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Posted on November 23, 2012 3:29 am
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Yasar Bodur
Yasar Bodur
Reps: 614
Silent Period
Grigor is in my 4th grade classroom. He came to the US last year with his family from Bulgaria. He was in 4th grade at our school last year as well. He was retained in 4th grade because he did not develop his English language skills. I learned about a ďsilent periodĒ that children go through when they learn a new language. My guess is that Grigor is in the silent period. But it does not make sense to me that he would be in the silent period for almost two years. He does not say anything in class. He does not socialize with his classmates either. He can read and write in simple English though. His parents tell me that he acts completely normal at home and he is able to communicate with English speaking people at home when they have guests. This is really puzzling. I have to find a way to communicate with Grigor and discover what is holding him back from communicating with people at school. I need some help.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted June 10, 2013 8:08 pm

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I recommend reaching out to this student through using a knowledge of Bulgarian culture. Find something that Grigor likes and reach out to him using it. In the silent stage of development, children need to express themselves, and this can only be accomplished if you can find a way to break through the culture barrier. Encourage him to express himself in any way that he finds enjoyable. Art, music, and writing all help, but also be sure to build trust between the two of you by encouraging him in any way that you can.
Votes: +29 / -2 Vote Up This Solution Is Useful   Vote Down This Solution Is Not Useful  

Comments posted for this solution

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I like your suggestion to reach out to him using his culture. I think that the boy must be uncomfortable and feel lonely if he is not communicating with other people at school
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 4:46 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I like this suggestion of having the teacher do some research on Grigor's culture and ask him to express his culture somehow. This will show Grigor that the teacher cares and respect him. Hopefully this will allow him to open up to the teacher and then eventually open up to students.
  Posted on: November 7, 2013 1:05 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
The encouragement of him participating in other interests can certainly help break the silent period. Speaking with Grigor's parents can provide insight on his interests. Having taught a student from Bulgaria who came to me speaking absolutely no English, I witnessed a growth from silence to becoming the most talkative and liked person in the class. This particular student blossomed once soccer began at the school. He was a star athlete who felt completely at home on the soccer field. Helping Grigor find an activity which interests him may be just the thing to break his silent period.
  Posted on: November 13, 2013 8:41 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
I agree--you need to develop a personal relationship with Grigor. You do have to break the cultural barrier with him, but only through ways that are pertinent to him. Maybe alongside with his parents, get to know him better by finding out what his interests are, what he likes to do at home and even what he likes to eat. Once you can get to know him a little better, you can begin to cater your instruction by keeping these things in mind.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 3:26 pm

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
Finding things that he enjoys, is a great way to help him open up. I love how you stated to incorporate his culture, music, and art.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 7:03 pm

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I like your suggestion of using art and music to bridge the gap between Grigor and the other students. Music and art can communicate when words cannot.
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 1:15 am

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
I think that Grigor needs to be able to trust his teacher, and your suggestion will help him gain a little trust. Incoporating part of his culture into the classroom is a great idea; however, it needs to be done in the context of other countries, so it does not look like the teacher is focusing on just Grigor.
  Posted on: November 3, 2014 1:20 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
This is a great suggestion! Showing a child you care is a great way to get them to open up and show their personality...I think a lot of children just need that one person to care for them, and by showing an interest in what Grigor likes, is a great way to go about that!
  Posted on: November 4, 2014 10:44 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I also believe that drawing is an excellent way of attempting to get Grigor to express himself and open up. Have him start a daily journal, along with the rest of the class, that requires them to drawing or write one things each day about themselves. You may find that his drawings will tell a story he is unwilling to share with words.
  Posted on: November 7, 2014 9:51 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
I really liked your suggestion on finding a way to help Grigor communicate. Drawing is a great way to encourage him to communicate his immediate needs and to reflect on life in Bulgaria. Perhaps he could use computer software to draw or animate images. He could also use computer software to communicate with classmates though student e-mail. Using student e-mail would help Grigor make friends with his classmates as well.
  Posted on: November 8, 2014 11:21 pm

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
Great suggestion. I like your ideas of reaching out through the student's culture. When new students come, from any culture, reaching out to them through a common interest is another great idea. This will show to the student that the teacher cares. They are able to express themselves as well.

  Posted on: November 16, 2014 5:49 pm

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
My thoughts were similar. Bringing his culture into the classroom could definitely help and getting to know him is important.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 10:52 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I really like your idea of reaching out to the student to learn more about him. Make him understand that being who he is will always be a good thing. He should never be ashamed or hide who he is just because he now lives in a new country! This is a great idea! It might even be a good idea to have him share his culture with the class!
  Posted on: November 17, 2014 1:18 am

Ashley Noe
Ashley Noe
Reps: 99
Sometimes students feel unwelcomed in a new place because they are different. I love your solution.
  Posted on: March 1, 2015 8:18 pm

Puzesu
Puzesu
Reps: 21
I like this solution. I think that your use of dialog journals in the past was good. You stated he can read and write in simple English. Maybe have him write to open up to you. Or give him a pen pal. Somebody in the classroom that he can write notes back and forth to. He may just not understand our social ways and may be bashful. If he has one person he feels comfortable with, maybe he will open up in time.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 6:35 pm

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
This seems like a good strategy. I like the idea of using his culture to bond with him. The teacher could also show interest by learning some simple phrases. A little interest paid to his culture might be enough to help Gregor begin to bond with his teacher and classmates.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 8:43 pm

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I agree with your solution. Reaching out like possibly using the filmstrip idea from Igoa. This may help the student feel comfortable speaking in class.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:36 am

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I like your idea of reaching out to him through some element of his culture. It doesn't matter if they are English language learners or not, all children want to feel valued. By putting in a little extra effort and showing him that you took the time to learn more about where he came from, you might be able to open the doors of communication with him. Ultimately, I feel as though there really wasn't a reason to retain him, if he is not going to be given the support he needs to be successful upon retention. The support he needs is clearly more emotional and interpersonal, so that should be your focus.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 6:43 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I think it's a good idea to try and find something he is familiar with and use this help him open up. Finding something from him culture that is interested in should help him feel more comfortable when speaking in class.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 7:20 pm

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
He needs some friends. He should find a couple of trustworthy students who are willing to be paired with him so he feels some connection to the student body of your school. Trying to connect with him through learning about his homeland is good to but the main thing he needs is someone to interact with at school.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 8:13 pm

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
I love that you suggested that the teacher find something that he is able to communicate with the student about. I think that during this "silent period" that this is critical because after two years there is something else going on. If his parents are saying that he is able to communicate at home and wit English speaking guests them maybe he is not feeling safe or that he belongs while he is at school. I also suggest maybe linking him with a partner in order to make him feel more comfortable around the other students.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 11:43 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I think finding more out about the culture is a good idea. Maybe students of that particular culture do not talk in class normally. Maybe for him he is on his best behavior.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 3:11 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
Brittany, I think that researching more about his home country could help the teacher connect to the student. Also, as the teacher I might would assign him to research information about his home country and develop a presentation for his classmates or his teacher. The student could teach the teacher about various aspects of his home country. If he is comfortable with this, the teacher might even suggest presenting the information to the rest of the class. His classmates could then come up with questions that they wish to ask him about his home country. This would be a great opportunity to integrate social studies, language arts, and social skills content.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 6:31 pm

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I love that you are meeting the student where they are at instead of forcing our ways on him. He may just be a "late bloomer" so it may take a little longer for him to open up. In the meantime, we need to make sure we are doing everything we need to expose him to appropriate language and culture.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 4:41 am

eZuGeQ
eZuGeQ
Reps: 200
Great ideas!
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 5:02 am

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
I agree that you need to connect with him through his culture. One cool way might be finding some Bulgarian foods that are delicious and making him one for a treat or dessert. If you do this, he may want to tell you about it and how he might have eaten it in his home country. This will help bring him out of his shell.
  Posted on: November 6, 2015 9:37 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
This is a great solution. Finding something that Grigor enjoys will help him tremendously to open up and express himself. It would also be helpful for the teacher to integrate the things Grigor enjoys with the curriculum.
  Posted on: November 9, 2015 4:43 pm

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I like your solution. You're right sometimes students just don't feel welcomed
  Posted on: November 11, 2015 1:55 am

