Saturday, March 31, 2007

What am I doing here?

Yesterday I was asked to substitute in the second grade at the kids' school. I had never subbed for Anna Grace's class before and she was really excited! I got there a few minutes before school started and was happy to find out that the kids all left the room for various activities right after the bell rang. Well, all the kids except one. This student didn't go to Turkish classes nor did he go to ESL with the other kids. The teacher usually worked one on one with this kid for about an hour. I started working on some phonic's papers with him. On one paper he was asked to write a sentence using one of the words he had learned. He started to write a sentence and then asked me how to spell something. I wasn't sure what he was saying so he asked again. I still didn't understand the word he wanted help spelling so he just started to spell it asking after each letter if it was right. I figured I would let him finish the sentence and that maybe at that point I would know what he was trying to spell. When he was finished this is what the sentence said.

hey their waraiy doing hear. I figured out that he was saying "where I" but it didn't make any sense. He was running the word together so it sounded like weareye. I guess he meant to say "what am I" but considering he was a Korean boy who already knew Turkish trying to learn English he was a bit confused! He did end up going to an ESL class later with kids from other classes who were about at the same level in their English abilities. I can't imagine knowing one language, learning another to survive in this culture, and learning a third language in order to be schooled. Wow!

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