ChocolateTe... asks:

He's in Pre-K  ELL/Spec. Ed class, but speaks English well. We like that he's being taught Spanish, but this may be hindering instead of helping.

We enrolled in this class as a sort of "experimental" situation, as they put it, to see how the "ELL" could interact with the "Special Ed" class. To show them how to treat others with dissabilities, as well as to make the S.E. class feel as the other children. We initially liked the idea because he would be taught in Spanish as well as his native English. He has picked up habits of the children (like he can't talk, or fits, drooling, etc). I know this is normal and i'm glad he's learning compassion, but I want him to be on the same level as other pre-K students, if not above average! Should I put him in a regular Pre-K class? Please advise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In Topics: School and Academics, Learning a second language, Special education
> 60 days ago



Feb 2, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

This is a bit of a complicated question as we cannot ascertain if you are a native Spanish speaker or wish to add a second language in addition to your primary language to enhance your child's ability to communicate with Spanish speakers.

I believe that I would start by having a heart to heart with the teachers in the class to see if there are alternate ways for your child to have the best of both worlds but be rewarded for his typical learning behaviors versus drawing attention when he sometimes acts with a repertoire of behaviors akin to the  children with learning challenges, such as drooling or being nonverbal.

Once you receive much input from the staff, perhaps observe the classrooms and others that may be an option, then you can proceed by making an informed decision.  

I commend you for your concern and hope that you will help your child continue to be learn about diversity within schools, including other cultures, as part of his overall educational experiences.

Here are websites you may find useful or of interest:

Best wishes-

Louise Sattler, NCSP

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