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
Bringing in his culture would be a great idea. Grigor may feel more comfortable with his culture brought out and incorporated into the classroom. I would also suggest pairing him up with another student and see if they can form a friendship. that might help him open up as well.
  Posted on: November 12, 2015 3:04 am

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
I also agree that bringing his culture into the classroom would be a great idea. He may open up more once he sees something familiar.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 10:50 pm

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I think it is a great idea to allow him to express himself in another way. He could draw a picture and then when he is comfortable enough, he may be willing to talk to you or the class about the picture.
  Posted on: November 16, 2015 2:41 am

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Solution 2
Posted June 11, 2014 3:39 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
Find something that interests Grigor. Does he like writing, drawing, movies, coloring, or sports? You have to find some way to connect to Grigor through trial and error. I had a silent student once and I made it a point to ask him a personal question every day. He wouldnít answer for the first few weeks or just nod or shake his head, but eventually he came around. Be persistent in your attempts to reach out to him, and do not give up. If you find something you can relate to him with, he may come around. Ask his parents what he enjoys doing and somehow relate it into the content learned and allow him to use his talents in class.
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Comments posted for this solution

Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
I agree that reaching out and trying to find things that interest him may be the best way for him to open up. I also believe speaking to the parents would be beneficial.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:42 am

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
The teacher can ask his parents to make a list of things he is interested in, and then the teacher could find pictures, objects, literature pieces, and music of Grigor's interest and place in a safe haven for him.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 7:52 pm

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
I had suggested going straight to asking him why he does not talk in class. I might have been setting myself up for an answer like, I donít know. I like your idea of finding his interest. Sometimes we have to keep trying as teachers, even when it seems to never work. Once we find that spark it so rewarding.
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 2:29 am

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
I believe consistency and persistence is key. He is probably expecting people to give up on him since he will not respond. Be that person that continues to try because you believe he is worth the time. If he doesn't want to talk about himself, share some things about yourself that he might find interesting.
  Posted on: November 7, 2014 9:49 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
I really liked your idea of having personal communications with Grigor on a daily basis. Like the student you mentioned after a few weeks of persistent attempts to hold a conversation Grigor may feel comfortable enough to begin talking. Letting students know that their teacher is interested in them and cares about them is always a good way to build a trusting relationship with students. Eventually Grigor and students like him will realize that they can successfully communicate with their teachers.
  Posted on: November 8, 2014 11:24 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
This is a good suggestion and you made a good point in that the teacher should remain persistent in their attempt to have the student open up. He may really miss the Bulgarian school and teachers and feel that the U.S. way is very different making it difficult to express himself. Letting him express himself through one of his interests in an environment that is not judgmental will allow him to open up.
  Posted on: November 9, 2014 8:46 pm

Kayla Mullins
Kayla Mullins
Reps: 89
I think that is a great idea. Finding something that is intersting to the student will allow them to feel more comfortable in the classroom. This may give them an oppertunity to connect with another student with the same interest.
-Kayla
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 9:49 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
You are correct that reaching out to Grigor and showing him that you care is probably the best approach to helping him break out of his silent period. Trial and error may be a good approach until you figure out what works best. Speaking to his parents about what interests him may be another way to get him engaged in conversation. I also like your comment on persistence. Persistence will be key in getting Grigor to work through his silent period. He probably will not respond for a while. You need to show him that you actually care about him and his situation, and he will probably open up at some point. I might also suggest finding a classroom "buddy" to pair him with. Kids want friends and peers to speak to and spend time with. Maybe try to match Grigor up with students who have common interests (once you find out what those are) or a trusted student in your class who you know will treat Grigor kindly and with respect.
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 9:53 pm

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I think reaching out to the student and finding a way to connect with him/her on a personal level is a great place to start. All students need that personal connection to feel comfortable and know that you truly care. I think the student will definitely be more willing to open up.
  Posted on: November 13, 2014 12:39 am

Jonathan Buys
Jonathan Buys
Reps: 42
Finding common ground is key to establishing relationships with students. However, this can be difficult. I think persistence and patience is also key. Grigor may need more time, but if he knows his teacher cares about him and genuinely shows an interest in getting to know him and helping him, then he will eventually turn the corner.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 11:12 pm

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
Igoa mentioned in her book, The Inner World of the Immigrant Child, how she encouraged her students to create filmstrips to share their thoughts and stories. This may be a great way to help Grigor open up his lines of communication, and he can do it at his own pace. Filmstrip stories are a great way for ELL's to share their personal stories/culture with others, and when Grigor is ready, he could do just that.

Something else to consider about Grigor. Sometimes there is more going on in an ELL's life than just the lack of English proficiency. Could he have personal issues at home? Friend issues at school? He may still be experiencing culture shock. Take your time with him, and let him know how special and important he is every day, and help him to know that the classroom is his home away from home. Teachers must do everything they can to help all students in the classroom feel wanted and respected.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 6:43 pm

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I completely agree with your response. Sometimes students like him just need to know they have someone at the school they can open up to and trust. He might be fearful of students making fun of him and just needs somebody he can trust. Finding out his interest is a great way to gain trust with him. I know it is hard for anyone to not talk about things they love doing!
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 5:04 am

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
I like the idea of finding his strengths and then using those in class! I love finding out what interests my students and what they are involved in outside of school. I feel that it helps me make that personal connection with them and they love when their teacher knows what they love. I have students who play soccer, baseball, ballet and other extra-curricular activities. When I can, I will go and watch them play. It means so much to them when the teacher shows interest in their lives and comes to cheer them on.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:51 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I think your suggestion of being persistent is so important. Sometimes, when we are trying to develop a relationship with a student and, for whatever reason, it doesn't work right away, it can be frustrating. This makes it easy for us to give up. But, we can't! If we give up on that relationship, it sends such a sad message to the student, especially if he or she is already having trouble finding a place in our classroom. I once had a student who resisted everything I did to build a relationship with her; sometimes, she was downright violent with her resistance. I wish that I could say we developed a great relationship by the end of the year, but we didn't; however, I never stopped trying. Now, whenever she sees me in the hallway, she smiles and waves...she still won't talk to me really, but I appreciate the big breakthrough of a little wave.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 6:49 pm

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
Trying to connect through learning about his interests is a great idea because it will make him comfortable with you. He also needs to learn to interact with other students so I would suggest finding a couple of trustworthy students to take up time with him.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 8:16 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I like your statement of being persistent. Feeling comfortable in a classroom does not happen overnight, just like talking to you will not happen over night. Asking him a personal question every day will show him that you care about him on a personal level. Even if he doesn't answer the question right away it is still important to reach out to him. It might benefit this student to also tell him personal things about yourself!
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 9:26 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
Sara, I liked how your recommended involving the parents in this issue. Parents can be a great resource for teachers, and they could help the teacher come up with ways to make their son more comfortable and social in the classroom. I would also give him a dialogue journal that he can use with the teacher. The teacher can begin the interaction by asking the student to tell him or her some things about himself and what he likes. This type of prompt could facilitate more in depth conversations between the teacher and the student.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 6:41 pm

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
I couldn't agree with you more that persistence is key! If you show him daily how you want to reach out to him then he will feel valued and hopefully more willing to open up.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 4:44 am

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
I think your suggestion is spot on. I think gaining a relationship by using his interest will get him to talk. I think it is important to use different teaching strategies such as reading, music, art, etc. Moreover, if you use items from his culture it may also help.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 12:19 am

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I think reaching out to his interest is one of the best ways to gain his trust. If you show that you care and want to learn about him and his culture it will hopefully let down that silent guard that he has up within the classroom
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 3:18 am

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I really like your suggestion and your firsthand experience! That is great that you were persistent with your silent student, yet you didn't push too much either. It also sounds like you respected this phase for s/him and didn't treat s/him as unwilling to learn/cooperate, or as a slow or ignorant student. I think by doing these things your student felt comfortable enough to come around to you.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 3:31 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:45 pm

nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
Relating to his interests sounds like a great way, and the most realistic way, to get anyone to open up.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:41 am

