Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ESL?

No cute pics, no cute stories cuz this momma is not the least bit happy right now.

 I registered FeiFei for Kindergarten (for next year) and was almost immediately called and told she needed to come for an ESL test.

 Umm you do know she has been home not quite 2 months right. 

So off we went today for the test. First I had to explain that taking my daughter (how I love saying that!!) off in a huge building by herself is probably NOT the best idea.

 I finally got them to agree to me standing outside the door.

 WHile I am outside the door I can hear the test going on.  The lady is speaking full sentences including the questions.  FeiFei is great with language, she reads facial cues and picks out the words she knows to try and answer.  BUT a full sentence really.

 THEN they read a story to her and asked her to answer questions from the story.  Ummm if she can't understand your full very wordy question she can't figure out the answer even if she knows it.

THen the lady asked her how old she is.  Well FeiFei can count to thirty (YES in English) but she also is so proud of her family, she will tell you how old everyone is (we have been working on it.)  Apparently, that was NOT the right answer LOL!

So needless to say she flunked although I was so proud of her for getting 4 right!!

SO they want to have her bused to a DIFFERENT school next year, do kindergarten in the morning and ESL in the afternoon.  Well, she said, it means FREE all day kindergarten.  Yeah, I am not making this decision because of the price.

ALL of our kids go to the same school (PreK-12th)  a mile from our house.  How will she feel about not being in the same school as her siblings.  She will know no one!  I will have to go through yet another school for them to make accommodations for her size versus being at a school used to dealing with a dwarf.  Our current school has PT and OT on staff and an ESL person will come 3 hours per week to help her teacher.

Also I talked to our current schools kindergarten teacher (same as little mans) and she said she felt comfortable (and wants) FeiFei in her class next year.

SOOOO, for BTDT's or anyone with ESL experience do I need to send her?  Will she be forever harmed not going to ESL, ruin her life, and become pregnant at 14 because of this choice?
(No one else at the school speaks Mandarin they speak Spanish if that makes a difference)

Now I know why so many homeschool -which BTW was a miserable failure for our family LOL!

8 comments:

  1. I'm not there yet (our babies are still in China) but I have to tell you that I'd be hot as a hornet myself over that test! I'd flat our refuse to send her to another school for K and ESL! They CANNOT force you to make her do that! I would keep her at the local school, with the great K. teacher and to heck with the ESL!

    By the time she gets to K next year she'll have a great handle on English!

    How long did you homeschool? We've been doing it for 4 yrs now and it was the most amazing thing for our little man (4 at adoption) who had anxiety and attachment issues. He cussed out his preschool teacher....lets just say he had some aggression issues...but anyway, we stuck through it and it has been a blessing.

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  2. Don't do it. Don't send her away. She does not need ESL services. By the time she starts K, she'll have so much English! Our son who is now 4, has been here 10 months and his understanding of English is amazing.

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  3. Can't they retest her after she has been home with you a little longer? I mean how much can they expect after a couple months when most that age have grown up here and with English! If I were you, I would request a late entry test so she can absorb more before they test again. Congrats on your little ones (and not so little) they are all beautiful.

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  4. They are stupid. She does not need ESL. ESL was designed for children who have two or more languages spoken in the home. Buy the time August rolls around, she will be speaking ONE language, and that will be English, because by that time her other language will be gone.
    The ESL teacher told me that my daughter did not fit the ESL mold for that reason.
    Its not going to ruin her if you send her, but I don't think it will help her either.

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  5. Our daughter immediately qualified for speech therapy upon arriving home from overseas, however the speech therapist refused to see her until she had been home 6 months. The therapist said to treat her any sooner would be to waste everyone's time and money.
    I would strongly request that your daughter be re-tested later in the summer, after she's had more time at home. I think you are well within your rights to do so. Certainly whoever required her to be tested so soon after coming home demonstrates a concerning lack of understanding about language acquisition!

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  6. Hi :-) Lynnea sent me your blog a few weeks ago...
    Anyhow... I wouldn't send her to the other school either. I taught 1st grade for 5 years before having kids & also got my masters in teaching ESL.
    For all of the reasons you listed it sounds like the school your other kids go to will be the best fit for your little sweetie next year!!!!
    It does sound like they are trying to be pro-active, but each child is unique and I think your mommy gut is on target with what makes the most sense for your newest daughter!

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  7. because your family speaks english she is getting ESL instrucation ALL day!
    my sister was home 4 weeks before being enrolled in kindergarten. They just had her attend the morning class and the afternoon class so she would have the repetition (she was a year older and was blind so learning braille as well). She picked up english without ESL help. I think ESL would be more important if english wasn't the first language spoken at home.
    I wouldn't bother getting her retested...just put her in the same school as the rest of your children

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  8. I agree with everyone else. By the time school starts, she will have a lot more English than she does now. I think an ESL consult wtih the classroom teacher is a good idea, but I doubt she needs a program.

    In addition, ESL programs are not geared for our internationally adopted children. ESOL programs are full of kids who are "additively bilingual" -- they are adding English to their home language(s). Our IA kiddos are "subtractively bilingual" -- English is REPLACING their original language. The learning process is somewhat different. Moreover, if ALL the other kids (or the vast majority) are Spanish-speakers, chances are a lot of Spanish is used in the classroom. This is good and appropriate for those kids, but it will be confusing for FeiFei (this happened to the daughter of a friend of mine who came home at 7 - after a few months, she finally had enough English to express her confusion: "Mama, what they talking? Not English, not Chinese.")

    The biggest issue for FeiFei (and other IA kids) is background knowledge -- all the vocabulary, concepts, etc., that other kids learned in preschool that she may have missed out from being in the orphanage. Things she already knows the Chinese word for she can learn the English word for fairly easily. The trick is the things she doesn't know at all. (For example, my daughter (3) doesn't know anything about how traffic works -- stop signs, red light, green light, etc. I have to make a point to give her that language. (Her situation is extreme because she came home with no language at all (she's Deaf), but a kiddo who never got out of the orphanage will ahve the same gaps)

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