Interview Transcript, interview
analysis & writing
Interview Transcription (by Rachel Larson):
Okay. The first thing that I am going
to ask you is to say your name.
And what is your last name?
Okay. Haewon, what is your first language that you speak?
Korean, okay. And what country were you born in?
You were born here? And you speak Korean?
Okay. Where were you born in the United States?
In Tampa, Fl. Okay. Um, did you grow up knowing English?
MmHm. (head nod)
You spoke English since you were born?
Uh-huh. I learned English when I was in Kindergarten. When I was little,
my mom told me to go to Korean school and church.
Okay, so you went to a Korean school and you went to a Korean church?
Do you still go to your Korean church?
No. Okay. Um…who do you live with?
My mom, my dad, my cousin, my sister.
Your mom, your dad, your cousin, and your sister?
Okay, and um does your family…do they all speak English?
Uh-huh! (Head nod)
They all do…okay. Umm... Do they speak Korean ever? Anymore?
If we don’t speak Korean in the house, my sister, my sister
tells us, “Never speak English in the house because it’s
not, it’s not, it’s not normal to the Koreans.”
We always have to speak Korean in the house.
So you speak Korean at your house, but whenever you guys go out in
public to the grocery store, and to places like that, do you speak
Korean or do you speak English?
Korean. My mom works for like, a café, and um we like got the
place a long time ago.
So my mom is used to speaking English a lot.
At the where?
It’s a café.
A café. Okay, okay. Does your mom work at the café,
or does she own the café?
She owns the café.
Oh really! That is very interesting.
And, um, my sister, me, and my cousin might sometime work there.
Do you really? Oh, that is cool. Okay, where is the café?
So you live in Tampa?
Oh, do you live in the Brandon area?
Umm... So your family still speaks Korean. And they speak it at home
and they sometimes speak it in the café. Do you feel that you
speak English well?
Yes, I do think that you speak English well. Okay. Do you think that
you speak Korean very well?
Could you say something for me in Korean?
Do you want me to say ‘Hi’ or something?
Um…could you say a sentence for me? How about…could you
say, ‘I speak Korean very well?’ Could you say that in
Or anything that you would like to say.
Could I just say ‘hello’?
Okay, go ahead.
How do you say that?
Ahn yawng hah seh yoh? Very cool. Okay, do you feel that you speak
English and Korean equally? Do you think that you speak them at the
same level? Or do you think that there is one that you speak better?
Most of the time, my mom and dad say that I speak Korean better, but
me myself I think that I speak American best.
Yeah. What was the most difficult part about learning English for
There is nothing difficult about it. Me, I have a lot of my good friends
from church. And they come over to my house, but they live far away.
Because all of the people that we know, we used to live in Bradenton,
Sarasota, and Tampa, so we know a lot of people from there, but in
Brandon we don’t know a lot of people.
Oh really. So did you have a lot of friends to talk to in English?
Or did you speak to most of them in Korean?
I have more American friends.
Oh really. All right, were you in any ELL or ESOL classes or groups
No you didn’t participate in any?
I did the gifted test.
Oh did you? And are you in gifted classes?
Maybe next year?
Okay, um, is it easier for you to speak English, write English, or
listen to English? Or is it kind of the same?
It’s easier to speak English than to listen to somebody else
speaking English? Do you sometimes get a little confused whenever
somebody is speaking?
Mmhm! My sister and my mom, they study English a lot.
Oh do they?
Mmhm! My sister, she studies the dictionary, and she tries to remember
every single definition and everything she writes it down.
How old is your sister?
She is 17.
So is she graduating from high school soon?
She is supposed to be in 11th grade. She skipped a whole bunch of
grades because she has been in the gifted program.
Oh really. Now was your sister born in Tampa, Fl?
No, he was born in Korea and came here when she was a baby.
Oh did she? So did she have any trouble learning English, or did she
not really struggle with it at all?
She never struggled with it. She speaks better than I do.
Does she really? Well, you guys both speak English well then. It is
easy for you to speak in English. Is it hard for you to write in English?
(Head shake- no)
No, not really? What about in Korean? Do you have trouble speaking,
writing, or listening in Korean, or do you get most of it?
Um…I can speak in Korean, I can talk in Korean, but I don’t
really…I could write Korean, but I’m not very good at
So did you learn Korean just from your family at home?
Uh-huh! My mom gets me a whole bunch of Korean books, and we borrow
some from church.
So you can read Korean pretty well.
I read Korean.
Whenever you talk to your friends…you said most of your friends
speak English now…do you have any friends that speak Korean?
Or just the people at your church?
My church…we only speak Korean to our parents, and to my friends
I only speak American.
Um…is there anything else that you would like to share about
Okay thanks ?
(by Kalisha Holloway):
• Vocabulary: I have noticed that in
the beginning of the interview Haewon replies by simply nodding her
head, or giving one-word answers. At first its seems like she is still
in the first stages of learning. But as the interview continues she
opens up more and her vocabulary becomes broader. She uses words like
cousin, café, difficult, dictionary, and suppose.
