Teacher thinks my child should repeat grade 2.

51 posts in this topic

On 2/12/2018, 11:05:12, PandaMunich said:

 

 

There's the disconnect.

You have a native speaker at home and you haven't been using him?

 

A child your son's age should have picked up German at native level within a year.@emkay

 

and her other posts/threads on this topic: https://www.google.de/search?q=emkay+school+site%3Atoytowngermany.com

 

 

That seems a *little* unrealistic.

 

My kids have been living in Germany since Kindergarten year 1 / nursery and they speak fluent (kids') German.

 

I don't think that just having 1 native speaker at home is going to magically make you fluent in 1 year. 6 years maybe, but it's water under the bridge.

 

I would definitely have the poor kid repeat the year, it must be very tough and it will only get tougher, I guess.

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"He has only been speaking the language for 2 years"

 

That's just not long enough to get fluent, and at this age, it's maybe not even realistic.

 

I would definitely second/third/fourth all the advice to let him repeat the year, and while you must support him, don't put a big pressure on the kid.

 

It's not about individual ability, it just takes *time* to get fluent in a language to the point you can use it in school.

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1 hour ago, theGman said:

I'm amazed that Germany labels and divides kids at the age of 10. And they say Britain has a class system...

It does have it´s advantages if you group kids of similiar levels of capability together and it´s still possible to change tiers later on. But he tier system  is handled differently in different states. Federal government has no say in this.

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16 minutes ago, jeba said:

It does have it´s advantages if you group kids of similiar levels of capability together and it´s still possible to change tiers later on.

 

I actually like the idea in a way. A kind of book learning for nerdy kids and practical learning for hands on kids...or something like that. Lets each kid excel at what they do best. It just seems that the application of the idea is completely out of whack. Age is too young, it becomes self fulfilling, discriminates against kids from a poor/shit parent background etc etc.

 

16 minutes ago, jeba said:

 

But he tier system  is handled differently in different states. Federal government has no say in this.

 

As a foreigner, I find this bizarre too.

 

Anyhow, I've taken this off topic. Sorry OP.

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46 minutes ago, sos-the-rope said:

That seems a *little* unrealistic.

 

My kids have been living in Germany since Kindergarten year 1 / nursery and they speak fluent (kids') German.

 

I don't think that just having 1 native speaker at home is going to magically make you fluent in 1 year.

 

I've seen it happen exactly this way.

A girl in my class whose family had moved to Germany from Greece half-way through 1st grade, the quote below is taken from this post:

https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/372994-any-experience-with-children-that-speaks-only-portuguese-living-in-munich/?do=findComment&comment=3600865

 

On 9/14/2017, 11:26:22, PandaMunich said:

Of the six, only one came into school not knowing German, she had a Greek father (a lorry driver) and an Austrian mother (housewife), and they had just moved to Germany in the middle of 1st grade. The girl spoke no German at all at the start (which was strange, considering the native Austrian mother), but she did pick it up, and being intelligent, managed to get the necessary grades to be let into the Gymnasium. She managed to get through the Gymnasium with average marks, but always hankered after Greece, and after finishing the Gymnasium, moved back to Greece, went to university there and there she still is as far as I know.

 

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I really appreciate the help offered by many members of these boards, and I also enjoy the random banter and dumb arguments sometimes, but it's so sad when the serious requests for help get mixed up with the chit chat.

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Some years back I worked on an MA in TEFL. I did several classes on language acquisition and teaching methodology and did my practicum at an excellent international school. The trend is not to hold students back for a variety of reasons. Psycho/social being most predominant. Holding students back is the single most predictor of students dropping out of school. There is a stigma to being held back at your sons age. The most important evaluation that needs to be done is to determine how your son handles/ verbally regurgitating data in his L1 language as this will be a good way to determine his capabilities in the L3. Is he able to do the oral activities in his mother tongue and L2 language. German is his 3rd language. Basically you have to rule out a learning disability or impediment. You have to also look at his learning style and the teacher's behavior. Is/was she overly critical when he is/was attempting to give verbal feedback? A minor grammar correction while some one is speaking is enough to distract and shut a student down. Germans are famous for being over corrective. Your son has been to school in another country and has been exposed to different learning styles. He may learn differently, perhaps he learns from watching others and less independently.   It can also be that he is thinking in L1, translating to L2 and then translating again to L3. That takes time. If your child is able to competently complete the tasks in writing and understand and get the correct answers in the L1 and L2 languages and L3 than I would really resists holding him back. I would not in any case have him stay with the same teacher. 

