Posts Tagged proficiency

How proficient is proficient enough?

The Des Moines Register had an article yesterday about a high school senior who refused to take the English language fluency test required for students who learned English as a second language. Her argument was that she was fluent in English and that this was evidenced by the fact that she has nearly a straight A average in courses that are taught exclusively in English. Her parents are immigrants from Laos but she was born in the U.S. While she learned Lao at home, she has likely been exposed to English her entire school career.

So, how long do you need, and when can yearly proficiency testing stop?

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Can my child become bilingual?

Yes, of course your child can become bilingual. Everyday demand or need to use different languages usually will push children toward bilingualism. That’s the easy answer.  The more complicated answer has to do with how to create an environment at home in which children CAN become bilingual.

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More on Proficiency

The issue of language proficiency is often of central concern in working with a bilingual population and I’ve written about it before.  Here, I want to continue that discussion and invite comments from both research and practical perspectives. So, the questions are:

What is proficiency?

How is it defined (or how should it be defined)?

How should it be measured? Read the rest of this entry »

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Beyond Words & Grammar: Learning English as a Second Language

I came across this article last night in the Wichita Eagle. It’s about the need for more English as a second language (ESL) teachers in the U.S. The article points out a need both for teachers and for methods in teaching ESL. Challenges to teaching many of these children is their previous level of education, focus on both academic courses that they need and language skills. A focus on only English language skills won’t necessarily Read the rest of this entry »

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How to measure proficiency: More questions than answers here

In research as well as in educational and other settings the question of linguistic proficiency is critical. This question is something that I continually struggle with in working with children. How proficient is proficient enough? What does it mean? What should we measure? I’ve been influenced by my own clinical background and the work of other researchers in this area. Read the rest of this entry »

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