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
I agree that being persistent sometimes helps. I had a student from Costa Rica last year that we thought did not know English. Apparently he was going through the silent period and after trying to talk to him every day he finally opened up and we realized he was able to speak English, he just wasn't comfortable doing it yet.
  Posted on: November 2, 2015 4:56 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I didnít even think about talking with the parents. You could have his parents write down a list of things that interest him and go from there.
  Posted on: November 3, 2015 2:50 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I like the idea of getting to know the student and finding something that interests him. Figuring out his interests may have him come out of his silent period. Also the bond between you, as the teacher, and the student will be stronger. Asking him personal questions will show that he is noticed and important in the classroom. Also relating to him o his culture will show that you care. The filmstrip from Igoa may also be used to help the child.
  Posted on: November 5, 2015 3:28 pm

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I like your suggestion on finding something he is interested in from Grigor or his parents, so you can try to make him more comfortable and start communicating with you and other students. The other thing is where you said to "be persistent and not give up." I believe too many times teachers and other staff members give up on these students to soon and then it is to late. Being persistent and never giving up on the child will make them feel they are important and that others are interested in what he has to say.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 11:07 pm

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I agree that persistence is key when dealing with a silent student. They may not come around the first couple of attempts, but keep trying new things and sooner or later they will begin communicating more and more.
  Posted on: November 16, 2015 2:43 am

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Solution 3
Posted December 7, 2012 2:12 pm

BreAnna Sinclair
BreAnna Sinclair
Reps: 118
This is a situtation where you have got to learn as much about Grigor as possible. You need to find a way to have Grigor open up, whether its through a personal converstation about his hobbies or something else he finds interesting. It would also be beneficial to ask students to befriend Grigor and try to help him open up to them.
Votes: +7 / -1 Vote Up This Solution Is Useful   Vote Down This Solution Is Not Useful  

Comments posted for this solution

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I think hobbies would be a great way to get Grigor to open up. Being in the silent stage, he needs to express himself in any way possible. After finding out what he enjoys doing, I think it would be a great idea to have Grigor put in small groups of other students who enjoy the same hobbies. This will encourage him to branch out and make new friends through similar interests.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 8:10 pm

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
I like the idea of using hobbies to help bring him out of his shell. He needs to find a way to communicate his feelings and frustrations. This would be a good way of doing just that.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 11:28 am

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
You are right that trying to create a connection with Grigor would be the best way to get him to open up and break through his silent period. I would recommend being selective and careful about who you ask to befriend Grigor. Make sure it is a student you know will be receptive to him and patient with him as he works through his silent period. Also, if you are able to find out what Grigor's hobbies and interests are, you could match him up with students with like interests and hobbies.
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 9:55 pm

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I agree that finding some sort of connection with the student is key here. I think that the teacher will have to find a way for him to open up, and it may be that several different strategies have to be used, but if he is talking at home that is a good sign too.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 1:40 am

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
I like your idea of finding an interest of Grigor. This will help him see that the teacher cares and Grigor can express himself. I have a student that rarely speaks and when he does he is either copying what I am saying or saying something that is not understandable. But I always make a point to talk to him and ask him questions. I do know he likes the movie Madagascar. By talking to him, he has really opened up.


  Posted on: November 16, 2014 5:56 pm

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
Yes, it is crucial to get to know all of your students, but I think it is especially important to get to know students from another country. Getting to know them will allow you to connect with them on a personal level and find out his interests and you may find out that he is just an "introvert" who doesn't feel comfortable talking around a lot of people. Or you may find out there is a deeper problem that you can help him fix.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 8:49 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I agree that you have to find a way to allow the student to open up. I think a good way to do this is to ask Grigor to tell you about his culture.
  Posted on: December 3, 2014 1:41 pm

uJabaz
uJabaz
Reps: 100
I agree, I think activities would be a great way of getting him to open up and make new friends.
  Posted on: February 26, 2015 6:05 pm

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I think that it is a really good idea to reach out to Grigor through his interests. Children really like to talk about and bond over things that they like. Maybe the teacher can pair Grigor with students who have similar interests with Grigor, so that they have something to bond over.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 3:03 am

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I do very much agree with you. You have to find out important things when it comes to having the child communicate. You need to know what interest him.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 2:17 pm

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I like the idea of allowing him to share his hobbies. I think asking a student to befriend him is a good idea if it is the right student who is not intimidating.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 12:39 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:46 pm

Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109



I like the solution you suggested. Getting Grigor to communicate might happen by starting a conversation about something that interest him. I also like the idea of getting all the students on board to try to help him open up.
  Posted on: October 26, 2015 10:56 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I really like the idea of bringing up hobbies for him. He may be interested in a hobby that you are not fully aware of. He can then explain this hobby a little more and maybe he will open up that way.
  Posted on: November 3, 2015 2:51 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
This is a good suggestion. Having a friend would help Grigor open up. Then he would be able to communicate with his friend and then eventually open up to other classmates and even teachers.
  Posted on: November 9, 2015 4:46 pm

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Solution 4
Posted June 16, 2013 12:34 pm

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
First, everyone experiences things differently. Just as not everyone goes through the stages of grieving in the same way or even experiences all of the stages, Grigor is simply experiencing the stages of language development at his own rate. Second, spoken language can be much more difficult to master than written language. When a person is reading, he or she can read slowly, reread passages, and look up words that he or she does not understand, whereas when a person is having a conversation, the pace may be much faster, and it is more difficult to keep up. Finally, conversing with a few people in the safety of oneís home is much different from speaking in front of a class of students. Grigor may be hesitant to express himself verbally yet. I would take several steps in dealing with this situation. First, be aware of any possible bullying which Grigor may be experiencing because of his English or cultural differences. Also, create situations which give Grigor the opportunity to use English with a partner or small group of people. Do not push Grigor to speak before he is ready or put him on the spot. The fact that Grigor is from another country is not his only defining characteristic. He may already have been an introverted child, which has been compounded by his move. Sensitivity is key here.
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Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I totally agree with you. The teacher doesn't need to push Grigor to talk in front of others if he is simply not ready. He may have been introverted,he may be getting bullied,etc. like you stated. This is something that just needs to be a slow pace for Grigor and on his own terms.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 11:06 pm

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
You are right! Sensitivity is definitely the key! If the teacher pushed too hard to get him to speak and/or participate, she could definitely push him deeper into his shell. It would be a great idea to develop triads or elbow partners in the classroom. That way he could have a smaller group to communicate with, and this could be less intimidating for him.
  Posted on: June 11, 2015 6:35 pm

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66

I love your ideas on this scenario. He could quite possibly be experiencing his language development at his own pace. He could be fearful of speaking in front of his peers. We as educators must be mindful of this and be sensitive to his feelings.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 5:30 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great idea
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:46 pm

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Solution 5
Posted June 18, 2013 8:38 pm

yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I think it is easy to assume that because this student is an ELL student, his lack of communication is due to some language barrier. WHile this is entirely possible, the issue may be more about his inability to transition to this new school experience. I would consider this especially considering his reading and writing abilities and his social skills outside of the classroom. I would consult with his previous teacher to determine avenues already exhausted. There could be some issues of embarrassment after he was retained which may also compound his adjustment. I would treat this the way you would treat a student with emotional issues who doesn't socialize to better attain the exact reasons for his silent period.
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Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
I agree that it could be more environmental than ability. Maybe the teacher before developed a bad relationship with the student or made him feel embarrassed. Getting to know the student could help!
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 7:03 pm

Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I agree that Grigor's retention in fourth grade could be a cause of his being withdrawn. Maybe giving students an opportunity to journal would encourage Grigor to share some of his feelings about why he is so quiet at school.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 10:11 pm

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
I completely agree that the issues may be aside from the fact that the student does not speak the native language. I also agree that you should try and speak with his former teachers to see what works and what does not work. Education is a collaborative, team "sport" in which we all work together for the good of our students. I think the student will definitely open up after he feels a sense of "home" at school.
  Posted on: November 13, 2014 12:42 am

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
I agree that it could be possible that being held back may have caused some embarrassment along with the language barrier. It could have discouraged him in trying to learn and succeed in school. I would definitely not give up and try looking at it from an emotional issue as well as communication restrictions like your suggestion.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 2:45 am

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
I have heard of students being kept back because of not showing progress. The best thing is to work with him and make him feel more comfortable with you and the classroom setting. Once he feels more comfortable he may be more willing to open up and participate in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 12, 2015 3:17 am

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Solution 6
Posted June 19, 2013 7:01 pm

