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Dd and Hungarian boy in her class

(251 Posts)
GastonsPomPomWrath Mon 05-Sep-16 17:32:11

This is wwyd situation. Please be gentle with me.

It's my children's first day back at school today. Dd is 8 and has just started year 4. She's a bright child, top of the class, good in all subjects.

There's a new boy in the class. We'll call him Y. Y is Hungarian and speaks no or very very limited English at the moment.

The teacher has put my dd with Y to partner him in everything. She must work with him, talk to him, play with him at play time and lunchtime and help him during dinner in the hall. He has to copy her work exactly so he can learn to write our language. Dd didn't manage to finish her work because Y was struggling to keep up with her.

Dd told the teacher that she was having trouble understanding him and him understanding her and the teacher replied that she "hasn't got a choice" and she "must teach him how to speak and write English."

Now I do understand that the boy is probably better off being integrated in the classroom to pick up the way things are done and the language but is it totally reasonable for the teacher to carry on with her lesson whilst letting my dd teach Y? The school don't seem to have any resources or staff available to teach one to one for children who don't use English as their first language. The teaching assistant didn't offer any help (I asked Dd)

Would you be happy with this situation?

Dd came home asking me to help her figure out how she will communicate with him tomorrow.

JonathanDunn Mon 05-Sep-16 17:34:51

Your dd is not a translator. The school is failing both children in this case.

acasualobserver Mon 05-Sep-16 17:36:04

Please check with the teacher that the arrangement is exactly as your daughter describes it.

justilou Mon 05-Sep-16 17:37:12

Lazy teacher expecting your daughter to integrate this poor kid.... Complain immediately - if teacher's not up to it, there are probably aides available under these circumstances...

ChocolateButton15 Mon 05-Sep-16 17:37:27

Hmm I don't think it's very fair for them to leave it all to your daughter. I would probably speak to the teacher about it. I would ask the minimum that she's not doing it all day every day. It would be better for both of them if he sits with different children or she could start falling behind. If I was his mum I would want an interpreter at first he must be very confused!

lostlalaloopsy Mon 05-Sep-16 17:37:50

That is ridiculous, your poor dd should not be left to do this! She's only 8. I would get in touch with school to clarify the whole situation.

SolomanDaisy Mon 05-Sep-16 17:38:11

I would bet 100:1 that your daughter has not described the situation accurately.

ApocalypseSlough Mon 05-Sep-16 17:38:31

^^what casual says. I suspect the reality is waaaaay off what you've been told.

BagelGoesWalking Mon 05-Sep-16 17:39:19

I don't think it's "totally reasonable" at all. The intention behind the idea may be a good one, but it seems unfair to load all that responsibility on to your 8 year old.

If the teacher had said something like "could you help Y during 1 class during the day, or to take him to the dining hall at lunch, that would be OK.

But I would be annoyed at the teacher saying "must teach him how to speak and write English." Can your daughter ask that she gets the teacher's salary, at least? grin

I think you should try to see the teacher and discuss in a non-combative way. How long is this supposed to go on for? Will other kids in the class be asked to help? It probably won't last long, as children pick up things incredibly quickly, but that doesn't mean it's OK to give your DD that kind of ultimatum.

MuffyTheUmpireSlayer Mon 05-Sep-16 17:39:21

This sounds very unusual. I understand having a buddy, but what tou describe is an awful lot to expect an 8 year old to do. Double check that your DD hasn't misunderstood what the teacher wanted her to do (or isn't exaggerating!) and if she was right, I would definitely complain.

bigTillyMint Mon 05-Sep-16 17:40:13

It is one day and the first one back so probaby not that high-powered. I doubt the teacher said those exact words to your DD. I would look on it as an opportunity for your DD to widen her communication and interaction skills. If she is really finding it too onerous after a couple of days, then maybe have a word with Oving the children round regularly so others get a chance to help him too.

allegretto Mon 05-Sep-16 17:40:31

My son had to do something similar but it was a boy from Bangladesh who only spoke a bit of English. We live in Italy and my son is bilingual so they put him next to my son so he could translate. I was not pleased as I thought it would be difficult for him to keep up but in fact it worked out really well and they became friends. However, it sounds like your daughter is not able to communicate with him and expecting her to take on the role of linguistic mediator is a bit ridiculous.

nancy75 Mon 05-Sep-16 17:40:42

I would bet she has described it accurately, we had exactly the same thing last year.
Aftee some complaint the school have the non English speaking child an iPad with google translate and left her to get on with it

TJEckleburg Mon 05-Sep-16 17:41:24

Even if the situation is not exactly as your ds has described, it was the teachers job to describe it. Your dd is obv worried now that she is responsible for this boy, so even if she's got the wrong end of the stick, I would still complain.

