Friday, January 30, 2009
This is the second time I have taught a ten year old how to speak, read, and write in English as their second language. I must say that I am thankful as I begin this undertaking again that I have some experience(although it is not that much). I have created a method to this task at hand. Math(thankfully) is a universal language, and since Etsegenet was attending school in Ethiopia she is at grade level in this subject. I have other friends who have adopted older children and they are starting at the beginning in mathematics. We begin each day with this subject. I read all the story problems and make sure that the concept of the day is understood and then E is on her own for most of the lesson. Once she has completed it I correct it right away. That way I ensure she is comprehending most of what is going on. Then it on to the major task of learning English. We have begun with a kindergarten/first grade level phonics program. It is called Explode the Code. When we first started, which was basically the Monday after she arrived from Ethiopia, we only did this subject. It covers the basics in short vowels and beginning blend sounds so she can begin to read. She is very fortunate to have learned most of her vowel and consonant sounds, although many are not being pronounced correctly. We have now added reading aloud, a grammar/English book and handwriting. In a week or so we will add spelling and parts of speech. All in all it is going great. By the end of this school year I will have her tested at the first grade level. Next year we will bust through 2ND and 3rd grade English and the next year will be 4Th and 5Th grade level which should bring her up to speed. This program worked so well with Denis that he is now able to do a high school level American Literature class at a ninth grade level even though he is technically only an eighth grader. We are excited about how she is doing and we are looking forward as we press on.