New ELL student placement

Discussion in 'General Education' started by science goon, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. science goon

    science goon Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Hi, I'm new to these boards and I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this question, so if it needs moved, I understand!

    We have a new student in our school who moved here from Russia this summer, but there is some disagreement about what grade to put him in. He just completed 2nd grade in Russia, but he is 9 years old. He has lots of support at home and outside of school, even though we have no ELL program. In fact, I think I'm the only teacher in the school with any ELL teaching experience.

    These are the options:
    1. Put him in 3rd grade in a 2nd/3rd multiage classroom. That teacher has never taught an ELL student before and is nervous about it. The principal thinks he should be in there to start and if he needs to jump a grade later once he has a better command of English, fine.

    2. Put him in 4th grade with me and my job-sharing partner in our 4th/5th multiage class. He'd actually be the oldest 4th grader in the class. I used to teach in a very diverse school with lots of ELL students. This student has been attending our summer reading program (which is just for fun) that my partner is teaching, so he already knows her a little bit. He would stay with me for 5th grade too. (I'll be full time then, not job-sharing. Probably.)

    What do you think is the best option? And more importantly, why? I need info on what is best for an early ELL.
     
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  3. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    What is his language level? I forgot to look and see what state you're from, but in WA we have an ELL test that gives us language level for students. Knowing that would help me give you more of an opinion.

    I would really hesitate to place a student who should be going into 3rd grade into 4th. Having taught ELLs for the last eight years, I really think this would be detrimental to the student. His lack of academic language in English is going to put him behind academically for awhile. When would he ever get the content from 3rd grade that he's going to miss by going into 4th? I realize that the teacher has had no experience with ELLs, but you can provide a little bit of support. Also, teaching ELLs is really all about good teaching and scaffolding assignments.

    Just my :2cents:
     
  4. science goon

    science goon Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    Thanks for the response. I guess I should clarify a few things... He knows very little English. Two months ago I would have said he knows none. And from my understanding, the grade levels in Russia don't correspond very well to ours. When the third grade teacher talked to his grandfather about what topics he would study in her class, he said they were covered in 2nd grade in Russia. From my limited experience, it seems like Russian academics tend to be a bit more accelerated than ours.
     
  5. 6ertchr

    6ertchr Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    You should look at his reading fluency in Russian (if possible), as well as his math proficiency. He should be placed according to his academic skills, not his English acquisition.
     
  6. tiredteacher29

    tiredteacher29 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2007

    His English level is definitely going to impact his academics, according to research and my personal experience. However, if you are sure he has learned the concepts that he would get in 3rd grade, 4th grade may not be a bad place for him.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 30, 2007

    Our ELL students are placed at the age-appropriate grade and receive support in English both in-class and in smaller groups.
     

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