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Ozquoll

A question for primary teachers - ESL

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Ozquoll

Wanting a teacher’s thoughts on this!

 

I am helping my non-English speaking neighbour to enrol his daughter in school. Age-wise, she could go either Prep or Year 1. She is tall and confident, but only speaks a few words of English. In your experience as a teacher, would you think she would be better off in Prep or Year 1?

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Cheesy Sanga

Does your state have a cut off date? There may not be a choice.

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jayskette

you pick up English at that age like a snap of the fingers, just enrol based on her other skills.

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José

i think i would chat with the school...

 

has the child attended a pre school.?

do they come from a refugee or trauma background. ?

what are their social skills and self care skills like. .?

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Nasty Teens

Has she had any experience of school? If no then I would lean towards prep. If yes - in her home language- can she count to 30? Read and write a little? If yes then I may lean towards year 1.

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Ozquoll

Thanks all!

We’re in Victoria, she can enrol in either Prep or Year 1 based on her age.

No trauma or refugee background. Socially confident, not sure about the self-care skills.

Hasn’t been to pre-school here in Australia, I don’t know if she did in her home country.

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atthebeach

i thought children who can't speak english are supposed to do 6 months at a special english-language school first - if there are positions available. i would speak to the school about it, it may partly depend on whether or not they have integration aides in the prep or grade 1 class, or other specialists.

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born.a.girl

I've had a bit to do with refugee children starting school (as in 'a bit', about a dozen) and they do pick things up very quickly and are better off with their peers. They're going to be just as much a fish out of water with kids a year younger, better that once they pick up English they're not also out of their age group.

 

 

In Vic, if she was a post Christmas birthdate, I'd be tempted with prep, because there will be plenty of others. July/Aug/Sept ish grade one.

 

 

 

We had one family with three girls - 4,5, & 6 at enrollment. No English at beginning. They then had another child. It's the fourth child who struggles, as she is impossible to understand in English, but her speech patterns may be established enough that it's harder for her to change. She learnt English from her parents, whose English was very poor and strongly accented. They didn't believe in teaching her their first language. The older ones thrived and learnt English with an Australian accent (not that I'm suggesting that's a good thing, just that they didn't have the disadvantage of an accent that was very difficult to understand.)

 

i thought children who can't speak english are supposed to do 6 months at a special english-language school first - if there are positions available. i would speak to the school about it, it may partly depend on whether or not they have integration aides in the prep or grade 1 class, or other specialists.

 

 

Where are you?

 

None of the kids I've had anything to do with have done this, but they have been in separate classes for various things, for various periods of time.

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Fossy

Speak to the school. We had two kids in my daughters foundation class who only spoke mandarin. They had an interpreter supplied for the first 6 weeks of term one to help with the transition but after that you wouldn’t have known they hadn’t known any English.

 

Maybe see if this is an option?

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BBC

In the ACT they would go to a specialist English language school for up to six months. They just do English, not other subjects, and have much smaller classes than usual.

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born.a.girl

Speak to the school. We had two kids in my daughters foundation class who only spoke mandarin. They had an interpreter supplied for the first 6 weeks of term one to help with the transition but after that you wouldn’t have known they hadn’t known any English.

 

Maybe see if this is an option?

 

 

I met a young boy out trick or treating at halloween one year, in year four so about ten? He'd only been here about six months, and had no English. Incredible, his English wasn't even very accented. Would have loved to have talked to him more but didn't want him going home to his parents saying 'this old couple wanted me to stay longer ,..'!

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Ozquoll

Speak to the school. We had two kids in my daughters foundation class who only spoke mandarin. They had an interpreter supplied for the first 6 weeks of term one to help with the transition but after that you wouldn’t have known they hadn’t known any English.

 

Maybe see if this is an option?

Mandarin is what she speaks, so it’s good to know they can pick

things up so quickly! They only asked me to help with enrolment today, so I’ll take them to the school for a chat when the office opens on Tuesday.

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Ozquoll

Okay, another question - what happens if the vaccinations have been done overseas? Can she still start school if she doesn’t have proof the vaccinations are up to date?