• Type and length of sentences: Haewon uses head nods and one
worded sentence in most of the interview but she does make full sentence
in the last parts of the interview. Her sentence looks like she is
very comfortable with English. There are a few grammar problems in
her sentences but for the most part she understands English sentence
structure. An example of Haewon’s sentence is “There is
nothing difficult about it. Me, I have a lot of my good friends from
church. And they come over to my house, but they live far away. Because
all of the people that we know, we used to live in Bradenton, Sarasota,
and Tampa, so we know a lot of people from there, but in Brandon we
don’t know a lot of people.”
• Stages of Negation: Haewon is very fluent in English. She
made a comment that English is not difficult for her. When she speaks
in the interview she is in a stage 4 or above that. She understands
the form of Do and don’t she puts them into the right structure.
• BICS/CALP: Haewon is strong in both BICS and CALP she utilizes
her strengths in her sentences. Haewon speaks English with her American
friends but only speaks Korean with her parents.
Haewon feels that she is fluent in English
and actually thinks she is better at English then Koran. She was born
in Tampa so she does not feel that speaking English is difficult.
She shows her strength in English by using proper sentence skills.
Haewon is comfortable speaking English and Korean.
(by Rachel Larson):
First, Haewon chose to read the poem “If
Once You Have Slept On An Island” by Rachel Field. This is what
If once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name.
You may bustle about in street and shop;
You may sit at home and sew.
But you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat to the neighbors of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh, you won’t’ know why, and you can’t say how
Such change upon you came,
But—once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same!
Second, Haewon read the beginning of a story
unfamiliar to her. This is the first paragraph of the story The Luck
Stone by Lucille Griffin. This is what she read-
When I was a girl we lived all together in
a house with a big wrap-around porch: me, my Mama and Daddy and my
Great-grandmother, Mrs. Elzie F. Pickens. The F. stood for Free. She
was about seventy some years old, my Great-grand. We used to sit out
on that porch in good weather, and she would tell me stories about
when she was a girl and the different things that used to happen and
such as that.
Oh, I loved it so, I loved her so! Tee, she would call me. Sweet Baby
Tee. Some of my favorite stories were her favorites too. Oh, how we
both loved telling and hearing about the Lucky Stone!
(by Rachel Larson):
Haewon is very advanced in her ability to recognize difficult vocabulary
words. She clearly recognizes uncommon words such as “bustle”
and “whistle” in the poem “If You Once Step Foot
On an Island”, and she correctly reads all of the words in The
Luck Stone. Haewon is able to read both passages without any help
or prompting. Haewon’s teacher says that these passages are
above Haewon’s grade level. Haewon has a wonderful grasp on
vocabulary. Haewon note (in the interview) that a well-developed vocabulary
is stressed in her home. She makes the statement that her sister basically
“memorizes every word in the dictionary”. Haewon’s
reading is very fluid, and she makes use of appropriate pauses at
commas and end punctuation. Haewon has very little trouble pronouncing
the words in the first or second passage. The recording makes Haewon’s
reading sound a bit muffled, but this is a result of the static present
in the library. Noisy children make for a unique environment ?. Overall,
I am very impressed with Haewon’s reading ability. She speaks
clearly, she reads the passages with feeling, and she is aware of
the concepts of print. Haewon Lee is a remarkable young lady!
Writing Analysis (by Carolynn Pearson):
There are certain expectations that teachers have for ELL students
when they write in class. Haewon is a fourth grader from Korean and
she demonstrates on level proficiency in English through her writing.
Her writing ability in class for a fourth grade ELL student demonstrates
that she knows how to write Standard English. In Haewon’s writing
sample, I went through a rubric that I made up to analysis her writing.
This is a standard expectation rubric that all 4th grade ELL students
should be able to pass.
Writing/purposes: The student writes for a
variety of audiences and purposes, and in a variety of forms. Write
to inform such as to explain, describe, report, and narrate.
Haewon wrote a little about herself and her family. She explained
and described when she was born and wrote that she had a father, a
mother, a sister and a cousin, which she fights with her cousin a
Writing/capitalization/punctuation: The student
composes original texts, applying the conventions of written language
such as capitalization and punctuation to communicate clearly. Haewon
had some mistakes in capitalization and punctuation throughout her
writing sample; for example, she did not capitalize the word January.
She missed the period after the sentence, (I am Korean) These are
common mistakes that ELL students make, but overall, her capitalization
and punctuation is above level. She capitalized words like, her name,
her dad’s name, her mom’s name, and her sister’s
Writing/spelling: The student spells proficiently.
Haewon spelled very proficient. She did not have any missed spelled
words in the writing sample.
Writing/grammar/usage: The student applies
standard grammar and usage to communicate clearly and effectively
Haewon wrote in complete sentences. She used the right objective case
pronouns when she was describing herself. For example, she wrote this
sentence; Me and my cousin like to fight a lot. Haewon applied standard
usage effectively in her writing.
In conclusion, Haewon used her sentence structure,
adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases, and conjunctions as well
as punctuation and capitalization correctly. Also, Haewon is strong
in both BICS and CALP by her sentences. English for speakers of other
languages (ESOL) students are at different stages of language acquisition.
I would say that her writing ability is higher than the average ELL
student, based on her background.