 
I do not agree that teachers know better or have students best interests at heart all the time. They are humans and have all the faults and hubris as the rest of us. I was reading that Germany has a teacher shortage. Moving forward is the 3rd grade over crowded for next year?  What sort of training does your son's teacher have in dealing with 2nd language students? Ideally children would go to specialty teachers for certain subjects. I was looking at the statistics of certain minorities here and they do not do very well in the education system, It is easy to point a finger and blame it on culture but then when you look at a system that is shafting students by the 3rd grade you have to wonder. Much of educational success is about conformity. This teacher is focused on oral skills. You need to impress that on your son.  Focus on oral activities is easier than grading papers, if she does not have an assistant.  Your husband is going to have to squeeze in the time to go over the homework with him and have the child verbally express  the topic answers into the the L3 (German). A good activity is to have your son read paragraphs on different topics or story books and have him get used to verbally answering: the who, what, when, where, why. It will train his mind to look for these details as he is reading or listening. Making vocabulary lists and definitions will also help. Maybe your sons teacher will share the target activities with you in advance so you can better prepare your son for class time.
 
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54 minutes ago, Futura123 said:

Some years back I worked on an MA in TEFL. I did several classes on language acquisition and teaching methodology and did my practicum at an excellent international school.

 

 

How much of what you learned regarding TEFL can be extrapolated to apply to foreign students in German public schools?

 

Consider the following:

 

1. The US does not stream at a young age

2. There is not the same stigma in Germany in repeating a grade

3. German is more difficult than English

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The child and parent are coming from a different academic background. In Asia and other countries protecting the academic record is really important to the future academic goals of a student.  Of course there is a stigma in Germany among peers and I would imagine education professionals too, you would have to be really naive to believe otherwise. Humans are competitive. The mother is not German. Think about that for a minute...the mother is coming from a different academic orientation and so is the child.  You can chant a  mantra : Speak German, think German all you want, but the fact is, different cultures bring their own filter to the table. Of course Institutions in other countries have their ways of filtering students for example, advance classes, getting put with the better teachers, gifted programs etc. For point 3 of your comment I would write. 3. Germans are more difficult than the English. lol 

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On 2/28/2018, 12:15:46, Futura123 said:

Of course there is a stigma in Germany among peers and I would imagine education professionals too, you would have to be really naive to believe otherwise. Humans are competitive.

 

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Nah - I really don't see it any kind of stigma attached to repeating a grade, and I'm not naive. I work in German schools and with a lot of teachers in and outside of schools, plus my own kids are in school (in classes with some repeaters). Parents/kids might be disappointed if repeating becomes necessary, but there's really no general stigma, no brandmarking as a failure (or, worse, a loser) in the way I know it from the US, for example. This is because the stakes at the end of primary school are so high.

 

I am sure of all people the folks on TT have a lot of sympathy for a non-German mother trying to navigate her child's path through an educational system that is foreign to her. So many of us are or have been in the same boat, hence our speaking from experience.  But the bottom line is that -- assuming the mother wants her child to succeed in this system -- she ought to understand the principles and criteria for success upon which the system is based.  Whether one likes or dislikes the German tripartite system of secondary schooling, it's important to go into it with eyes wide open and knowing how it works (and whom it works for, under what conditions).  If the mother knows *why* the teacher is making the recommendation to repeat (not only in terms of her child and this one school year, but bearing in mind his whole schooling career and future options), she can better understand the implications for the decision down the line *in this particular system*.  You mention that people from different cultures bring their own filters to understanding life in Germany.  That's true.  And often those filters get in the way of their succeeding in Germany (or of their children reaching their educational potential).  Nobody's saying she needs to forget her culture but the fact is that German schooling privileges German culture, and we non-native German-speakers living in Germany put our children at an academic (and social) disadvantage in German schools if we don't recognize that (and play along).  

