Student Language Assessment Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

Guild (2001) says “We… are products of external influences, especially within our immediate family, extended community, and culture.” This is important, as an educator, to keep in mind when teaching ELL students. This is important to keep in mind when teaching children from other cultures, also. The information I gained from reading and watching the learning resources in weeks two and three were very valuable in observing the student I chose to observe.
The student I chose, J, is in a team member’s class. He caught my attention at my school’s academic fair. He is Mexican and was born in Mexico. He moved to Winnsboro, South Carolina when he was five years old. He is now nine years old and ...view middle of the document...

Having this limited about of knowledge of his culture I think the best way to get to know any student and their culture better is to talk and listen. You can learn a lot from listening.
Before delving into my observations on J I want to first describe what his second language acquisition stage is. Based on what I observed from his communication in class and his writing I have concluded that he is stage three: the speech emergence stage. He can communicate in simple sentences, but when he communicates in longer and complex sentences he makes grammatical mistakes. Although he has been in the country for four years I feel his language development has been hindered by being pushed along in school, never getting enough one-on-one instruction, and not enough ELL support in terms of a teacher pulling him aside to help more often. In a more intense supportive environment I think he would already be in stage four. Reed (2003) informs readers that having an understanding of ELL students will dramatically improve the ability to understand and teach an ELL student more.
As I stated before J takes his education very important. His teacher told me that he almost always cries on a daily basis when he feels like he did not do a good job. Although she said that I did not observe that while I was in there. He was very active in class participation and tried to answer every question. He also asked questions in the best way he could. He is a straight C and D student on interims and report cards. I do not feel this is an accurate description of what he knows. His teacher has made no accommodations for him. He is expected to read everything on his own with little to no help. Considering this, he is lucky to be making C’s and D’s. If he was able to get more help and support, his grades might be higher. Without quality one-on-one instruction it is hard to know exactly what his potential is. It is obvious his teacher has taken on a subtractive theory with her one ELL student. Stritikus (2006) states what I believe J’s teacher is doing perfectly, “…rather than seeing students’ primary language as a resource, she saw it as one of their primary weaknesses” (pg. 6). Obviously her view serves as a great hindrance in J’s learning.
J’s teacher could take...

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