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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Etienne and Sally-Anne
I have posted before (many times) but although this topic is related to my appeal I don't think I have ever raised it in my previous posts so thought I would start a new thread... please move or correct me if it should be attached to one of my previous rambling threads!! Thanks. :oops:

My husband is European and has spoken to the children in his native language since they were born. We have raised the children bi-lingually and they speak the language, comprehend it and can read it very well. We visit family for the summer every year and they come over to stay too. I have been asked by my HT to try and establish (he is doing the same) possible links between children raised in a bilingual family and having a lower English score in comprehension, reading and creative writing. It may be that their English progress could be slower than children who weren't bi-lingual for example. Or that they actually don't come into their own until secondary school! Or maybe there are no links at all!!!! :?

I have found links between delay in early phonics and reading and bi-lingual children somewhere on the net but wondered if other links through primary were around.

Any help and guidance would be gratefully appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:43 pm 
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Location: East Kent
I would say the opposite, having taught bright children who were late learning English, if they have good English modelled (i.e they are not put in the lowest set..) then they flourish.

I am thinking particularly of a child who came to year 4 unable to speak much English at all - her family were Moldovan, she moved to Romania where they start school at 7, so she could read and write Romanian but not Moldovan. she took the Kent test in year 6 and passed with flying colours and went to grammar school.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Oh! So are you saying that a child who is very bright, born here, but makes slower progress in English comprehension, reading etc probably only has advantages with having two languages? I imagine later on that would be the case but you think in the primary years that is true too! Hmm, let's see if anyone else can give me cheerier news!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:58 pm 
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My child is semi -bilingual (understands my mother tongue but won't speak it :? ) and I would say having two languages in his life from the day one has helped him with his exceptional spelling and English reading skills (at age of 6 he had reading age of 12), his comprehension is not as good or I would say is right for his age.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Location: East Kent
no, i was quoting one side of the story.

i think children who are truly bilingual have an advantage.
the flipside of the coin is another child who is struggling in year 5, I think that her problems have been misdiagnosed as being attributable to the fact that she started school learning Catalan.

I was not drawing any conclusions particularly. By all means hang out for cheerier news.

you asked for opinions


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Absolutely yoyo I did and I appreciate both yours and zvk's reply. So thank you.

My DC does show difficulty with comprehension and but has a fantastic spelling age 4 years above chronological age. DC also has a good reading age but the marks for English are always much lower than they could be so we are trying to see if being bi-lingual could be a contributory factor! Life is never that easy, to prove a point like this would be another string to our bow but it may not be easy or possible to do!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Location: East Kent
asllots of questions when you are reading together
why?
who?

what will happen?

why did they say that? etc.

There is a very good series of books, published by Rising Star, called achieve level 5..

They show model answers and point out what the examiners are looking for the "little bit extra"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:27 pm 
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thank you for that.... the problem is DC IS level 5 but not good enough for Super Selective school so at appeal am looking at lots of avenues to explain why not. I have my "case" already put together and think this is a spanner in the works.... if DC is bi-lingual and this may result in a slow but steady rise in English but not early enough for SS, then research could help, but if there are no established links then it is the wrong avenue to go down...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:51 pm 
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Which of the Kent 11+ papers (VR, NVR or maths) do you think he may have scored lower on due to his being bilingual?

Or hasn't he taken the 11+ yet and you are arming yourself ready for arguments next year if necessary?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:03 pm 
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DC's VR was 109, NVR 135 and Maths 137 and Bexley VR 111 Maths 125 but at another 11+ test scored 59% in English and 90% in Maths.... always showing that VR/English is lower even though combined marks are very good..


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