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How To Catch New Students Up

I received the following question from awesome teacher and blog reader Hunter Bishop this past week, and since it's a common one, I decided to answer it for all who might be wondering about this issue.

Hunter wrote,

Hello Jalen! I had a question that I’ve been wanting to see your point of view on. What do you do when you have a student come into your class midway through the year when they have had no language instruction before? How do you “catch them up"?

My answer is simple. I just keep teaching.

Haha, okay, there is a little more to it than that, but not much more. I welcome them warmly, give them the semester's vocab list, make sure they know it's okay if they feel a little lost at first, and if there are assignments that they look worried about or do badly on, I make sure they know that when I grade them I'm taking into account the fact that they just joined my class. They aren't going to be "failing" before they've even had a chance to learn …

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