Visiting a foreign country can be exciting for many of us.
Bertha Gallegos
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I love the comparison you made in your introduction! Thank you for putting me in the shoes of those students. I’ve seen many parallels with travel experiences and language learners in a new classroom. I agree that because transference is inevitable, teaching for transfer (specifically) should be embraced. And yes strength and dominance in both languages should be our goal! I thought that went without saying, but I’m seeing that that isn’t so. We need to make it clear that one language is not more valuable than another. Students (and the world) are bombarded with the misconception that some languages are more valuable than others, and that just isn’t so. Therefore, our students’ L1 must be validated through our classroom lessons and practices. L1 is a tool, not an obstacle to learning L2. When I was studying Russian, I could relate some grammatical concepts to my knowledge of Portuguese. And I would not have learned Portuguese so well without my knowledge of Spanish. For these connections that allowed me to learn more, I am very grateful. They supported, not hindered, my language acquisition. We need educators who relate to, or are willing to try to understand, our students who primarily speak a different language than the dominant one.

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