Essay about English as a Second Language: Negative Transfer

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Background Information
The student at the center of this case study is Dana, a six-year-old Kindergarten student at Paragon Mills Elementary. Dana is the older of two sisters. She was born in the United States, but her parents were born in El Salvador. She lives with her father, mother, and sister. She attended Pre-Kindergarten at Paragon Mills in 2012-2013, and is in her eighth month of Kindergarten.
In order to qualify as an official English Language Learner in Davidson County Schools each incoming student is administered a test. Based on the outcome of this screening each student is either an active English Learner or a “General Education” student with a non-English Language background. Active English Learners are classified in one of five levels: Pre-Functional, Beginner, Intermediate, Early Advanced, and Advanced Transitioning. In July 2013 Dana was administered the Tennessee English Language Placement Assessment (TEPLA). She scored as an Intermediate Level Active English Language Learner.
Dana’s first language (L1) is Spanish. She began learning English formally when she started Pre-Kindergarten. Spanish is the language predominately spoken in her home. Her parents said she was watching English television, such as Sesame Street and Super Why, from an early age. Dana’s parents are both able to speak simple words and phrases in English. Dana and her four-year old sister are able to speak English with a higher level of fluency than either of her parents. Dana’s parents are very supportive of her and her education. They are involved in the school, interested in her academics, and attend school events and field trips with her. They also assist her with her homework and read to her, in Spanish, every night.

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The implications of this project on the teacher evaluator are first to look for connections. When this project first took place the only obvious connection was an inconsistency in Dana’s listening skills, which was a red flag due to more English learner students develop listening first. Upon completion of the project there was a stronger connection between the actuality two suspected problems. Another additional consideration the teacher evaluator will take into consideration in the future is to conduct research more often to decide on the best ways to combat problems in a students learning.

Armstrong, P. (2014, January). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from
Saville-Troike, M. (2012). Introducing Second Language Acquisition (Second Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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