RedSauceAndJellyJuice Mon 05-Sep-16 17:41:39

pom is this what your daughter has said or did the teacher ?

IfartInYourGeneralDirection Mon 05-Sep-16 17:41:45

I'd ask for clarification too. If she's wrong then it's all cleared up and if she's right you have a chance to discuss it with the teacher and make it clear your ds1 is not a teacher or translator

RainyDayBear Mon 05-Sep-16 17:41:56

I also think you should clarify what your DD has been asked to do - her interpretation may have been quite different to what she's been asked to do (it's likely she's been chosen as she's a good role model - and the idea being that she'll be supportive / friendly).

icelollycraving Mon 05-Sep-16 17:43:32

If this is what your child understands from the teacher I suggest you clarify.
Once you clarify I imagine (& hope) the story will be different. It may be she is exaggerating,it may be she is telling the truth. It is your job to find that out.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:05

YANBU that the school shouldn't be putting this responsibility onto your DD and the teachers 'no choice' sounds bad.

However, the silver lining maybe that this could be a valuable learning experience for your DD. Her asking you for help on how to communicate with him tomorrow sounds very sensible and mature. So maybe those whose DC have been in similar positions could help with suggestions?

harderandharder2breathe Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:13

They're being unfair to both children if it is as your dd has described. Definitely speak to teacher, find out if dd has misunderstood or anything, and if teacher confirms what dd said then make it clear you're happy for DD to help any other child occasionally, you're worried that it's too much pressure for her alone and that she will fall behind in her own work

HereIAm20 Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:21

My son was in a similar situation in year 4. The new girl from Saudi Arabia was placed next to him because he was a nice child basically. Although there was an element of letting the girl copy his work the teacher also did some work with the girl and she went to Learning Skills Dept for individual one to one.

He was given an ipad and they used google translate to talk to each other. It only lasted a little while because she soon made "girl" friends to play with and then moved to be with one of them. I suspect after the little Hungarian boy kicks a ball around with some of the others at break he'll make other friends and ask to go with the.

I'd still check with the teacher (calmly) what the situation is before going in all guns blazing.

I suspect it means she feels your daughter is one the mature and kind children in the class which can only be a good thing.

GastonsPomPomWrath Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:37

I will definitely check tomorrow with the teacher. But dd is not one to exaggerate, she loves her teacher (had the same one last year) and she likes helping her.

Dd did tell me that last year a Polish girl came into her class and she was 'looked after' in the same way by another child who is also one of the top set.

MLGs Mon 05-Sep-16 17:44:48

You definitely have to speak to the teacher asap to find out what the situation is/has been, and to make it clear to them what you are and are not comfortable with DD doing.

Obviously if she's expected to mind him all day long and that's totally unreasonable and the teacher is trying to make your DD do the job for him/her.

DelicatePreciousThing1 Mon 05-Sep-16 17:45:24

Whatever the OP's daughter has said, the fact remains that this is her perception of what is going on. It is a rubbish way to treat either child.
I would not be happy that there is such a set-up.

PurpleTango Mon 05-Sep-16 17:47:11

Not acceptable that the teacher is relying on your DD to integrate this child. Its also unfair on the other child. It is also unfair on the British taxpayer to have to fork out for interpreters. Too many schools need interpreters (for many languages) nowadays. Not fair on all anyone concerned.

If I were in your situation OP I would pay a visit to the class teacher and let them know that I am not happy with my child having sole responsibility for the academic progress of another child.

Your child is 8 years old! She can do without the angst of making sure someone else performs up to scratch!

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