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
The US classroom setting could be overwhelming for Grigor. I would try to build a relationship with him and place him in small groups where he can participate in something "fun" that is not necessarily content specific. Building a relationship with Grigor could be the only thing that is needed for him to become comfortable in using English in the classroom.
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Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
Small groups sounds like a good place to start with Grigor. I agree that this would help ease him into more social situations with fellow classmates. In addition, all of the focus would not entirely be on him and his speaking.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:45 am

TeTugu
TeTugu
Reps: 21
I like the idea of placing Grigor in small groups. Putting in him small groups may make it less stressful for him to want to communicate with others.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 9:41 pm

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
The environment of many US classrooms can be very overwhelming and hard for many immigrant students to adjust to. It all depends on how the teacher creates their classroom envirnment and the environment that the immigrant student is coming from in the home country. If a student is coming from a very stict environment and when they arrive in their US classroom and it is very laid back with group work and activities, this can be a huge issue for that student. This is a perfect example that every immigrant child is unique and it is never a "one size fits all" type of situation.
  Posted on: June 14, 2014 3:02 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Good post
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:46 pm

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Solution 7
Posted June 14, 2013 4:58 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I would assume that few teachers have reached out to Grigor if he is still in the silent period after one year at school. He must still not be comfortable in the setting since his behavior is normal at home. He also is probably feeling lonely and isolated if he is not socializing with classmates. It is important to make Grigor feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom and create a place where he feels safe to express who he is. Igoa points out that even though students are silent, they still comprehend a lot. And we can see this in his ability to communicate with guests in his home in English. Eliminate any feeling of ridicule, and help create circumstances where Grigor begins to feel successful. Provide outlets for creative expression where Grigor can begin to explore his feelings about adaptation to a new life in the US, such as the filmstrips in Igoa's book. Igoa says this phase can last more than two years if the child finds no connections, so help him build a friendship with you and with other students. I would also speak with his parents and see if there are any tips they have to get him to open up, and I would learn as much as I can about Bulgarian culture to be able to understand how to better relate to and connect with him.
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eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Very good ideas! Students need to feel comfortable in their surroundings. His ability to express himself in writing proves that there is more to his silence than simply language.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:06 am

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I really like all of the ideas you discussed. I think that it is important that the teacher shows Grigor that they care about him by making an effort to learn more about his home country and his culture. I also like the idea of offering him many opportunities to express himself creatively. By making him feel comfortable, successful, and wanted in the classroom, I would think that the teacher would begin to see Grigor make progress in coming out of his silence.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:57 pm

Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I agree. The teacher should reach out to Grigor and make him feel "at home" in the school environment. Teaching the other children about cool things in Grigor's culture would be a good idea too. This could open up doors of communication and friendship.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 2:58 pm

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
I also agree with you. It is our job as teachers to build that relationship with our students to make them feel comfortable. The way that Grigor acts at home seems as though everything is okay with him, but it seems though he is not feeling comfortable or open up to the school setting in the classroom. A child needs to feel that someone cares about them to be able to produce their best.
  Posted on: November 6, 2014 1:26 am

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Solution 8
Posted June 18, 2013 10:01 pm

VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
It may be the case that Grigor is silent and does not socialize with his classmates is because not only is he still a little uncomfortable with English and properly expressing himself in the classroom, but since it is the reason that he was kept back in the fourth grade because of his English skills. One way that the teacher could attempt to communicate with Grigor is in a dialogue journal. Grigor can read and write in simple English, so by writing to him in the journal where he can respond might be beneficial for him. The teacher could also show more interest in Grigor by molding some lessons around his background. This might capture Grigorís attention and get him to interact more in the classroom.

On another note, Grigor may have some deeper issues that are going on. For that reason, I would first ask the guidance counselor to help me to set up a parent/teacher conference with Grigor so that this "silent period" could be addressed.
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Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
I totally love the idea of the dialogue journal. Is this communication between Grigor and his teacher? If so, this is an excellent plan and I will definitely have to remember that strategy for future reference. Thanks!!
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 11:11 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
I did not think of a dialog journal. Grogor may not be speaking in class simply because he is afraid he will say something incorrectly. A dialog journal would be a method which would allow him to express himself without actually speaking aloud. The teacher cam also eventually ask Grigor to read his journal aloud. This may help break the barrier of his silent period.
  Posted on: November 13, 2013 8:32 pm

Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
A dialogue journal is a great idea for Grigor to communicate. He may feel that he is lacking in his English speaking skills, but he may be willing to write. From his writings, you could discover why he is being silent and determine way to make him feel more comfortable and open in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 2:44 am

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
I love your suggestion of a dialogue journal! If he will not speak in class at least the journal will give him some way of communication. He is able to write down feelings about any and everything. That is a great idea! I also think that there are other issues going on since he has been in this stage for so long and the suggestion of a guidance counselor is wonderful!
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 11:50 pm

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
I like your idea about journals. Moreover, I would get with his teacher from last year and see what they did so that you do something different. Obviously if the student did the same thing last year then you must find a way to make it work.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 12:20 am

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
I think a dialogue journal is an excellent idea. It would allow Grigor to participate silently, which seems to make him feel most comfortable. Additionally, I would try to allow him to work in small groups where he may be able to form a relationship with (to begin with) a few classmates, which may make him feel more comfortable participating in the whole class.
  Posted on: November 6, 2015 12:55 pm

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Solution 9
Posted November 9, 2013 8:34 am

Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
I would start by having a one-on-one conversation with Grigor and try to figure out what is holding him back. I would also make his parents aware of the issue via parent teacher conference. Next, I would integrate small group work tasks into my lessons. The group work should require students to speak with each other in simple language that everyone can understand. Partner work will probably work best in the beginning until he is comfortable. I would track Grigor's progress and keep his parents and other teachers updated. As his social skills developed I would increase the size of the groups and complexity of the language required to complete each task successfully.
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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I believe that speaking with the student in a one-on-one conversation will show the child that you are interested in his life. You want to express that you want him to feel comfortable enough to talk and interact with other students. Keeping the parents informed about the situations in the classroom will build trust with them. Small group and partner work will build his ability to feel comfortable with speaking with other students in the classroom. Great ideas!
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 9:07 pm

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
I think that it would be a good idea to try to talk with Grigor one-on-one, but I think his parents are already aware of the situation. It would be hard to imagine them not knowing since he has already been held back a grade for it. Partner work is a good idea, but I think that the teacher mush be selective of who is paired with Grigor at first; and maybe keep him with the same partner for a while. It would be good to help encourage him to make friends.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 3:07 am

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Solution 10
Posted November 10, 2013 8:42 am

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
Silent Period: Grigor seems to not be comfortable in the classroom. If his parents are telling you he is capable of English communication at home, then there is certainly a reason you are not seeing it at school. I would hold Grigor back one day from activity and try to speak with him, just to let him know that youíre glad heís in your class, but that you want to make sure he is comfortable. You can ask if thereís anything you could do for him. If this does not help, then I might seek help from either the counselor or the school ESOL teacher. I would also stay in close contact with Grigorís parents.
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RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I agree with you that it seems odd that the students' parents report he asks differently at home than at school. It might be a good idea for the teacher to ask his parents if he could visit them at home one day.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 3:43 pm

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Solution 11
Posted November 11, 2013 8:12 pm

upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
My thoughts immediately went to the filmstrips Christina Igoa had her ESOL students create to help get them out of the silent period and to begin interacting. She found huge success getting students to break out of their shell using this method.