 

 

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2 of my children repeated at different stages in school, it was the best decision for both of them and they both went on and did well. No stigma and no drama involved. 

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I repeated grades 5 and 10. Grade 5 because the teacher at elementary school hadn't recommended me for Gymnasium and grade 10 I repeated voluntarily to close gaps from previous years. I never felt stigmatised.

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"Nobody's saying she needs to forget her culture but the fact is that German schooling privileges German culture, and we non-native German-speakers living in Germany put our children at an academic (and social) disadvantage in German schools if we don't recognize that (and play along)."  Liebling.

I agree with that statement. I have been connected with Germany since 1985. In 1990 My children became school age and I had to decide with school system to put them in.  I went with the American system, for us it was the best choice. I was reading up on German education and migration and came across some articles in English. Just and FYI for anyone interested.  

 

German school system is failing refugees - report

Young refugees often land in disadvantaged schools that lack qualified teachers in deprived areas. A new study claims that for integration to succeed, educators will have to rethink their approach.

"It starts with understanding that diversity needs to be the point of departure for the organization of the school day," said Morris-Lange, emphasizing that change is impossible if principals and teachers do not act as a team. "Nonetheless, it will take a long time to prepare our schools for the challenges of adequately serving the immigrant society that we have become."  http://www.dw.com/en/german-school-system-is-failing-refugees-report/a-42790487

 

""According to the OECD’s Schleicher, Germany may be witnessing the positive effects of de-tracking—that is, getting rid of a school system in which students are segregated based on whether they’re preparing for basic work, trade professions, or university. Germany had long separated children as young as 10 into vocational or university tracks; and while other countries’ school systems do have programs that separate students by ability, few do so for such young children. But those traditions are starting to evolve. Many of Germany’s 16 states, including Berlin and Saxony, recently decided to phase out the lowest-level secondary school (Hauptschule), in part because parents criticized the program as leading students directly to low-wage jobs. In those states, students now attend comprehensive schools that allow them to move between vocational and university-bound tracks. “The tracking system is a big part of the problem in Germany,” says Schleicher, adding that international comparisons based on PISA data “absolutely” show that tracking holds back the most disadvantaged students. In “most of the countries with highly equitable results”—Korea and Norway, for example—you don’t see tracking.”" https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/11/great-german-scool-turnaround/413806/

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On 2/12/2018, 9:37:05, YomiIshak said:

 

 

I have spoken to him about it and he does not want to be held back. I did inform him he needs to try harder and we will provide a tutor to assist but that it’s okay if he has to stay back. I do think he will do better with a push and a tutor but I’m not sure if that’s good enough so I think we will see. 

 

The teacher says we will meet again April. My husband (native german speaker) spoke to her today but she seemed quite defensive when he suggested I sit down with her earlier so we can discuss a plan for my child. So I’ll wait till April then. 

 

As someone that was held back twice due to an undiagnosed learning disability,  BE VERY CAREFUL how you proceed.

 

Pros

getting the chance to improve his language skills is a benefit. 

 

Cons

no matter how you explain it to him/her the child will take a dent in their confidence.

 

They will become bored in the other subjects and will need to develop a new peer group with will take more time to do that catch up in German.

 

My advice is that a 2nd language acquisition  delay is to be expected and a BULLSHIT reason to keep a kid back.  There are lot of different ways to catch up on German and if the child doesn’t want to skip the class then they will be motivated to pick up extra work.

 

Save that for when your child is really struggling and they will actually tell you if this is necessary.

 

if you have the money get psychometric testing done by a certified education/child psychologist to see if their are any weak area with language learning ability and get their advice (written). They can do this in an interview.

 

I have found teachers to be clueless when it comes to these sorts of things and in SOME cases (not saying this is one) they act in their own interest instead of the childs. The Psychometric report will give you evidence that you can use to ‘Persuade’ the teacher. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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