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BornToLove

Does she have vaccine records of the ones done overseas? DD has most of her done overseas, but the school wanted our local GP to review the records we had from overseas and agree that she was up to date.

 

It turns out DD did not have her hep B series (it wasn’t on the schedule where she was born and had most of her vaccines) but they were happy to take her as we had started the first of the series and appointments set for the remainder by the time she started school.

 

ETA - this is for a vic public primary school

Edited by BornToLove

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atthebeach

Where are you?

 

None of the kids I've had anything to do with have done this, but they have been in separate classes for various things, for various periods of time.

 

i'm in melbourne. i know there is/was an english-language school that often had a waitlist. not sure if all of melbourne is the same.

 

regarding immunisations, it may now be the case that the parents will need to get a GP to send the vaccination history to the AIR (australian immunisation register), who will then issue an immunisation statement. it may or may not be possible to enrol in a state primary school without the official AIR statement.

if you google dept of education victoria enrolment policy, it should mention the requirements.

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Mooples

English language schools aren’t always an option unfortunately. I’ve had a student who had 1 English word, toilet but mum couldn’t drive and our school was walking distance so he had no other option. I’d enroll into prep, if he hasn’t been to kinder the routine and structure of school will be overwhelming enough let alone not being able to understand anything being said around him.

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Expelliarmus

The best course of action is to take the child to the school and, having assessed the child, they can advise the best year level for the child. There is nothing we can tell you without knowing the child and assessing the family’s situation and the child’s school readiness.

 

The likely outcome, given the birthdate allows for either, is if the child has done some schooling in their home country, then Year 1 and Prep if they have not. Either way the school is best placed to advise after meeting the child.

Edited by Expelliarmus
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jayskette

the intensive language program is usually only for high school level btw

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Crazyone26989

 

 

i'm in melbourne. i know there is/was an english-language school that often had a waitlist. not sure if all of melbourne is the same.

 

regarding immunisations, it may now be the case that the parents will need to get a GP to send the vaccination history to the AIR (australian immunisation register), who will then issue an immunisation statement. it may or may not be possible to enrol in a state primary school without the official AIR statement.

if you google dept of education victoria enrolment policy, it should mention the requirements.

 

In regards to vaccinations, you have to provide an offical AIR statement but the child doesn't have to be vaccinated to attend school. So I could be wrong, but I would think you could probably enrol without it as long as it is provided ASAP.

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Froyo

If no preschool definitely prep.

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born.a.girl

i'm in melbourne. i know there is/was an english-language school that often had a waitlist. not sure if all of melbourne is the same.

 

 

the intensive language program is usually only for high school level btw

 

 

I'm in Melbourne. It's only a few dozen kids I'm talking about but none of them did the intensive language school if at primary level.

 

As per jayskette, the secondary ones did, though.

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Froyo

the intensive language program is usually only for high school level btw

There are intensive primary language schools in Melbourne. I've worked with ones in St Albans, Blackburn and Springvale.

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.Jerry.

I (as the enrolling principal) would want to have a say in the matter, however at the end of the conversation and information-gathering, we do leave it to the parent.

We give our recommendation on grade placement, but say what the age-appropriate grade is. We let parents decide.

 

In this case, I would likely recommend starting in Prep.

But it depends on parent preferences, size of child, indication of child ability etc.

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Sincerely

Just wondering whether you have any idea about the ethnic mix of the school. If there are likely to be bi-lingual kids who speak her native Mandarin in her class, I suspect she would adapt quickly, in which case your other description of her sounds like she might fit into Yr 1. I'm not a teacher but a family friend had a similar experience.

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Ozquoll

Just wondering whether you have any idea about the ethnic mix of the school. If there are likely to be bi-lingual kids who speak her native Mandarin in her class, I suspect she would adapt quickly, in which case your other description of her sounds like she might fit into Yr 1. I'm not a teacher but a family friend had a similar experience.

It’s a very multi-cultural school, it’s quite likely there will be other Mandarin speakers in most year levels. I already know there are a few fluent Cantonese speakers (not the same, I know!).

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