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EAL child without any previous schooling

Discussion in 'Primary' started by shell43, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. shell43

    shell43 New commenter

    I have a child in my class (Y4) who has recently arrived in this country, he speaks Portuguese, but I have begun to suspect he has had no previous education at all, he cannot read Portuguese and he doesn't understand maths symbols such as + or - . I have him on Maths plus, but my problem is teaching English, has anyone ever had an experience like this?

    Luckily, there is a child in Year 3 who is bilingual and I have often used her expertise in translating. He is beginning to understand more of spoken language, I had thought about just matching cards to words and building on that, in a similar way to duolingo.

    I would welcome any advice.
     
  2. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    I feel for you! Can he have access to an online Portuguese/English dictionary (maybe an iPad with him)?
     
  3. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    This may seem obvious but an initial concern could be whether the child has acquired a mother tongue to an age-appropriate level. It is so easy to 'blame' lack of English on a child being foreign but this does not mean they are developing normally e.g. could have global delay, hearing impairment, specific language problem. Are you able to observe the bilingual child playing with your student with e.g. building blocks, a play village, puppets and see if there is good interaction and fluent speech. Why are you unsure if the child has been in school? Can't you ask the parents? He is over the age for school entry on the Continent after all.
    I don't know how to search for past posts now but there have been many in the past about this issue of new arrivals.
    The resources I have on TES are mostly symbol-supported e.g. http://languageisheartosay.com/resources/sorting/ If you have the symbol software in school, a voice will speak the text.
     
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Do you have EMATS in your LEA?
     
  5. shell43

    shell43 New commenter

    He is able to hold conversations with the year 3, so he has acquired his own language. Mother doesn't speak English and she can't read Portuguese, his older brother brings him to school and has limited English. I have a feeling he has come from Portugal via one of the Portuguese speaking African countries, I have yet to meet his father. Will try the web site you mention.
    Thank you.
     
  6. shell43

    shell43 New commenter

    Not that I'm aware of, we certainly don't get help for the amount of Polish children we have in school, but most of them have had schooling in Poland, so they can understand maths symbols at least and they are taught English.

    Will keep going with the interactive stuff, problem is I know he doesn't read Portuguese, because I downloaded a word mat that had 100 first English words with the Portuguese translation.
     

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