But also, nothing is mentioned about Grigor being involved in any sort of ESOL program there at the school. This is something that should be looked into so that he can get the help he needs to begin feeling more comfortable at school. Since he communicated with English-speaking guests at home, I highly suspect his problem is that he doesn't feel comfortable.
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Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
I agree- ESOL services would definitely benefit Grigor. Being surrounded by peers who are also learning English may give him an environment in which to feel more comfortable. I would also ask the ESOL teacher for his/her recommendations.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 10:13 pm

Kimberly Rahn
Kimberly Rahn
Reps: 70
I agree that you should use as many resources as you have available in order to help this child communicate in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 9:36 pm

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
Good idea about ESOL services being provided! This may allow him to feel more comfortable communicating if he doesn't have a entire classroom of English speakers looking at him.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 8:50 pm

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
I also thought back to Igoaís use of filmstrips in the classroom. It was a great way to make the student open up on his or her own pace. It would give him the opportunity to express his thoughts and ideas comfortably and then hopefully eventually open up to his classmates later on.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 2:08 am

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
I also believe that he doesn't feel comfortable at school than at home because at home he has the loving support of his parents, but at school they are not their to catch him when he falls or stumbles. He needs to be in some type of ESL program to help him through this transition and break him out of the silent period.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 11:13 pm

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Solution 12
Posted June 16, 2014 6:24 pm

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I think you need to form a relationship with Grigor to help him feel more comfortable in the classroom. Maybe the teacher could start this through a journal that would be passed back and forth between Grigor and the teacher. This way Grigor could write to the teacher about things he likes/dislikes and it would be private between the teacher and Grigor. Then hopefully once he feels like the teacher is invested in him then he will be more open to communicating. I also would set up a parent/teacher conference with Grigor's parents to make them aware of your concerns about his communication skills and see if they have any strategies and/or tips that you could use in the classroom.
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Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I really like the idea of a journal to be shared between teacher and student. I even suggested in it my solution! I think the journal would be a great way for Grigor to get comfortable communicating with the teacher and hopefully reach a point where he is able to communicate verbally.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 10:48 pm

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I really like the journal idea also. That is a good way of communicating other than talking. Maybe if he starts to feel real comfortable with the communication with the journal he will begin to warm up with the teacher and start communicating verbally.
  Posted on: June 19, 2015 12:25 am

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Solution 13
Posted June 17, 2014 11:50 pm

Cierra` Barksdale
Cierra` Barksdale
Reps: 61
I believe that Grigor wants to communicate at school but because he has recently come to the US he has not fully learned the English language he doesn't. The English speaking people that visit his home are probably speaking English at a rate that is understandable. As the teacher, I would have a private conversation with Grigor and ask him why won't he speak in class. I will reassure him that no on will tease or taunt him and that in my classroom environment he doesn't have to be scared or ashamed to express himself. I will inform him that I am aware of his reading and writing skills of the English language and tell him how well he is at doing these things. While doing this, I will be sure to speak at a slower pace and I will be sure to articulate.
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aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I agree, making him feel comfortable is the best way to help him. He also may need time. We all work at our own rate and rushing him may intimidate him and cause him to become more silent and closed off.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 12:33 am

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Solution 14
Posted June 18, 2014 3:39 am

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
It sounds like Grigor is running low on self-confidence. Based on his parents report that he is comfortable speaking English at home, there must be some discontinuity at school. Unfortunately, Grigor needs the language opportunities that interpersonal, academic relationships offer. Therefore, it's important that you find a way to communicate with Grigor and encourage him to do the same. My suggestion is that you speak with Grigor away from peers in a neutral setting to try and make him more comfortable. If it truly is an issue of confidence, you may want to try small group instruction and creating safe (judgement free) speaking opportunities for Grigor.
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Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
I agree with you that interpersonal skills are important ones to develop. There are a lot of real-world applications that require interpersonal skills. I would try to develop a way or a challenge for Grigor to slowly ease his way into developing some of these skills. Ask him to say "hi" or "good morning" to one student every day and then slowly move on from there. In a few weeks you could ask him to give someone a high five on the playground. Ask him how he felt after each contact and monitor his progress. You don't want to overwhelm Grigor with too much too soon but slow and steady may win this race.
  Posted on: November 8, 2015 7:18 pm

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Solution 15
Posted June 18, 2014 12:45 am

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
I think it is important to give him time to adjust. I realize that it has already been two years but we all work at our rate. I would also suggest that the teacher have Grigor see the counselor because there may be more issues related to his silence than the language barrier. The teacher should not rush him or make him feel forced into being social. This may have an opposite effect and cause him to close himself off more. I am really concerned, however that there may be more issues to his silence. Two years seems very long for me even though all children learn and develop at their own rate. It may be beneficial to get outside help.

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Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
You are right that two years of silence is a long time. Grigor should be used to his school environment by now and maybe something is really bothering him. Having him to see the school counselor is an excellent idea.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 12:56 am

Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
I share your concern for Grigor's silence. While all children develop at different rates, at some point we need to address delays with additional services. I think you have a great idea in referring Grigor to the Counselor. However, you need to be cognizant of Grigor's relationships with that individual. The goal would be to find someone Grigor is comfortable speaking with and opening up to.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 3:42 am

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
Getting the counselor involved is a great idea. Two years is a long time, but I wouldn't rush the student. When he is comfortable he will come out of his shell. It's the teachers job to make sure that the classroom environment is positive.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 7:01 pm

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
I agree that two years seems like long enough to get over the "silent period" or "culture shock". I too would suggest getting the counselor involved if it didn't get better soon.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 8:45 pm

Jonathan Buys
Jonathan Buys
Reps: 42
I agree that two years does seem abnormally long. i would still try to reach out to him myself in addition to a referral to a counselor. I think doing this in an isolated setting would be better. there are also multiple ways to try and get him to express himself. You could give him assignments that require him to illustrate his feelings on a topic to get more insight into his state of mind.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 11:09 pm

RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I agree that all children develop at their own rate and that 2 years seems like a long time. It is time to try to get some outside help for the student.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 3:41 pm

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Solution 16
Posted December 2, 2012 8:17 pm

Sha'keela McClendon
Sha'keela McClendon
Reps: 141
Maybe he's just not comfortable around you and his classmates. You should think about doing lessons in class so he can express his feelings towards his school life. Invite him to talk to you, ask questions and get to know him better. If the students see you talking to him, then maybe they'll start talking to him. As a teacher, you have to try to connect with him and get him to open up to you so you can help him succeed in school.
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Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
I agree, it is very important for the teacher to try and connect with the student. Put an effort towards interacting with the student and when the other students see you doing this they will most likely do the same. It may take time, but by slowly communicating and interacting more and more with the student he will become more comfortable and in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 3:19 pm

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
I agree with you. Just by you as the teacher talking to him on a regular basis, this will help him develop some communication skills. Hopefully he can use these skills with other students his age but it is important to develop Grigor's confidence first before asking him or expecting him to do it with others.
  Posted on: November 8, 2015 7:22 pm

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Solution 17
Posted December 7, 2012 5:39 pm

Laine Vilardi
Laine Vilardi
Reps: 119
I would meet with the parents and the student, or try to stand back and watch their interaction. It seems like something might have happened to where his doesn't want to talk at school. Maybe the parents can ask him why he doesn't like to talk at school. Have his parents also ask if he speaks in public, ie. the grocery store, mall, restaurants, etc. Does he speak to anyone at all in the school? What does he do during Recess, or going through the lunch line? Seems like maybe you should start to try to build his trust, maybe through writing first. He can have a communication notebook where he can "speak" to you and you can "speak" back. This would not replace you actually talking to him in class either. But since he can write in English well enough, maybe he will feel more comfortable transitioning using this notebook. Hopefully through that, you can build trust with him to where he will start to speak you. Also, be sure that the other students are sensitive to the fact that he is still in the silent period. Each child is different and goes through that silent period at their own pace.
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Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
I definitely agree with you in that trust needs to be build between the teacher and the student. If we can win the trust of our students and provide them with a sense of belonging in the classroom, they will want to come to school and give their best toward being successful.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 6:38 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
I agree. Once he trusts you and feels comfortable with around you, slowly he may open up in school in your class.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 6:06 pm

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I agree, I think it is important to involve the parents in this situation because they may be able to provide some insight into the situation with Grigor. I think their willingness to talk with their child and provide you with strategies would be helpful all around. Also, I think the parents would feel better about the situation knowing that the teacher is truly concerned for their child and wants him to feel included at school.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 6:36 pm

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Solution 18
Posted December 8, 2012 2:21 pm

Ariane Anderson
Ariane Anderson
Reps: 113
I think you should schedule a conference to meet with Grigor and his parents. Discuss the seriousness of this situation and to see if Grigor will open up around his parents. If he continues to hold back from communicating schedule an appointment for Grigor to meet with the school counselor. He will meet with the counselor to discuss why he is holding back from communicating with people at school.
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Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
I like the idea of meeting with parents. This may help you to figure out what things he does at home that you can incorporate into the classroom to help him feel more comfortable. The counselor is a good idea but I would worry that it would overwhelm him and make him feel like he was in trouble.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 11:08 am

