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Dd in school for francophone kids... what to do about English class?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Dd's maternal language is English, but we live in a predominantly francophone city (Montreal) and she goes to French school. This year she has started first grade and has an ESL class. So far they are learning the names of colours and how to count in English, while dd can already read at a beginner level (in English). Obviously the class work is way below her level. Do you think it's unreasonable for me to ask for different work for her to do during her ESL class time? I can't really imagine the teacher preparing different stuff just for her... but at the same time all of those class hours are just going to be a (boring) joke to her. How can I broach this with her teacher? Or should I just let it go?
post #2 of 7
I would ask if she could spend the time reading in English. It wouldn't require ANY extra work on the teachers part because your DD could just bring books with her. Reading books for pleasure will increase her reading ability in English.

At some point, when she is older, working on writing in English and English grammar will most likely be helpful to her, but I wouldn't bother with it at this point. If she wants to keep a journal or write little stories in English, that's great, but I wouldn't push it at all.

It's great that she's growing up truly bi-lingual!
post #3 of 7
I agree that asking if she can read during class is the way to go.
post #4 of 7
Are any other languages offfered? When I was in school there was a girl who spoke was bilingual (Spanish and English) so while the rest of us took Spanish, she took French. I don't know if she continued it, but it would be neat to grow up trilingual.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts mamas! I think I will ask the teacher about having dd bring in some books to read during that time. Hopefully she's amenable to the idea!

Phantaja - that would be wonderful if dd could learn a third language at school! Unfortunately the curriculum at this grade level only provides for ESL. Perhaps in later years she'll have the chance to learn a third language. What a great thing that would be!
post #6 of 7
Has she complained that it's boring? Our school is in English, but about 1/4 of our kids speak Spanish at home, and we offer Spanish as a second language starting at age 3.

Spanish classes are generally full of songs, games, and stories at that age, and the Spanish speaking kids seem to enjoy them as much as anyone else. Yes, the teacher's picking games that emphasize key vocabulary over and over again, but the kids aren't really aware of that. They just think they're playing.

First grade is a really long day, and it's particularly long for those kids who are learning in a language that's not their native tongue -- it's exhausting. Having her skip out on something that's likely easy, fun, and social, and do something that's hard work, alone, and involves more sitting still, (such as reading) isn't probably going to make her day more enjoyable.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Momily, that's a really good point. In fact she has only had one class so far (we're only just over a week into school and they only have English class on Wednesdays) and did complain that it was boring... but that was after just the one class. Perhaps I'll hold off on talking to her teacher about this and see how dd is doing with it. If she keeps complaining then it seems worth a convo with the teacher, but if not I might just let it go.
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