I propose to you a case study on a pre-kindergarten English language learning student through qualitative research. My goal was to find out if he faces any problems with regards to his behavior, academic progress and attitudes towards his teachers, classmates and parents. His name is David and just recently came to the United States from Russia about two years ago. He has a complicated time understanding what goes on in his environment because of the language barrier. The one positive aspect for David is that my assistant in the class is Russian as well.
Even though he has a hardship speaking the English language and understanding his peers, my assistant helps translate words from Russian to English for him and vice versa. He also gets pulled out of class everyday for ESL services in order to help him achieve the levels his peers are on currently. The Department of Education is dedicated to serving the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs)—students who speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on English assessments.
ELLs, former ELLs, immigrants, and their families are provided by the Office of English Language Learners with fairness and access to an excellent education. We create a strict learning environment that focuses on academic achievement, language development, and cross-cultural support by providing demanding professional development to teachers, staff, and leaders, improving material resources, promoting parental involvement, and creating targeted solutions for different ELL populations,. David has been in the country for only two years. He was born and raised in Russia and came from a low-income family.
After interviewing his parents with a Russian translator by my side, I came to the conclusion that David is a very bright boy and capable of learning quickly because the parents are very involved in his life. The parents informed me that they come from a low income household and even though they try to work as much as possible they also make time to be involved with David to get him the proper education he needs to succeed. David was given a test for non-native speakers and a native language proficiency test. In his native language he scored pretty well because he speaks his native language fluently with a high vocabulary.
In the non-native test he was tested in listening/understanding, speaking, reading and writing. He scored basically a zero on this test due to him having no knowledge in the English language. We then informed his parents on the score which led to him having a pull-out in ESL instruction. David will be in an ESL program for about three to seven years until he is tested out of the program. When the district decides he has reached the English proficiency needed to test out then he may leave the program. I have observed him in his natural setting in the classroom and saw how his behavior is.
While observing him I interviewed his parents with the assistants help and find some information out about David and his surroundings. I also observed how he works in class and interacts with others, whether it is to try to communicate or to just sit back and stay to himself. Since it is a preschool there isn’t much academics going on but I observed how he comprehends the simple things being taught at their age. David knows all his letters and numbers as well as his shapes and colors. He is also able to recognize some of the sounds to each letter which shows he has progressed a lot since he first started.
He still has some hardship when talking to his peers but the students are able to understand each other in one way or another. I notice the students trying to correct him from time to time when he tries to say words. They’ll have an idea of what he’s trying to say and finish the sentence for him. When an ELL is at such a young age they pick up language easier and their peers tend to help with the process more. At an older age students will lean towards being mean to an ELL and make fun of them rather than actually helping them learn the language.
I set up an interview with his parents to discuss his progress and find out some information about David. A translator will be needed due to his parents not speaking English. I’ve asked the parents how David’s behavior is at home and how his attitude is towards his school work. I also asked his parents how he reacts when asked about his classmates and school in general. Is he excited to go to school? Does he like learning? Does he have any friends he talks to? After this, I discussed how David is in class including his behavior. He tries to participate sometimes in school and just sits quietly at times.
I have noticed him trying to work harder and understand certain material. He will try to reply when spoken to in his best ability. When he is in a group whether it’s playing or working on a project he will attempt to converse with the others. During circle time he doesn’t pay too much attention because of him not understanding what is being said completely. When I read a story to the class it is most difficult for him because he doesn’t have enough English proficiency to comprehend what is being read other than looking at the pictures of the book. Due to his language barrier he needs more than just a pull out for ESL.
If he cannot understand the language he cannot progress academically or socially in any way. In my opinion he should also have a Russian translator by his side to help him comprehend material. David has potential to learn and become a bright student ever since he’s come to the United States, he just needs to get through the language barrier. Another possibility might be to recommend him for a fluent Russian speaking teacher by his side. If he can receive a one to one teacher by his side he can probably learn the language quicker and be able to understand easier what goes on in the classroom if this person translates it all for him.