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Can't distinguish sounds of vowels


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Joined: Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 9
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Posted Sep 17, 2007 at 8:12:07 PM
Subject: Can't distinguish sounds of vowels

I am tutoring a boy in reading using Phono-Graphix. He is a 7th grader, reading at 5th grade level. He is incredibly bright, enthusiastic, has an amazing amount of general knowledge, a good vocabulary (when he hears the word).
He isn't able to distinguish between the sounds the vowels make.
He was raised bi-lingual (Spanish).
He has an IEP, but there is nothing in there about reading difficulties, just his behavior. [which is fine with me, but apparently he gets distracted in crowds.]

Wouldn't the IEP team do some tests to evaluate his reading difficulties?

I've asked his mother to talk to the appropriate people, but I would like to know what anyone here thinks.

thanks in advance,
ellen

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Sep 18, 2007 6:59:29 PM

It can be really hard to get appropriate testing for someone who is bi-lingual. It may not just be a reading issue, though, so he should be tested for an auditory problem.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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lillian12
Joined Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 8

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Posted:Sep 24, 2007 11:58:19 PM

If he has an IEP, he should have had a complete psycho-educational evaluation performed by the school, and his mother should have copies of that evaluation. This evaluation must include an IQ test and an achievement test. The achievement test will have a reading portion that will assess his ability to understand the alphabet and its corresponding sounds. This section will be called a number of things, like letter/sound identification, letter/word identification, word attack, pseudoword identification, etc. I would be very interested to see what his scores were here, and, if his scores were low, whether or not the low scores were attributed to his being bilinqual and disregarded, which may or may not have been a legitimate decision made by the IEP Committee. I also wonder if he was tested in Spanish or English.

Ask the mother for all his testing. If she doesn't have it, she can go to the school and request copies. They will be in his Special Education folder.

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 1442

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Posted:Sep 25, 2007 1:51:22 PM

It is not unusual for a bilingual child to confuse vowel sounds, especially since one or more of the vowels in Spanish is pronounced differently than it is in English. Naturally, if the child needs Phono-Graphix, he needs to be taught the code. So just work on pairs of short vowels until he can discriminate them all. There is no testing that the school has done that will explain any more than the PG test will. However, I will say that the ABeCeDarian placement test is more detailed and will tell you more than the PG test. ABCD is a more developed program and easier to use than PG. (I am trained in both.) www.abcdrp.com

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jodie
Joined Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 5

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Posted:Oct 01, 2007 9:18:40 PM

I teach in elementary school (WI) with a high percentage (47%)of hispanic students. Bilingual students with learning disabilites are often the last to get identified with learning disabilites as it is very hard to determine whether their reading delays are an enlgish language barrier(they usually transition from Spanish to English around 3rd grade)or an actual learning disability. If it is a learning disability, they tend to be delayed readers in their native language, also. School Psych's are very, very hesitant to label Bil./ELL children unless they are positive it is not a delay due to the language barrier.

If this young man is reading at a 5th grade level in 7th grade...he may not qualify, especially as he is a ELL student and the criteria for LD has changed. Check out Steven Krashen for teaching ideas...he is the guru for teaching ELL students.

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ellenr
Joined Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 9

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Posted:Oct 02, 2007 9:58:27 AM

Thank you very much for your replies.
I am now in touch with his teacher.
Also, the mother has invited me to be in on a meeting next week with the IEP team.
I will ask the questions about the testing, as Lillian suggested. I see that the issue of being bi-lingual adds another level of complexity.
I will let you know the results of the meeting.

ellen

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ellenr
Joined Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 9

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Posted:Oct 02, 2007 10:05:05 AM

Thanks for the references to further resources, Jodie and Janis. I am looking at them both. I'm always trying to learn more to help the kids.
I hope the fact that I also teach English as a Second Language (to adults) will help with Michael.


ellen

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ellenr
Joined Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 9

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Posted:Oct 05, 2007 8:34:47 AM

Am happy to report that last night my student got almost all the vowel sounds right! This has never happened before, so I am very encouraged.

I mixed up the different vowel sounds in words, and then I did nonsense words, which is usually very hard for him and he did well on that too.

ellen

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