2010年6月16日水曜日

Our little weasel strikes again

When she was 2 years old Amy went to daycare once a week. She had a great time, an amazing set up (maximum of eight kids and up to three teachers in a purpose built room in a brand spanking new kinder) She was part of the Monday posse of kids who regularly went on Mondays and had the teachers around her little finger. She also had them under the impression she didn't understand Japanese.

Well not all Japanese but some phrases in particular anyway.

I was asked to stay back one afternoon at hometime and the teacher asked if we could please work on more Japanese at home. I was a little confused as (much as I wish it was otherwise) both my girls speak Japanese at native level and English at a passable second language level but nowhere near age level.

When I asked for details I was told Amy looked blank, ignored the request or stated that she didn't understand when asked to:

pack up
lie down for a nap
come here
sit down
put your cup in the container etc...

hmmmmmm....... I pointed out that we use the same phrases at home and she has no problem and that I felt she had taken them for a bit of a ride....

Fast forward two years and Amy is still adjusting to her new kinder class. This is the one that's gone from 18 kids to 35. It's huge, it's staffed by a fresh-out-of-Uni girl (she's not really a woman yet, right?) and a very nice and caring mother of two kids who I am guessing are angelic as she is just sooo nice about everything.

Anyway, we got a note in the communication book that Amy was not very good at packing up and needed lots of reminders to stay on task or she wanders off to play somewhere else.

I wrote back that she has always had an independent streak, doesn't meld to group work very easily but is not lazy- she's a great helper at home, does heaps of chores around the place without even being asked (and in fact sometimes without me actually wanting the floors washed with a sopping wet mop or the kitchen swept with the outside broom etc).

Got the reply back in the notebook this evening:

"I think because Amy speaks Japanese and English she finds it difficult to understand long or involved sentences. We are speaking slowly and in short sentences and praising her a lot whenever she does what we ask and it's working great."

Oh gee.... I'm kind of conflicted. I don't want Amy weaseling out of her responsibilities and I know in good conscience I should set the teacher straight but at the same time I rather like the idea of Amy getting a bit of extra attention in a class of 35....

4 件のコメント:

Rachel さんのコメント...

yeah, but it's attention for the wrong reasons... Lena had a similar problem in that her daydreaming, and just plain ignnoring requests (she still does it!) has been variously interpreted at not understanding Japanese. It's the first solution they reach for. I think you should tell them to continue speaking normal Japanese. She bilingual, not slow, not stupid, not delayed.

thefukases さんのコメント...

hmmm good point. Amy is a real day dreamer and also not so fussed about what other people are doing so doesn't get the 'oh no! everyone else is sitting down for circle time and I'm over here playing!' panic that other kids tend to get. I was also thinking that letting it slide *could* mean the label 'not up to speed in Japanese' follows her around which is not something we really want...

Oh well, off to write to sensei....

Bryn さんのコメント...

Wow! What a smart cookie to have figured that out at 2! Gotta give her some credit ;)

But you're probably right, once any kind of label is stuck on, it's really difficult to get rid of it.

Claire さんのコメント...

Surely they can see her interacting with the other kids..Set her straight now or she will be writing it on Amy's forms for school! Lili was painfully shy until grade 3 and the amount of times people assumed she couldn't understand them because she wouldn't answer their questions was unbelievable (but understandable!)