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Writing Sample

Oral Transcript

Problem Scenario

Discussion Questions & Bloom's Taxonomy

In the STAT team meeting we reviewed Nikolas Papatoniu’s file and discussed several options on how to assist Nikolas both academically and behaviorally. Nikolas is a brilliant child who excelled at academics in Greece. He is living in America for only a year and has had a rough time learning English and adjusting to his school in America. Because he is not able to perform at the same high level in America as he did in Greece, Nikolas’ behavior has been negatively affected. He is beginning to joke around in class and avoids doing his work because he feels the English books he is assigned to read are “baby-books”.

To help Nikolas we propose setting him up with a Greek tutor. Some one who is not in his family but with a Greek background. This tutor can help him as he continues to develop both this English and Greek academic skills. A Greek adult who is not part of his family can befriend him to help him understand how learning English is both beneficial in America and when he returns to Greece. We suggest having Nikolas read some books in Greece on his level and perhaps reading a version of the story that is easier in English as well. By providing opportunities for him to continue to develop his Greek academic skills, Nikolas will be able to regain some of the self esteem he had in the past as a result of his strengths in Greek. This will encourage him to continue to apply these same strengths and strategies as he continues his work in English.

It would be helpful are having 30 min pull out sessions with the ESOL teacher to help with his English language skills and some basic English reading. His general education teacher should allow him extended time on all assignments and send home weekly academic and behavior reports.

The local Greek Orthodox Church in Nikolas's community offers introductory Greek classes for children. Since the family is currently attending this church, it is recommended that Nikolas help with the class one day a week. This would allow him to be the expert with his peers, instead of the one struggling. By allowing him to be on the other side of developing language skills, he will see that his struggles are normal, and can be overcome.

We suggest meeting with Nikolas as a group and including him on some of the conversation. If we can convince him that we all are part of his team and that we understand he is returning to Greece soon but we want to help him out, I think we can bring him onboard and try to help keep his behavior under control. I think as soon as he feels he is part of the solution, he will not try to cause any more problems. Nikolas is a brilliant child who can and will succeed if place in the right situation with people on his side.

Discussion Questions

1. What type of program can we put in place to help other students in Nikolas’ position, to ensure when they are only in the country a short period of time they can still succeed in our schools?

2. If we got Nikolas’ parents more involved with his schooling how may this help to accomplish our goals of successfully teaching Nikolas?

3. What more could have been done to prevent Nikolas’ behavior from becoming a problem from the very beginning of his schooling in America? Is this common among students in the same situation?

Bloom’s Taxonomy Questions
Level 1. Knowledge. - exhibits previously learned material by recalling facts,
terms, basic concepts and answers.

What is the history of Nikolas Papatoniu prior to his arrival in the U.S.?

Can you describe the previous schooling of Nikolas Papatoniu?

Was Nikolas tutored in English at all before leaving Greece?

Can Nikolas read the English “baby-books”?

Or is that just an excuse not to read them?

What does Nikolas do when he gets home from school if his parents aren’t home?

Level 2: Comprehension - demonstrating understanding of facts and ideas by
organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating
main ideas.

Why does Nikolas misbehave during class?

What are the reasons Nikolas gives for not wanting to read the “Baby-books?"

How does Nikolas’ family being relatively well off reflect on his attitude toward school?

What is the main problem that Nikolas faces at home?

Where does Nikolas go for help when he has a problem?

Why does Nikolas not feel the need to learn English?

Level 3: Application
- solving problems by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.

Where could Niklas go to receive help in his English studies outside of school?

What type of in school programs could Nikolas get involved with to help his reading of English become more fluent?

Where could Nikolas obtain some books in Greek that he could maybe translate into English so he could learn in a different way?

Would having Nikolas work with another student who wants to speak Greek work as a way to get him to learn English?

What types of books materials could Nikolas read in English that may not be babyish but still simple enough for him to learn?

Where are Nikolas’ parents most needed in regards to helping him with his problems in the school?

Level 4: Analysis
- examining and breaking information into parts by identifying
motives or causes; making inferences and finding evidence to support generalizations.

How do Nikolas's struggles compare with those of student's in the same age range who will be staying in America permanently?

What research has been done on students in Nikolas's short term situation?

How do we determine the proper level of books for Nikolas?

What can we do to modify class work so that Nikolas's English language skills do not interfer with his ability to understand the subject matter?

How do we differentiate between lack of ability, and lack of interest and desire to participate?

Can we dissect the errors in Nikolas's English reading to focus on specific skill development?

How does Nikolas's behavior differ in situations in which English is used, and in which Greek is used?

Level 5: Synthesis
- compiling information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.

What plan can we design to help Nikolas to succeed in English?

Nikolas is now at what stage of language developement in English?

How can we extend what we have learned from Nikolas's situation to our future work with ESOL students?

Do we need to reorganize or modify our approach to ESOL education as a result of what we have learned in Nikolas's case?

Can we use our experience with Nikolas to propose new research in language acquisition and retention for short term American stays?

With the presence of a Greek community near our school, could we build relationships that offer receprical opportunities for both Greek and English language acquisition?

Level 6: Evaluation - presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria.

What criteria should we use to insure that a plan is specifically tailored to the needs of each student?

Can we test Nikolas in a way that shows whether or not the plan is bringing the desired success?

How do we interpret the results of these tests?

How do we justify that increasing the time Nikolas spends on Greek academic skills and helping others learn Greek will improve his English skills?

Can we judge the effectiveness of our plan?

How different would Nikolas's attitude been if he were planning to stay in America?


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