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
That's a good idea. Having his parents present during the conference could help all of them determine what should be done to bring him out of his shell.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 11:29 am

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
I think that scheduling a conference with Grigor's pareants is a good idea. It would be helpful for you, as the teacher, to see Grigor interact with his parents. he may be more comfortable interacting when his parents are around, sort of like support for him when he communicates in English. The parents may be able to share some valuable information regarding the issue. If this does not work I also think that scheduling a meeting with the school counselor is a good idea.
  Posted on: October 21, 2013 7:02 pm

Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
I think it's a great idea to meet with Grigor and his parents. Hopefully he will open up around his parents and can possibly explain his silence at school to you.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:43 am

udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
This is a serious situation and it may not all be related to the student being from another country. The student may not do well in social situations, and it impacting him both academically and socially. The parents may want to consider professional help for their son to determine if there are any medical or psychological causes for his behavior.
  Posted on: November 15, 2013 2:36 pm

uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
I agree his parents and counselor need to be involved at this point, to see what steps can be taken to help him in the classroom. He could have had a bad experience last year or be depressed about leaving his country.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 2:13 am

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Solution 19
Posted December 8, 2012 4:15 pm

Lindsey Harrison
Lindsey Harrison
Reps: 108
I think that he may not be comfortable with the setting. You need to make an attempt to make him comfortable whether it be adjusting the surroundings to fit his culture (such as hanging Bulgarian flags or maps) or making an effort to really talk to him throughout the day.
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Jessica Heilman
Jessica Heilman
Reps: 58
Having things from Bulgaria is a good idea too. This will make him feel more comfortable as this is the most important factor for getting him to open up.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 7:34 am

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Also, by letting answer questions or teach the class about Bulgaria, he can become a primary knower and can gain confidence in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:04 am

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
I totally agree that first and foremost, you have to make Grigor comfortable. More than likely he is comfortable at home and not at school for some reason, so you need to find out what is happening that is making him uncomfortable. I do like the idea of trying to tie in his home country (Bulgaria) into the classroom. Good post!
  Posted on: June 14, 2014 2:48 am

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Solution 20
Posted December 8, 2012 9:47 pm

Anna Washinger
Anna Washinger
Reps: 121
I would see if meeting with a Speech Language Pathologist would help Grigor. Maybe some one-on-one therapy would help him open up in the classroom. If this did not help, I would try doing some group work and see if Grigor would interact with the other students. Also, maybe you could ask Grigor to help you do some classroom tasks. Maybe ask him to collect the students papers when they finished an assignment, or any other small jobs to make him feel involved in the classroom. Hopefully, these activities will help Grigor communicate more in the classroom.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
Having Grigor do classroom task is a great idea. This will help him feel involved with the students. I would also make him feel as comfortable as possible in my classroom. I feel if he is comfortable he will eventually open up to myself and the other students in the classroom. I would surround the day incorporating things form his culture background. A good example of doing this would be to play some music from his country as the students are doing individual assignments.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 12:35 pm

Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I agree that meeting with the speech specialist might be helpful. The school counselor could also be a great resource for ways to help him. Getting Grigor involved in classroom tasks is probably the best way to help him to open up. Speaking is not the only way that a student can participate.
  Posted on: June 17, 2013 9:43 am

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
I did not think about meeting with a speech specialist, but i believe this could be very helpful for your situation.
  Posted on: October 21, 2013 7:05 pm

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Solution 21
Posted June 10, 2013 12:32 pm

Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
Sometimes the silent period does not only last a year. I would investigate Grigor's prior fourth grade experience. Was Grigor comfortable in the classroom? Was he given the chance to express himself? Did the teacher make the attempt of helping this student adapt? I would start the year off my talking with the administration and with his parents. I would then make Grigor feel comfortable in my classroom. I would let him pick where he wanted to do his work at. In some cultures it is important to remember that students do not necessarily sit behind desk. I would then incorporate his culture into my lessons. I want the other students in the class to understand him. I would also try to get Grigor to explain his culture background to the students. My last suggestion would be to assign Grigor a students helper. This student would help Grigor feel more comfortable in the classroom by participating with and befriending him.
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qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I think looking into his first fourth grade experience is a great idea. This could give his teacher some insight about anything that could have made him feel uncomfortable at school. I also think that doing things in class like letting him choose his seat and trying to incorportate his culture into lessons is are great ways to help him open up.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:13 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I think allowing Grigor to share about him self and his background may be helpful. I also agree that the teacher needs to try several things to help the student better adjust to his school and classroom.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:02 pm

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
I agree. Finding out what happened in his last class would be beneficial. It would also be beneficial to learn about the circumstances of his immigration. If your student is a Roma child from Bulgaria there may be additional cultural customs that could factor in to his lack of socialization with the other children in school.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 4:21 am

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
This is a good point. Finding out how his peers feel about him could be important too. Maybe there is a classmate that would shed some light on the issue. The teacher can't see everything after all.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 7:27 pm

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
I agree with you. Allowing Grigor to do things that make him comfortable is very important so that he feels accepted. I also like your suggestion of discussing his culture and making it a part of the lessons. I think that would make him feel proud and he also may want to discuss things as well with the class if he is given the opportunity to do so.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 12:59 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
I like your idea of seeing what his 4th grade experiences are. This may give the teacher some great insight as to why Grigor is still so uncomfortable at school. Having Grigor express how he is feeling in writing may also be less intimidating for him. If the teacher has made many attempts to help him, but progress still has not been made, I would suggest speaking with the parents.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 1:26 am

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
My first reaction was not to look back at this last years experience, but I like that idea. You could get a lot of information from his last teacher. I would not only ask his teacher about experience, I would ask him about his experience last year. He might open up just like you said and tell you that he didnít have a change to express himself so he just doesnít now. Great idea!
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 2:34 am

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Solution 22
Posted June 12, 2013 3:37 pm

Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
My guess is that Grigor is still very uncomfortable in the new school. The best thing to do is to find out more about him as a person. What are his likes and dislikes? This information is a very valuable tool to use for your advantage to make a connection with him. The biggest thing is that his education goes beyond the classroom, and he will open up to you once he feels comfortable.
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Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I agree that a big part of this is likely Grigor being uncomfortable in the school setting. Finding out his likes and dislikes to draw him out of his shell and make him more comfortable in the classroom would be a great way to help him progress with his English language skills.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:54 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
Once you figured out his interests and what makes him more comfortable, you could also find a way to incorporate these things into the classroom as a part of the lesson or class environment.
  Posted on: November 8, 2013 1:22 pm

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I agree that he seems to be uncomfortable in the school setting not with the English language. Learning more about him and his interests from his parents could help you draw him out of his shell. Showing him that he matters in the classroom and others want to socialize with him could go a long ways.
  Posted on: November 3, 2014 8:28 pm

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Solution 23
Posted June 18, 2013 3:59 pm

L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
Some children take longer to adjust than others, but going through a silent period for two years is very concerning. If Grigor is not speaking at school and is not using and practicing his English skills at school then he will not learn the skills to be at the level he needs to be for his age and grade. His parents may think he communicates at home to English speaking guests, but if they do not know English, then that would really be hard for him to say. It may be time that he meets with the school counselor and even the school psychologist if he has not already done so to help him with his issues. The teacher could do some of the things we have previously discussed like letting Grigor bring in things from home into the classroom to help him to feel more comfortable. Bring in people from home, since he is comfortable and acts normal at home. Also, a lesson on Bulgaria may help him to open up about his country.
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Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I agree with your idea of using the school counselor as a mediator in this situation. They could find ways of interacting with Grigor without actually using verbal communication if necessary. It is very important that he practices his English in an educational setting because, as we know, many times educational interactions are much more formal than social interactions while at home.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 11:31 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
I like that you mentioned the idea of bringing in his parents or having a lesson on his country. Maybe including some culturally relevant differentiation may allow him to open up about his life.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 7:28 pm

aBugeS
aBugeS
Reps: 77
Really like all your solutions and I agree there may be more issues involved here. The teacher may need to get outside help.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 12:47 am

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Solution 24
Posted June 18, 2013 10:50 pm

