I am homeschooling my friends ESLson in reading this summer. Advise welcomed!
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  1. #1
    miamirn is offline Junior Member
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    Question I am homeschooling my friends ESLson in reading this summer. Advise welcomed!

    Hi,

    I am homeschooling my friend's son this summer. David is from another country and speaks fluent french. He speaks broken English. He is repeating 3rd grade in public school, because of poor reading achievement. He is at a low second grade level and has made no progress ALL year this year! (Don't get me started about the public school system!) His lack of progress is partly due to his poor grasp of the English language, but much of it is because he feels demoralized and overwhelmed. I have spoken to his teachers with his mom at his school. They all say he is not trying and does not pay attention. I have spoken to David, and he says he just doesn't care, because he can't do it anyway. It's sad! It is for these reasons I have volunteered to teach reading to David during the summer. I am sure I can teach him to read and bring him up to grade level by the end of the summer. He is a bright and cooperative child who loves stories and books. After working with David for a few hours, I have found he has reading problems related to poor phonemic awareness and fluency. So, I am going to concentrate on phonics. I have bought one excellent phonics book, but I want something more for him. Since I used Time4Learning when I homeschooled my grandson in second grade, I'm a little familiar with Time4Learning. One more thing. David is 8 years old going on 9. He has expressed to me he doesn't want to be treated like a "baby". Any input you can give me would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Let me try again...I had it all typed in and hit a wrong button and POOF! it all disappeared!
    Time4Learning kindergarten or 1st grade might be a great place to start. Tell him that you know English is hard, and that he has to start at "level 1" (not grade 1) because that is the beginning in Language Arts. Let him know that he can move as fast as he can get the information. I put my daughter back in 1st grade language arts when she was in 4th grade for a short period of time because she is a terrible speller and I had pulled her out of public school midway through 1st grade. I was afraid I had missed teaching her something vital and that was why she was a poor speller. I won't say it helped her spelling much, but it was pretty easy for her, and because she could do it quickly and correctly it gave her more confidence to go on and try harder things.
    English is very difficult for people who learned to speak Romance languages first, because Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian...) are very systematic and regular. In comparison, English is a language of exceptions to the rules. English is almost chaotic to learn if it is not your native language. And in times of personal stress it is difficult to keep an open mind about learning English, when your native tongue is easier and comforting.
    Keep it fun...let him play games on Learning Games for Kids. There are lots of early elementary language arts games that are short and cute.
    Get him audio books...check the library. Let him listen to stories in English. The more he hears English in an interesting way, the more likely he is to buy into learning English. The benefits of audio books are that he hears English spoken fluently, with pretty standard accents. If he is engaged in a story and doesn't understand something he is more likely to ask for clarification than he would be for drudgery and drill in the classroom.
    Let him be the teacher. Find a very simple book written in French and attempt to read it to him. If you are not a French speaker, your pronunciation will be pretty bad Ask him for help pronouncing the words. When he sees what being a "reading teacher" is about he may understand that you are not a "baby", just someone who doesn't speak French, just like he isn't a "baby", just someone who doesn't speak English well. When I hit a wall with my daughter, I let her be the teacher, sometimes it helps her understand.
    Finally, maybe he is just overwhelmed. Being fluent in one language and then being asked to become fluent in another in a short period of time can be daunting. Coming from another country to here can be mind blowing. Lots of kindness, and one-on-one time maytake the pressure of school off enough to let him relax enough to learn. Schools are not good with students who need individualized attention, there are simply too many students and too few teachers to accomidate kids who need extra time and attention.
    Good luck! Maybe this will start as a beautiful friendship and the summer will end with a more fluent English reader! Please keep us posted on progress!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  3. #3
    miamirn is offline Junior Member
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    Default Thanks for responding!

    Thanks so much for responding! I think your ideas are outstanding. I really like the idea of the student being the teacher. And starting from Kindergarden or first grade sounds like a good plan. I'm going to check "Learning Games for Kids". I don't think it was here when I used this program with my grandson. This place has grown very nicely! It has a forum and other stuff. Very nice!





    Quote Originally Posted by MamaToHerRoo View Post
    Let me try again...I had it all typed in and hit a wrong button and POOF! it all disappeared!
    Time4Learning kindergarten or 1st grade might be a great place to start. Tell him that you know English is hard, and that he has to start at "level 1" (not grade 1) because that is the beginning in Language Arts. Let him know that he can move as fast as he can get the information. I put my daughter back in 1st grade language arts when she was in 4th grade for a short period of time because she is a terrible speller and I had pulled her out of public school midway through 1st grade. I was afraid I had missed teaching her something vital and that was why she was a poor speller. I won't say it helped her spelling much, but it was pretty easy for her, and because she could do it quickly and correctly it gave her more confidence to go on and try harder things.
    English is very difficult for people who learned to speak Romance languages first, because Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian...) are very systematic and regular. In comparison, English is a language of exceptions to the rules. English is almost chaotic to learn if it is not your native language. And in times of personal stress it is difficult to keep an open mind about learning English, when your native tongue is easier and comforting.
    Keep it fun...let him play games on Learning Games for Kids. There are lots of early elementary language arts games that are short and cute.
    Get him audio books...check the library. Let him listen to stories in English. The more he hears English in an interesting way, the more likely he is to buy into learning English. The benefits of audio books are that he hears English spoken fluently, with pretty standard accents. If he is engaged in a story and doesn't understand something he is more likely to ask for clarification than he would be for drudgery and drill in the classroom.
    Let him be the teacher. Find a very simple book written in French and attempt to read it to him. If you are not a French speaker, your pronunciation will be pretty bad Ask him for help pronouncing the words. When he sees what being a "reading teacher" is about he may understand that you are not a "baby", just someone who doesn't speak French, just like he isn't a "baby", just someone who doesn't speak English well. When I hit a wall with my daughter, I let her be the teacher, sometimes it helps her understand.


    Finally, maybe he is just overwhelmed. Being fluent in one language and then being asked to become fluent in another in a short period of time can be daunting. Coming from another country to here can be mind blowing. Lots of kindness, and one-on-one time may take the pressure of school off enough to let him relax enough to learn. Schools are not good with students who need individualized attention, there are simply too many students and too few teachers to accomidate kids who need extra time and attention.
    Good luck! Maybe this will start as a beautiful friendship and the summer will end with a more fluent English reader! Please keep us posted on progress!

  4. #4
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    You are very welcome! And you made me blush...it is good to have ideas other people think are good!
    I can't wait to hear about your progress with this young man. It is so obvious that you care for him and he will be able to feel that caring and know you want the best for him.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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