DVD will greatly increase their responsiveness and confidence in school.
We all want to be able to express ourselves and be proud of who we are and where we come from. When we can share our life experiences using a common language, we can have joy, success and connectedness far beyond the classroom walls.