Thursday, June 23, 2011

Justice's Reading

That would be the load of phonics and reading materials given to us by Justice’s ESL (English as a second language) teacher for the summer. :) With Justice’s grade acceleration late last school year we have A LOT of catching up to do over the summer. It’s interesting to think that this week marks the 1 year anniversary of Justice’s full introduction to English! At this time last year you may recall we had traveled to Ghana thinking we were going to be bringing Justice home with us, only to find that the Embassy would not issue his visa. As reality set in that Justice would not be coming home to the U.S., we had to make temporary living arrangements for him in Ghana since we did not feel it was best to send him back to foster care. It was then that Nana and Esi (Yaw’s parents) graciously offered to take Justice into their home until his visa was granted. At the time we really thought it would only be a few weeks until we got his visa worked out, but it ended up being 3 months! However, as always, God used the situation for good, and Nana & Esi were able to prepare Justice for his upcoming transition to the U.S. by beginning to teach him English.

So, Justice has now been hearing and speaking full English for exactly 1 year! I took the following video yesterday as we ended our phonics time with him reading. This was the first time he had read this particular book....

Yes, we still have a lot of work to do. But we are really making headway. His ESL teacher and I have conjured up a tag team approach for the summer…..she gave us all the reading materials and instructions on how to use them. My job is to take him through activities every day if possible, and she checks in with us and his progress every so often. Mainly we are working on him being able to quickly see a word and then be able to say it. He can sound out most easy words phonetically, but on average it takes him about 8-10 seconds to do that if he doesn’t know the word at first sight. Since he is still learning English, we are trying to expose him to a lot of books and rich vocabulary….there are still a lot of words that he doesn’t know or understand yet. The English language is so intensive if you really think about it. For instance, sometimes a ‘gh’ put together is silent… in the word ‘sight’. But sometimes they make an ‘f’ sound like in the word ‘rough’. Once you start teaching someone to read, you realize how many crazy things like that make up the English language! I think it’s going to take him a good year of extra side-work to catch up to speed at his new grade level, but to see how far he has come in such a short amount of time is really remarkable. We are very thankful to have such great individual help and encouragement from his teachers and the school staff. I am also thankful that math has come easy to Justice… glad I don’t have to teach him that! :)

1 comment:

Renee said...

Good job, Justice!