Stephanie Harmon
Stephanie Harmon
Reps: 84
I think that part of Grigor's reluctance to speak in class is because he is not yet comfortable with the school setting. I can only imagine that this was exacerbated by the fact that he was held back. I would try to speak with his parents to see if you can learn some more about his interests and find ways to draw him out of his shell. I would also consult the school counselor to see if they have any suggestions to help with this as well. I would also suggest utilizing the SIOP method to help him further develop his language skills while keeping him on grade level content with the rest of the class so that he does not feel isolated or left out from the rest of the group.
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gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I agree with the fact that he is probably not comfortable with the school setting. Being held back can also cause him to withdraw even more as he may feel a since of failure.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 10:33 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I agree that Grigor may feel inadequate because not only did he have to adjust to life in America, he also has to adjust to being in the 4th grade again. It can be hard for a child to be held behind and not feel like they did a good job in school. He needs to be encouraged and cared about daily.
  Posted on: November 7, 2013 1:12 pm

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
Utilizing the SIOP method would probably help him learn the language and make him feel more comfortable in the class.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 9:38 am

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Solution 25
Posted June 19, 2013 7:41 pm

Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
This is a very interesting case. Grigor seems to still be adjusting to his new life. Grigor might feel out of place, and it necessary that the teacher tries to make him comfortable. Maybe the teacher should say some words in his native language to make him feel more comfortable. The teacher could also assign him a buddy that will help him adjust. The teacher has to take action because he or she is the head of the class and the adult figure. He or she has to make Grigor feel safe, respected, and excepted in order for him to open up. Also, the teacher should try to figure out if kids are bothering or teasing Grigor. The teacher should develop some type of "withitness" within the class in order for the students to actively participate.
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Solution 26
Posted June 19, 2013 10:41 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I feel that Grigor is uncomfortable with the school setting as it was an adjustment to him coming from another country. I feel that you should work to find out more about Grigor such as his interest and more about his life here and what his life/school was like in Bulgaria. I feel that if you can pair him with someone with similar interest and get him talking with a peer that would be wonderful. Eventually move him to small groups to have discussions and later whole group. We need to make him feel welcomed and comfortable in the school setting as much as possible, I'm worried that the year he was retained may have caused him to even feel as since of failure. It will, take time and effort but I feel he will come around when the timing is right.
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Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
Being held back may potentially affect how much he socializes as well. Maybe the teacher could show him things that he is doing well in school to build his self esteem and make him feel as if he can succeed. It may make him feel a little more comfortable in class if he feels that he is on the same level as the rest of the students.
  Posted on: June 20, 2013 4:18 pm

Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
Yes- move him into a group, or designate one peer helper to assist him and talk with him throughout the day. This may help Grigor open up and begin communicating more at school. He may just be having trouble relating to his class mates and adapting to the English curriculum and school environment.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:42 pm

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
Right- showing Grigor class work he has been successful with may help him tremendously.This could be a simple case of low self esteem and a little encouragement may be needed. Sometimes focusing on all the differences will cause a child to shut down regardless of cultural.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 3:06 pm

Ashley Mays
Ashley Mays
Reps: 64
I like your solution of providing him with a buddy first then moving him into a small group later. This would help ease the transition for Grigor and allow him to not feel overwhelmed by the sudden communication with other students. I definitely think the buddy needs to have some similar interests to Grigor as well.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 6:34 pm

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I agree that he may be feeling like a failure for not going on with the rest of his class. I think that he needs to feel successful and comfortable. Making an effort to daily create a successful environment for him is essential. I also think that possibly setting up a home visit would be helpful. That way he can see that you are truly interested in him and the world he lives in and maybe bring that confidence back to school.
  Posted on: November 8, 2014 11:04 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I totally agree that it sounds like Grigor is not comfortable in his surrounds. As teachers I feel like that is one of the main things we need to make sure we do, make all of our students feel comfortable. You can do that by getting to know the student on a more personal level. Learn their interest and hobbies. By doing that and talking to the student about it you are letting them know that you care about them. And then the students begins to gain your trust.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 7:05 pm

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
I agree that trying to pair Grigor with a peer should be very beneficial. This would help Grigor feel more comfortable and help the other student learn more about Grigor's culture. Moving Grigor from this pairing to a small group then to the class as a whole is an excellent plan for helping Grigor settle into the classroom.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 3:26 am

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Solution 27
Posted November 7, 2013 1:03 pm

Jessica Briley
Jessica Briley
Reps: 109
I imagine the "silent period" can last longer than a year especially in a place that is still uncomfortable. Perhaps Grigor hasn't made any friendships and he feels uncomfortable talking with anyone in class. I think maybe the teacher could try talking to him privately, especially since his parents told you he speaks in English at home to guests. He understands what is going on, but he may need some encouragement to feel comfortable speaking with other kids.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I agree that the silent period could last longer than a year. Even if he doesn't respond, talking to him one-on-one is a good idea because, like you said, he does understand English. I am also curious why he was retained in 4th grade. Did he really not learn the content that is needed or did he just fail to communicate that he had learned it?
  Posted on: November 11, 2013 8:33 pm

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
Grigor may need some encouragement to feel comfortable communicating with his peers. He could be the type of person that is shy outside of his home environment.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 9:08 pm

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Solution 28
Posted November 11, 2013 4:35 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
This sounds like a very difficult situation for you. Grigor sounds like he is still unable to get past his insecurities at school and does not feel comfortable enough to communicate while he is at school. It is strange the he is communicating so well at home in English. I would venture to say that he feels much more comfortable at home as he is with his family. He also may not feel like there is any pressures on him while he is at home because there is not a teacher there to potentially correct him when he makes a mistake. Perhaps Grigor may just simply need more time to listen to others talk, to digest what he hears, and to observe his classmates interactions. It is possible that Grigor understands what is being said, but he is still just not ready to talk about it in an educational setting. Personality definitely plays a large role in determining how long the 'silent period' lasts. A shy and quiet child may take longer before they become comfortable speaking a new language at school. Another factor that may be playing a role in his language development is his native culture. Regardless of what could be stopping him from breaking out of this stage there are somethings that you may want to consider doing to encourage Grigor to speak with more frequency while at school. You may want to provide plenty of opportunities for "hands-on" activities that have Grigor and other students interacting in small groups. This may help Grigor feel more confident in taking risks in oral language. It should not be assumed that young learners of English do not feel embarrassment or shyness when attempting to speak in a second language. You can help to alleviate Grigor's fears by creating a language nurturing environment within the classroom. You may want to try and establish a relationship with Grigor. This will provide a great deal of help and support to those who are new to this country and it's language. The more comfortable they feel, the more apt they are to take chances. The more anxiety they feel, the less language they will comprehend. A few more ideas may be to utilize choral reading and total physical response methods with him during instruction. You should definitely devote your attention to listening comprehension activities and on building his receptive vocabulary.
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BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
I agree that creating an environment that is comfortable and welcoming is essential when dealing with students that may seem shy. Being a educator you must be able to provide the student with multi-opportunties for practice in English through reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 10:34 pm

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Solution 29
Posted June 14, 2014 4:27 pm

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I agree with what many of the other people have written. It is extremely encouraging that Grigor can communicate well using English at home. Since Grigor is comfortable speaking in English, I would try to sit down and have a conversation with him. You could start off by asking him about his life and schooling in Bulgaria. This might give you insight into his educational background so that you can adapt his current educational experience. I would also look into provided alternative assessments where Grigorís knowledge is tested verbally. He would still need to work on his reading and writing abilities, but it might be less overwhelming for him if his grades and success didnít ride so fully on those two abilities.
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Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
It does seem like stress may be an issue. Considering he was held back last year the added pressure to be successful in school may be stressful for him. In Igoa's book she discussed working with one regular education teacher of an immigrant child and allowing the student to determine when he was ready to test on a subject. Perhaps this method could work in your classroom.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 4:30 am

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
It's essential that a relationship is built between the teacher and student. Having the ESOL teach involved is imperative and that adult can also serve as an addition cheerleader to helping boos Grigor's self esteem. Since he is able to write it may be effective having the student use a dialogue journal to share ideas with the teacher. This way he is able to think about what he wants to say before he speaks it. I oftentimes prefer writing a note than calling a parent because I'm able to phrase everything as I want to before sending it. He may be feeling the same way.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 7:13 pm

