Country of Origin: Kazakhstan
Native Language: Russian
Dimitri came to the United States in June of last year after being adopted by a married couple native to Florida. Dimitri was adopted from an orphanage in Kazakhstan where he had been for 2 years. Dimitri lived in Kazakhstan with his biological mother until the age of five, when his mother unexpectedly passed away. Currently Dimitri lives with his adoptive parents and a non blood related older brother. His parents both work full time and his brother is in the 11th grade.
Dimitri upon arrival was placed into kindergarten although because of his age he should be in first grade. This was determined because when he arrived he spoke no English at all. Dimitri works one on one and in small groups everyday with an ESOL teacher at his school. They work together for about 20 minutes on average a day. Dimitri has progressed very well according to his ESOL teacher. He has had no learning issues other than the language barrier to work with. Currently I would guess that Dimitri is in the Early Production Stage of second language acquisition. Dimitri has some comprehension although it is limited. He can speak in sentences and tell stories pretty well, but this is not very common. He mostly speaks in chunks and answers questions with few word answers. He is very good as listing and labeling things and can repeat things he hears very well. When telling stories or speaking in sentences he pauses often and takes his time to make sure he is using the correct word. His reading is typical of a Kindergartener although he may take a little more time sounding out words. When asked about Dimitri’s progress in learning English his teacher stated that “he is making good progress.”
Some recommendations that I would suggest for Dimitri’s achievement in English would be to continue his sessions with his ESOL teacher, to allow more time when taking tests, the use of visual and hands on teaching methods in is classrooms, and as much social interaction with peers as possible. I think that it is vital for the next year that he continues to see his ESOL teacher regularly. He is very cooperative when working with her and works very hard for her. His work ethic in her office is a lot better than when he is in a classroom environment. Currently in testing situations he is allowed more time to complete the test. I think that this should continue especially on written tests and reading tests that require comprehension. I also think that his future teachers should include a lot of visuals in their teaching as well as hands on activities that he can be engaged in. When he is actively participating in an activity he seems to be more focused. Dimitri seems to do well when working in small groups and is very sociable with other children. Therefore I think that he should get as much exposure to his peers as possible. This socialization is good for any child but for an ELL student like DImitri, it will help to increase his basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS.)
-Below is a writing sample and a recording of Dimitri Reading from a book