SUPPORTS FOR EDUCATORS
As They Teach & Support English Language Learners of Somali Descent
This website will help educators in getting a better understanding of their Somali English Language Learners in order to support them in their journey through K-12 and beyond. This page is not intended to generalize all Somali English Language Learners, but to help address some of the concerns they face as students and to provide educators with the resources and tools they need to help their students succeed.
Somalia is a country located in East Africa. The people are Somali and the language is Somali. The overwhelming majority of Somalis are Muslim. A great deal of people travelled out of the country when a civil war broke out in the country in the early nineties. The majority of English Language Learners are in your classrooms because of the devastating effects of the civil war. This is not to say that they are all refugees or that they have the same experiences as refugees. This website is only a resource to help you feel more comfortable with opening up dialogue with your students.
THE DANGERS OF A SINGLE STORY
A few books, which are culturally relevant and engaging for your new English Language Learners
WEBSITES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING
1. This website narrates popular books for ELL's in English and in several other languages (including Somali). Students benefit from hearing the story in their first language.
2. This website is great for teaching basic reading and writing skills to ELL's. The website also has a mathematics component.
3. This website is for learning English vocabulary
COMMON SOMALI WORDS
TO HELP YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS AND PARENTS IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS
* See tahay? (see- ta- hi) - How are you?
* Soo dhawoow (So- dha- whoa) - Welcome
* Musqul (Mus-Qull) ? - Bathroom?
* Aamus Please (Aa-moose)! - Be quiet please!
* Jooji (Joe-gi)! - Stop!
*Ha Ordin! (Ha - Ord-din) - No running!
TEACHING REQUIRES EMPATHY
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
RESEARCH ON THE SOMALI STUDENT EXPERIENCE
Somali students are in a unique social position as they enter learning spaces that situate them on the margins of the dominant narrative of whiteness. The following are resources for teachers who want to read more about the issues and concerns that Somali students face within the public education system.