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Advice needed please :)
Old 01-23-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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I have a Kindergarten student who comes from a home where English and Italian are spoken. Mommy speaks English with a heavy Italian accent but is more comfortable speaking in Italian. Daddy speaks both. I know he speaks English to my student but the majority of conversation between him and his wife is in Italian. They also travel to Italy quite often. They spent the summer there and went back for the Holidays for 2 1/2 weeks. Since she has returned my students is having difficulty articulating sentences correctly. This is spilling over into her writing. She is inserting extra pronouns (The baby she cried at her crib.) She also will say things like.. My mommy and daddy played to the park with me- These are just a few examples. It seems worse since her return from the Holidays. I marked her below on one of our skills this marking period (Speaks in complete sentences) (Effectively communicates information). I am having trouble putting into words without possibly offending the parents that I think her difficulty is due in part to the immersion in the second language. Her parents checked No to ESOL screening so my hands are tied on that part. I am required to assess these skills as she is not "considered" an ELL student. Can you help me eloquently explain her difficulties to her parents without offending them?


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Old 01-23-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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I'm not sure how to explain it, other than saying that she needs the services to learn how to be successful at school. You can talk about learning academic language compared to just talking with her friends and family.

I would also mention that the point of ESL isn't to make her forget Italian, but to make her bilingual. I always make a point to stress to families that I want them to continue to speak their native language because it is part of their heritage (and might position them for a better job later on!)
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:40 AM
 
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I would mark her report card as you have since ESL screening and services are available. They have taken the responsibility of teaching her English.
I would also say that in time she will "straighten" out her sentence syntax and speak more like a native speaker. As long as she is learning English vocabulary I would let her express herself as she knows how. It is better that she not be afraid to speak or write as she does than to shut down for fear of being incorrect and then not continue to learn.
Can you get information from your ESL teacher about the stages of language learning and insert that into her report card envelope?
The first language I learned to speak was English. I then became a fluent Italian speaker after living in Italy from age 4 to age 9. ESL classes were not around back then. I got a bachelor's and a master's degree and have been teaching for over 20 years. I also can read, write and speak in Spanish. Knowing another language can benefit this young lady in the long run as long as she has parent support to do her best in school.
Again, I would assess her with your school districts requirements and would also state in the comments what you have observed and if they ask show them specific evidence as to why you marked her the way you did. You could also remind them that ESL services are offered if they are interested in enrolling her.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Say it very objectively. An example: While Gina is able to make herself understood, she has difficulty with grammar when she speaks or writes complete sentences. eg. "My mommy and daddy played to the park with me". That way, you can cover yourself AND explain (if the parents can read between the lines) that the child needs ELL support.
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Thank you
Old 01-25-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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I appreciate all your help. Thank you for taking the time to help me


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Old 01-26-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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You can also help correct it. Whenever you hear her speak that way, repeat her words, but with correct grammar.
These are definitely common mistakes -- how often do I say that things ae not msculine or feminine in english as they are in Spanish?? ;-) And it'll straighten out again as she readjusts. :-)
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