For which one of the following reason he went down in language skill.  A second grader (ESL) missed months of classes for chronic illness. As a result of this he falls behind in language skill....

For which one of the following reason he went down in language skill.

 

A second grader (ESL) missed months of classes for chronic illness. As a result of this he falls behind in language skill. For which one of the following reason he went down in language skill.

  1. He missed content-area lesson
  2. Lack of peer interaction
  3. He missed opportunity to learn

Asked on by mubin2712

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

While I believe that this second-grade student missed a great deal in all three areas, I would select number two as the correct response.

My reasoning for this is as follows:

"Content-area lessons" are not designed to teach language. Language is necessary to better understand them, but the intent is to convey core knowledge to the student. And while his skills may be supported by working with the language in these lessons, much is based upon what the teacher shares/teaches, and the rest in how she/he manages to get the students to become engaged for better understanding and recall of the core material.

"Opportunities to learn" is much like content area lessons. Learning is the basic focus in the classroom, in providing opportunities to learn. The opportunities can be passive or interactive, but once again, unless they are language lessons to specifically speak to the needs of an ESL student, the results will be the same: not centralized to the language needs of that ESL student.

"Lack of peer interaction" would be my greatest concern. In working or playing with peers, the second-grade student is practicing his language skills all the time: whether he is processing what is said to him or around him, or constructing language (choosing vocabulary, etc.) to communicate with his peers, language is the key component. It is  not secondary to another agenda.  Learning math or science is the priority. Learning English, even, is not learning the language, but how to USE the language in writing, etc.

However, interacting with English-speaking peers takes the pressure off the student to be learning other things while using language, and allows him to work on his skills for as long as he is with his peers.  This would be what would cause my greatest concern for a struggling ESL student: to lack the ability to learn and put language skills to work by practicing on a regular basis.  It is the repetition of a skill that best promotes its mastery.

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