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Child(ren) Language Learning Experiences (Home and School)
General Information: Ester is a female who has been identified and placed into a first grade
English Language Development class. Her familys main funds of knowledge is literature.
Parent(s) name(s); Mom: Maria and Dad: Jesus
Childs name: Ester

Childs age: 6

Ethnicity: Hispanic, Russian/Irish

School: Borton Magnet School

Parent Interview Transcription:

1. Which language is spoken at home? (Is there more than one language)

Mom: English Primarily

Dad: and Espaol

2. Which language does your child speak at home?

Mom: English

3. What was the first language the child acquired?

Mom: I think it was English, although her first word was in Spanish. The word
was agua.

4. What is the primary language spoken of the child?

Mom: English. Family and community speak Spanish to her but she mostly
responds in English.

5. When did your child start to learn (speak) a second language?

Mom: We introduced the language at the same time.

6. Are there any siblings that are learning a language as well?

Emma is an only child. (I learned this on my first home visit and didnt formally
ask this question.)

7. What language do you speak to your child?

Mom: English and Spanish

8. Do you read books at home?

Mom and Dad: Yes, we do.

a. In which language (s) do you read?

Mom: We have some books in Spanish. We dont read them as much as we used

Ester: I had one that I wanted daddy to read a lot of times.

Dad: Oh yeah, the Frieda book.

9. In regards to media (tv), what language (s) do(es) your child(ren) listen to?

Dad: When Abuelito comes over we watch shows in Spanish.

Mom: Not a lot but she is exposed to it.

10. What kind of music do you listen to?

Ester: A lot of different ones.

Mom: There are bands that get together to play in the neighborhood. We have a
very fun and a live neighborhood.

11. How important is for you to maintain the first language?

Mom: Its extremely important to me. I havent been as successful as I would

have like to be. She told me that her tongue didnt work that way. Its been a little
bit of a struggle.

Dad: Its always been one of your goal

Mom: We have kept Abuelito and Abuelita as her main words to keep them as
staples and accustom her tongue to forming those words.

12. What language does your child speak with their friends?

Mom: Our neighborhood friends are bilingual and Spanish speakers. Some of my
fathers neighbors are bilingual. Her Nina and uncle are bilingual so they speak to
her in Spanish. Its in her life every day.

13. Are you, the parents second language learners as well?

Dad: I actually didnt learn Spanish immediately. I sort of spoke Spanglish. Then
when I immersed myself into Marias family, I learned a lot more and saw how
formal my Spanish really was. I dont know whats happening lately that Im
starting to lose it again.

14. Have your child(ren) had a negative language experiences?

Mom: None that I can think of.

15. Do you have any anecdote of your child(ren) in regards to language?

Mom: The biggest one was when Emma told me that her tongue didnt work that

16. Which language does your child(ren) speak with your extended family?

Mom: Ester mostly speaks Spanish with her extended family that is here.

17. Have your child(ren) stop speaking either your first or second language?

Mom: I think Ester understands more English that she lets us know. I still
encourage her to answer he grandpa in Spanish.

18. Why did you decide to have your child in an ELL classroom?

Mom: We didnt. We dont really know how she got placed in one because we put
her first language as English. Her father seems to think that her surname/her last
name had something to do with it. We spoke to the principal before school started.
She said that she was just below the line in the AZELLA test. That made us
question: how would a native English speaker do on this test. It kind of worries
me because I wonder if she is losing out.

Me: How do you like your class Ester?

Ester: Good.

Me: Do you feel like youre learning stuff?

Ester: Mmhmm, some stuff I already know.

Me: Do you feel bored sometimes?

Ester: Yeah.

19. Is your child able to speak their native language in his/her classroom?

Mom: Yes.

20. Does your teacher speak your child first language? How do you know? In which cases?

Mom: She speaks to her in English. Thats the language Ester is most comfortable

21. Do you know which language(s) is the one spoken in school?

Mom: English and I have heard the principal speak Spanish when they do the
morning pledge as a community.

22. Do you know which language your child(ren) use in school to communicate with friends?

Mom: She speaks to them in English.

Out of all of the questions that were asked, the question that identified itself as an outlier
was how Ester was placed into the ELD classroom. We spent the most time on this question
because the parents were really passionate about it. They had done their own investigation on the
question and were baffled as to how Ester was placed in that class. They had no idea that she
would be assessed by the AZELLA or they would have prepared her for it like they did for the
DIBELS. The principal remarked that Ester barely didnt pass and that worried the parents even
more. Was this holding this child back? Watching Ester in the classroom, I sometimes wonder
the same thing. However, I catch myself in the act because she has a wonderful teacher who not
only scaffolds for those who dont understand the material but also extends for those who need
more challenges.
Both parents are really proud of their Hispanic culture. In fact, the second question that
we focused on was that fact that it was really important to mom to keep that as a part of her
daughters life. She admits to having some difficulty doing so because Ester says her tongue
doesnt work that way. There is no doubt that she has fought it in the past.
In retrospect, I wish I would have asked mom why she thinks Ester prefers not to practice
it. I also wish that I could have asked mom if she was ever in a second language learning
classroom. I didnt get the opportunity to ask because there was an interruption and I forgot to go
back to ask that question after she came back.
After doing this interview with her parents, I thought back to the initial reason I chose
Ester as my case study child. This child is always engaged and interested in chapter books while
her other classmates still arent reading at this level. I want to know what brought her into an
ELD classroom. Im excited to learn more about her and her family. This makes me question if

Ester really belongs in an ELD classroom. Mom has a point: what if a native English speaker
took the test? What is the test like? What kind of questions does it ask?
These questions brought me to my final epiphany. Through LRC 416, we have tried to
place ourselves in an ELDs shoes multiple times to think about what that child might be going
through and how best to help them. However, we are missing the most vital piece to the puzzle,
the standardized test that places them into the classroom. We wont know why they are there
until we ourselves are able to see what kind of test they are taking. That being said, we have to
keep in mind that all standardized tests have their faults. After all, we have taken a whole class
on this fact (TTE 357 with Sonya).
I have many questions about the AZELLA but Ester is now in the classroom and my
focus cant be on the past. Now my focus is on Ester and how I can help her make that last leap
to passing the AZELLA, how can I challenge her in the classroom and how can I make her feel
like she belongs in the classroom. I will use all of the driving questions when I create future
lesson plans in the classroom.