Throughout the history of our country, people have immigrated to the United States (U.S.) from around the globe seeking a new, better life. With them, immigrants have brought their cultures, customs, and languages. Said immigrants are known as “newcomers.” This term refers to any foreign-born student and their families who have recently come into the United States. Newcomers have a huge impact on our nation’s social and economic matters. Further, U.S. schools play a significant role in the lives of newcomer students to help them adapt and become productive individuals in American society.
The Newcomer Tool Kit was created to help U.S. educators and other who work directly with immigrant students, which include refugees and asylees, and their families. Newcomers have quiet a challenge, when it comes to integrating into their new home. Not only do they have to navigate a new culture and society, but they also have to function effectively within the educational system and communicate in a language that differs considerably from their own native language.
To effectively teach newcomers, teachers must create roadmaps for curriculum being taught. Educational roadmaps allow teachers to work with the main ideas, as well as activities and projects that will help enrich their newcomer students. Teachers can utilize the Newcomer Tool Kit to help formulate their roadmaps and outline essential questions, objectives, and standards that they want their students to meet.
In addition to the Newcomer Tool Kit, teachers can participate in webinars and seminars held by the Latino Literacy Project. These tutorials give teachers ideas regarding what activities can be incorporated in the classroom and what vocabulary must be used – including grammar and phonetics issues to cover. Additionally, teachers will learn how to create a road map and the three questions that they must ask themselves when dealing with newcomer students: a) What is my goal? b) What is the age of my students?, and c.) What can I do? With a little time and patience, teachers can better understand and work with newcomer students, in order to create a welcoming learning environment.