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tumata
tumata asks:
Q:

I have a 5 year old who is in kindergarten after evaluation from health nurse who met for 1 hour decided that he has a language capacity of a

2 1/2 year old since we speak another language at home and he uses another language in the kindergarten class (Norwegian). From my point of view he speaks his mother tongue at home fluently and plays well with other kids but when he is in the kindergarten class, he is left all by himself so he doesn't get the chance to communicate with others and can't express himself. Should I be concerned that it's just the language or other things?

In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, My child's growth and development
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
Jun 16, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

Please feel free to address your concerns with the early intervention team in the school. There are non-verbal assessments and also evaluations which take in to account second language learning.  

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (4)

w100wdm
w100wdm writes:
Don't worry about it. I have a friend who grew up in a house speaking only Vietnamese, no English at all. She struggled for a few years but by about second grade she was able to speak English fluently. We graduated high school in 2001 so it was under a similar school system that you're dealing with now (not schools during the 1950s or anything).

I did some research as I was a modern languages minor in college and found it is normal for the English-as-second-language student to struggle initially but they catch up and show no (zero) problems when they are about 7 or 8.

I suspect the language difference is what is keeping the kids away. I know you've heard all the solutions like joining a club or or team to get him around the language so I wont sound like a broken record and repeat them.

It may be hard now, but the research shows that it will be fine in a few years.
> 60 days ago

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rmknig
rmknig writes:
I'm no expert but if all other areas of your child's development are ok I wouldn't worry too much. I would have a chat with the kindergarten teachers to see what they can suggest and do in his learning environment to help. Having plenty of play dates with some of his kindergarten pals as mentioned by someone earlier is a good idea. My child is 4 and speaks Welsh and French. Since we moved to USA she uses her English only at school and it has progressed very nicely and we keep our Welsh and French going at home. In the long term the ability to speak more than one language will be a huge asset to your child. Well done for doing such a great job.
> 60 days ago

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ksigafus
ksigafus writes:
Why is the nurse determining his language level and not a speech and language pathologist who is trained in this area?  A bilingual child develops their languages at a slower rate than a monolingual child for the first 7 years, but by 8 should be developmentally equal with their peers in both languages, if they do not have a language delay in their primary language.  I would talk with the school's speech and language pathologist about your child's language development.  Check the American Speech and Language Association for information on child language development.
> 60 days ago

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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
There is no real concern, however, he should be speaking the language of instruction at school. In this way the teacher can better assess his abilities. You are doing a great job by keeping the home language.  Please speak to the teacher and ask her to group him with children who would encourage the language so that he can become fluent.
> 60 days ago

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