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second language in elementary


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Apr 16, 2002 at 12:24:47 PM
Subject: second language in elementary

Does anyone have children who have to take another language in K-8 and if so what language and how long each day.

my children have to take french. In JK and SK they had half french half english and in grade 1 to 8 its 75 minutes a day. This is not considered french immersion just regular school.

Now if you are in a french school here you do not take any english until grade 4. These are kids who are francophones. I can't understand this reasoning as the anglephones have to learn the second language before they fully learn their native tongue.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Apr 16, 2002 1:09:39 PM

Schools have their different philosophies on this issue. Many private schools are inserting a second language into their curriculum in the very early grades. I'd be surprised if a public school was insisting on this but I've been surprised before.

For some children, an introduction to foreign language this young is very beneficial. For others, it does no harm. Is your child being graded in these classes?

If there are no grades given, and the thrust of the class is enrichment, it should be harmless. If the children are graded, though, then some young children will do poorly as not all of us were meant to take a second language in school so young.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Apr 16, 2002 1:35:58 PM


When I went to school in Canada, a long time ago ;-)
60s-70s in British Columbia, we did not have to take
French until high school. Then we took it grades 8 through 12.

Living in a small, very isolated village we had a hard time
keeping French teachers. We had a new one every year.
One went mad on us and was escorted from town by
the RCMP. That was after someone burned our school
to the ground and we were having school in the single
men's hotel, three sinks to the room, ah, those were
the days!
Needless to say my French is practically nonexistent
now, except for the swear words.
And as I live in the US now it is not like I need it
like I would in some parts of Canada.

It seems to me that there ought to be some kind of general
knowledge about a second language and LD children in Canada.
Have you posted over on the READING ld board?
http://www.ldonline.org/bulletin_boards/tr.html
There is a poster there, Victoria, who tutors in Canada,
I'm pretty darn sure, as she talks about doing stuff in French.

Anne

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Apr 17, 2002 9:48:20 AM

My son takes spanish and sign language. He is doing well in both. In Spanish they get to use alot of props, books, and arts and crafts. It helps him in particular because he is learning so visually.

I am amazed however at his ability to pick up sign language. I think this is because he may have an auditory processing issues. He remembers every letter and word he is taught.

I guess if it is being taught in a way that is fun and creative and your child doesn't seem to be getting frustrated it is probably not a bad thing.

Thanks
K.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Apr 17, 2002 4:05:59 PM

I think your son is very lucky. If he is interested in signing and becomes expert at it there will be good career opportunities for him.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Apr 18, 2002 8:13:24 AM

My son who is in a self-contained 3rd grade LD class is also learning sign language. The students in this class have done very well picking it up. My son who falls on the autism spectrum had a head start in this in that we used sign language 1st to help him to communicatte. When he started speech/language therapy at the age of 2 they used sign to help him begin to communicatte. After he learned enough signs to communicatte his basic needs he seemed to relax more and started to pick up verbal skills. He is 10 now and his verbal skills are only about 2 years behind which considering everything really isnt bad. He had a 60 percent hearing loss until he had ear surgery at the age of 2.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 12:41:57 AM

I think the theory is that it is easier to learn the second language when you start earlier. The window of opportunity is closing by junior high. Our brains are designed to learn language early. That's the theory. Anyway, my grandaughter took part in an experiment at her kindergarten. Half of class was ESL kids - many spoke no English, other half were like my grandaughter - spoke English and no Spanish. Spanish speaking teacher in morning, English speaking teacher in afternoon. Wanted to see if ESL students learned English faster. All kids picked up both languages quickly. By end of first grade, all kids were fluent in both languages. Kids also learned to read and write in both languages. After 2 years, program discontinued. Rumor had it that the ESL teachers pressured admin. - afraid they'd lose jobs. Don't know the truth. Grandaughter still fluent in both languages.

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