Reading the new Carnival of Education, hosted by Jenny D, I came across this charming post by Melinama, who volunteers to read books with a first grader, who arrived in North Carolina with no English at the start of the school year.
Interestingly, Henry has decided to turn our time together into a language lab. He will pause on a page in the middle of one of our books, put his hand on the book as if to signal, “ok, we’re shifting gears, now,” and start a conversation about it in English: “I don’t like snakes.” He continues, sentence after sentence, looking up at me for feedback. He seems to want me to repeat his sentences back to him casually as if asking for elaboration, using covertly corrected English. Then he continues. I ask questions about the topic under discussion (for instance, snakes), he answers; then he asks and I answer. He guides the discussion. I’m in awe of his ability to use the few minutes we have so efficiently – he is methodically stockpiling correct English usage.
A couple weeks ago a switch in his brain got flipped, and now he chats with great verve in English from the minute he sees me. And he’s darn good! Kids are amazing!
There’s a bunch of other stuff at the carnival.