Linguistic Profile

Solution Questions


Problem and Perspectivces on the Problem

The Problem
Christian has progressed very well in his L2 since coming from Puerto Rico in kindergarten approximately three years ago. He is currently at the intermediate fluency stage of L2 development and has shown considerable development in his academic performance. However, as previously mentioned, Christian is a quiet and reserved boy. He is rather shy and avoids speaking in front of groups. Christian does not have many friends at school, and those he does socialize with tend to be other ESOL students. Although he does have one friend who is a native English speaker, Christian has had limited one-on-one contact with other native English speaking peers. He has recently entered the third grade and his new teacher has become concerned with his shyness as it relates to classroom activities. She has noticed that Christian has a difficult time participating in group activities in and out of the classroom. When asked to work in pairs or with a group, Christian does not actively contribute to the assignments, probably partially due to lack of confidence in his English abilities. Instead of conversing with the other students, he tends to simply sit back and watch, contributing little or nothing to the group’s work. In addition to his low involvement in cooperative learning exercises, Christian never volunteers to share any answers, writing, projects, etc. in class. When called on by the teacher, he seems to become nervous or intimidated and does not want to speak in front of the whole class. As Christian’s teacher values group work and cooperative learning, incorporating it into the classroom on a daily basis, his lack of participation is negatively affecting his academic performance.
In addition to Christian’s limited socialization during school, he rarely gets the opportunity to mingle with his peers outside of school. Christian’s main playmate when not in school is his six year old sister. He seldom associates with the children in his neighborhood or from his school. He is not involved in any extracurricular activities, play groups, etc.

Christian’s Parents – As stated in previous phases of the case study, Christian’s mother and grandparents are strong supporters of his academic performance. They desire for Christian and his sister to master the English language, while holding on to their Puerto Rican roots as well. His family members try to remember to speak English in their home, although it is easy for them to slip into speaking Spanish as a habit. They also do their best to reinforce what the children learn in school and do everything in their power to help them learn. As for the problem stated above, Christian’s mother and grandparents are concerned that Christian is having problems in school due to his shyness. They agree that it would be beneficial for him to participate more in classroom cooperative learning activities, as well as in extracurricular activities outside of school; they want to help him earn better grades, increase his abilities in English, and become more confident and outgoing. They are willing and eager to do what it takes to help Christian become more comfortable with his peers, and welcome suggestions from his school principal, counselor, classroom teacher, and ESOL teacher.
• Christian’s School Principal – The principal at Christian’s school is dedicated to ensuring that each of her students receives the best education possible. She has listened to Christian’s teacher’s concerns and agrees that it is in Christian’s best interests to help him “come out of his shell” so he can feel more comfortable participating in classroom activities. However, she is not overly concerned because she believes that many children battle shyness regularly and still perform well in school. She has agreed to attend a meeting with Christian’s parents, the school counselor, his classroom teacher, and his ESOL teacher to try to come up with a plan of action to solve Christian’s problem with socialization.
• Christian’s School Counselor – The counselor at Christian’s school has not had much interaction with Christian thus far. She has met with him a few times to make sure he is comfortable in the school; however, Christian felt comfortable talking with her in a one-on-one situation and did not display his shyness. She was unaware that this was a problem, and had not heard of anything from his previous teachers. The counselor has been introduced to Christian’s teacher’s concerns and agrees to the suggested meeting. She has dealt with this problem many times and has committed to developing a few ideas to bring to the meeting that may be beneficial for Christian.
• Christian’s Classroom Teacher – Christian has just recently entered the third grade, and his new teacher is pleased with his academic performance across subjects on individual assignments and assessments. She recognizes that Christian is in the intermediate fluency stage of L2 acquisition and that he is doing well with his continual progress with the English language. She is a strong advocate of cooperative learning in her classroom, especially when modifying lessons for ESOL students. She believes that Christian’s shyness has caused a problem with group assignments. She also feels that more socialization and communication with native English speakers his own age would vastly improve his mastery of the English language, and much more rapidly. She is concerned that his low rate of participation in group activities and volunteering/speaking in front of the class will cause him to receive lower grades than he is capable of. She has asked the principal to support a meeting to discuss methods to start helping Christian overcome his shyness.
• Christian’s ESOL Teacher – The school’s ESOL teacher that has been working with Christian over the past three years is proud of Christian’s progress. When he arrived at the school in kindergarten, he spoke very limited English. He is now in the intermediate fluency stage, and is progressing satisfactorily. His ESOL teacher is aware of Christian’s shy nature, although it is not as evident when he is working with other ESOL students. She takes his classroom teacher’s concerns seriously, though, and would like to help however she can. She understands that socialization is a key component in Christian’s progression in his English mastery. As an ESOL teacher, she has encountered this issue often, as has the school counselor, and has a few ideas of how to help Christian conquer some of his socialization issues. She plans to meet with the school counselor to help develop her ideas to bring to the meeting.

Christian knows he has learned a lot when it comes to the English language over the past three years he has attended school. However, as stated often throughout this case study, Christian is shy by nature. He is introverted and quiet. On top of his natural shyness, Christian feels that native English speakers are better able to express themselves than he is. He is afraid of saying something that the other kids will consider “stupid.” Like all kids, he does not want his peers to think he is not smart. He loves to read and prefers to do individual assignments, and does not think this is a problem. When asked to work with groups on class activities, Christian feels nervous and has difficulty thinking of input for the group work. He is intimidated by the other children because he has encountered some slight cruelty over the past few years from other kids, making fun of his accent, choice of words, etc. (although not regularly). In Christian’s culture, it is disrespectful to say such rude things, and he does not want the situation to escalate to where he is forced to stand up for his honor and get into trouble. He would rather just read a good book, watch a good movie, or go to an amusement park!


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