To work with students who are learning the English language, we first need to understand some rudiments of second language learning. Then, we need to consider some basic facts in comparative linguistics. The purpose of this chap­ ter is to help you make your English language learners more at ease and better able to communicate with you. Here are some questions about individual stu­ dents:

♦ How closely is her native language related to English? English is a Germanic language with Latinate and Greek influences. It is cousin to the Romance languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian. The ESL student whose native tongue is a Romance lan­ guage will find many cognates that open doors to English words. On

the other hand, Asian languages have much less common ground in terms of sentence structure, word order, formation of plurals, and the sounds themselves. Asian languages have very few cognates for the student to hang her hat on.