José Perez is a fidgety 5-year-old – as if there's any other kind. Since he's more fidgety than most, his teacher changes activities often to accommodate his attention span and keep him focused on the business of kindergarten – phonics, reading, writing.
José sometimes writes in what the teacher calls “run-on words” – soJosé'ssentencesenduplookinglikethis.
Yesterday, his mother, Sylvia, was at his left elbow for 40 minutes, coaching him to put space between the words, erasing mistakes, helping him with vocabulary in “Escápate,” the Spanish-language book the class is reading. José hasn't learned to speak English yet.
Why is this school teaching Spanish-speaking Kindergarten students in Spanish and not English?
I'm sure there is some silly government mandate.
Here we have a young child from a poor family with uneducated parents and who, if you tested him, would most likely reveal that he didn't know that many Spanish words to begin with being taught to read in Spanish, not English.
This makes no sense at this age. It's just as efficient to teach kids this young in English because you have to teach them most of the vocabulary from scratch anyway. You might as well teach in English from day one.
There might be a more compelling reason to teach older kids in a language other than English, but I don't see it for kids this young.