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Our 4 year old does not speak english and hesitates to go to school


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chandan123 July 18, 2013


Our daughter is 4 year old and it has been more than 2 months she started her school and she still is not comfortable going to school. They asked her what she knew about world...and since she did not understand she could not answer and hence they did not write anything on a chart paper in front of her name and left it a blank for her name,,,I felt bad when I saw that chart.We speak Hindi at home and she is very fluent with it, but when it comes to English she can speak couple of words but still not able to form sentences,,,I want her to build the confidence so that she does not feel left behind. Is there anything we can do about it?BTW I am a stay at home mom. Thanks to everyone in advance....

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pampala July 18, 2013


Hello "chandan123",
Dont worry about your daughter. We had a same situation a year ago. My son was 3,5 years when he started to go to preschool. He knew zero english. I was wery worry about his ability to understand other kids and teachers. I wanted him to speak English really bad. Few months from therehe came home and talked to me English ONLY. His English was kind of "messy" but he didnt want to talk to me in our language. When I spoke with other parent in his PK they were in exact situation. So my point is: dont worry about her. She needs a little bit more time to get into English. You may see some kind of disappoitment (as with the chart) but it gets only better. Stay strong and dont push her much. She will get there. You may want to read her books in English, let her watch English cartoons etc. (I'm sure you already do this) you may want to try talk to her bi lingual(I often repeated same sentences I said in our language) you may want to try some educational program online as ABC mouse or similar.
Godd luck.
Pavlina

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chandan123 July 18, 2013


Thanks Pavlina,,,,I hope you lived close by and I would share few concerns talk in person hahahaha.....Thanks again for your reply......

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mixedmedia4ECE July 18, 2013


Hi there, I know trying to drop off a child when they are upset is incredibly hard; we always hope that our children are going to be excited to go to school. The language barrier that your child is facing is going to add to the natural anxiety any child would face when starting a school. But, there are immense benefits to having mastery over two languages, and I encourage you to really think about the long term benefits before you flood your home with English.
Your child will learn English, you have already taken a big step in enrolling her in a program dominated by the English language. My advice to you is to open up the communication with the teachers at the school, make sure that your child sees you are comfortable and at ease with them, this will help her trust and bond with the teachers. Share with the teacher some basic HIndi words for them to use, this will also help them bond with your child and increase the comfort level. Her level of comfort in the class is going to be a huge factor in her learning and confidence.
Being a stay at home is going to open up some options, such as being able to volunteer at the school for activities, again your level of comfort in the classroom is going to set the tone for your child's comfort level.
The downside of being at home is your child knows you are at home...this is very hard for children to understand why they are going to school while you are at home. Whatever your goal is in having her attend school you need to make that a strong focus for the whole family, showing your child how important it is by being consistent with her attendance and staying involved with the classroom activities. Stay strong in your decision to have your child speak two languages, stay invested in her education and you will see the rewards soon.

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chandan123 July 18, 2013


To mixedmedia4ECE, thanks so much for your great reply. She never liked her teacher and this happened on day 1 itself.....she says she likes her classmates but does not like the teacher.....this sometimes makes me worry more....I am not sure if changing school is going to help. I also have a 7 month old baby so really busy with him. She is great with her academics....she can write numbers upto 50 and knows her ABCs and small ones too,,,she can read too.....I love her....but maybe she needs more time.......

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MagnetMom July 19, 2013


Hi chandan123, and welcome to the GreatSchools Parent Community.

First off, do your best during this transition to immerse her in English. Cartoons are a great option, and even familiar movies with the English track turned on (go ahead and turn the captions on too, as it will accelerate her reading, too). Picture books are a great option, especially those with the item and the word next to each other. Richard Scarry books come to mind as being great for this.

Secondly, schedule a chat with the teacher, and ask her what are they doing to help her feel comfortable. I wouldn't want to go to a job where I had no idea what was going on. It would be terrifying to be ordered to do things, and not understand what's going on. Perhaps the teacher can demonstrate with pointing and gestures.

Children will learn a new language quickly, but she needs a little help during the transition.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

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chandan123 July 19, 2013


Hello Magnetmom, you guys are awesome.....thanks a ton for being there for me. You guys are right , probably I should talk to her teacher about how she feels in school......Also mixedmedia4ECE said that I can volunteer at school for some activities....is that really possible....coz if I get to do that ,,,that will be like a heaven for my daughter at school.....so will talk to school director if I can volunteer,,,,,also I love teaching kids....I just love teaching kids....I have been teaching my daughter ....its fun....wish I could post some pictures of my kids.....so that you all can see and bless them....Thank you guys.....



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