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Solution 30
Posted June 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
The discussion with Grigor's parents is very telling. Since Grigor is able to write and communicate in English when he is in a comfortable environment such as at home or in a written assignment, it shows us that he is processing what is going on around him. While he is being selective on when he communicates, I think it is very important to create a mentor type relationship with him first. Once Grigor is comfortable with you, I feel that will boost his self-confidence and hopefully open him up more to talking with other students in the class. I'm sure getting held back a year is something else that is making him uncomfortable as his peers from the previous year know that he was not advanced. Being a rock for him at school is very important, and getting the ESOL teacher involved with his motivation is essential as well.
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LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
The teacher absolutely needs to gain the trust of Grigor and foster a safe relationship. It may take a long time or what seems like eternity, but Grigor in his own time, with the right support will eventually start verbally communicating with his teacher and his peers.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 7:43 pm

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
Gaining the students trust is the first step in helping Grigor. I agree that maybe being held back a year could have a lot to do with why he is uncomfortable in the classroom. I also like your idea of getting the ESOL teacher involved.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 1:28 am

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
It is definitely important to be supportive of Grigor, especially since he was held back a year. Remind him that he is capable and very talented. Give as much positive feedback on the communication he is making. This will help boost his confidence as well. And you are right, getting help from the ESOL teacher is a great idea.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 3:29 am

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Solution 31
Posted June 16, 2014 2:55 pm

Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I think Grigor is still in the "silent period" at school, because he does not feel comfortable with the school and social setting. It is important for the teacher to encourage all students to be very welcoming and open to a multicultural classroom. I think it would be a good idea for students to learn about different cultures. This process may allow the students to relate with Grigor and find common likes/dislikes with him.
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James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
I think you are right about making the classroom more multicultural. Grigor may come out of his shell if he feels like his culture is valued in the classroom.
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 1:07 am

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Solution 32
Posted June 17, 2014 7:26 pm

Nick Thrower
Nick Thrower
Reps: 67
While we may be rushed to call this a "silent period" the student could simply be shy at school. Try building a relationship with him. Ask his parents the activities or hobbies that he enjoys and communicate with him about that. Then maybe you can find out why he is quiet. I had a similar case with one of my soccer players. He was extremely quiet and typically only talked when he was on the soccer field. Even then it was only soccer related. I asked him why he didn't talk to the others and he told me, "I don't have anything to add to their conversations." While I encouraged him to trust and talk to his teammates, I can't really see fault in his statement.
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uzyXuV
uzyXuV
Reps: 208
I agree the teacher should make every attempt to build a relationship with him and incorporate a lesson on his culture.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 2:17 am

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Solution 33
Posted June 18, 2014 12:54 am

Amy Fletcher
Amy Fletcher
Reps: 67
I would suggest to find something that Grigor really enjoys doing or watching on tv so that you can make conversation with him. Once he knows that you are interested in things that he likes then maybe he will open up to you and feel comfortable. Also, try using those same type techniques with teaching by using his favorite tv shows characters and using them in math word problems. You want him to feel comfortable in his learning environment and by using things that he can associate with may help him interact more with students and you in the classroom.
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Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Amy, it is great idea to appeal to his interests in order to help him open up. By talking about non-school related things every once in a while, it may take the pressure off long enough for him to open up.
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 1:27 am

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Solution 34
Posted June 18, 2014 9:48 pm

Elizabeth Comella
Elizabeth Comella
Reps: 51
It sounds like Grigor is confident at home while at school he is insecure. As the teacher it is your first responsible to make Grigor feel comfortable while at school. You need to try and find out what is making Grigor feel as though he is unable to communicate at school. After two years in the new country Grigor should be out of the silent stage and start trying to take part in classroom activities. I would encourage lessons with small group sharing, sharing with their elbow partners, or working with partners on assignments. This type of communication will start to develop relationships and trust with others in the classroom. During small group sharing time the teacher should rotate between the groups to ask for questions or bring up information that might have been overlooked. If after several weeks of these types of interaction Grigor is still not communicating with friends during group times, I would become concerned and discuss those concerns with Grigor.
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Solution 35
Posted June 19, 2014 1:26 am

Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Grigor needs to make a connection in the classroom that allows him to feel comfortable with the learning environment. You could offer for Grigor to bring in one small item from home to keep with him as a comfort. Since he can read and write in simple English, you can use that as a means of communication between you two to start off with, like a dialogue journal. These journals allow students to communicate in a less pressured environment while continuing to develop his/her language skills. If Grigor wants to write about things where his vocabulary is not developed yet, allow him to draw visual representation or use magazine cut outs to help communicate his thoughts. Then you can respond back. This will help him realize that you are there for him and want to help him.
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Solution 36
Posted June 19, 2014 2:23 am

Megan Teague
Megan Teague
Reps: 55
During the silent period students can seem moody, fearful, or even terrified. Yet their silence is not an indication that they are unwilling to socialize or cooperate (Igoa, 1995). In Grigorís case he seems to be unwilling, especially since he talks at home, which makes me think it is more than the silent period. You are right. It does not make sense that he would be in the silent period for almost two years. You as the teacher you need to find out if it is the content his is not understanding, if he is uncomfortable with it, or if it is a lack of communicate not only with content, but language abilities. If he is willing to talk to you outside of the classroom I would start there. I would ask specifically why he does not want to or does not feel comfortable talking in class. He might give you information you would have never figured out without asking him specifically. If Grigor were not willing to talk to you I would ask his parents to ask him questions. They could then relay the information to you. This is a very complicated situation and I would hope that he opens up to someone, somehow.
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Solution 37
Posted November 10, 2014 9:46 pm

Kayla Mullins
Kayla Mullins
Reps: 89
I experienced this same situation with one of my students in Kindergarten. The little girl could speak some English but at school she did not speak at all, she actually only spoke to the intervention teacher in private. I also spoke with the parents and they also said that she was completely normal at home. One thing that we found helpful was to pair her with another girl in the class. This other student had a very sweet and caring personality. It got to the point where she would mouth the words the other student and to myself. Over the summer the two girls spent a lot of time together and she began using her words.
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Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
I, too, have experienced this with three different Pre-K aged students. Some students just take a while to "warm up." Although this age child does not typically know how to read, they tend to "read" us like a book. They know what they can and cannot get away with. However, I feel that once we find their "currency", they are more willing to open up/do what we ask/communicate, etc.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 4:43 am

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Solution 38
Posted November 6, 2015 9:34 pm

ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
First, I feel that it is going to be imperative that you establish a relationship with this student. It might start out with you giving him a compliment. He may not even respond to the compliment, but at least he will feel like you care about him. Next, it might be important to learn some things about his culture. One thing I have tried is learning a few phrases in students' first language. That way, when speaking, you show him that you are interested in his culture and language. He may also use this time to help you with HIS language. Hopefully, this will break the ice and your student will come around.
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Solution 39
Posted June 12, 2014 2:49 pm

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
Cristina Igoa in her book "The Inner World of the Immigrant Child, as the Silent Stage. Students go through this silent stage while they are adjusting because of all the differences that are going on. I think that Grigor is not spending enough time in the language center at school will there is a teacher dedicated to each individual student that is ELL. I would discuss these issues with the assigned teacher and get more advice. Sometimes it is a respect issue of silence and not so much a social one.
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Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
Perhaps Grigor is afraid to speak because he thinks he will sound "dumb." I did not think of this situation from that perspective. I automatically assumed that if he could write somewhat well in English, then he could speak it somewhat well too. I agree with you on this one. Maybe Grigor needs to have some extra time developing his English Language skills.
  Posted on: November 3, 2014 1:18 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I did not think of that! Maybe he should be spending some more time in his language class so that he feels more comfortable opening up and talking in class!
  Posted on: November 4, 2014 10:43 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
I don't think more time with the ELL specialist can hurt. However, it sounds like he may be proficient in English as he is speaking at home and writing and reading in class. Grigor should open up if the teacher expresses genuine interest in him and gets to know him through an activity that Grigor enjoys. Continual peer interaction should be emphasized also as he realizes he is in a safe and unbiased environment.
  Posted on: November 9, 2014 9:11 pm

Kayla Mullins
Kayla Mullins
Reps: 89
I think more time with the intervention teacher would be helpful for this student. I think that the teacher could provide new skills that will help the student feel more comfortable in the classroom setting.
-Kayla
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 9:47 pm

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I think you could be correct. I think he needs to spend more time with an ELL teacher to build his confidence and understanding of the new society around him. While he is home he is comfortable with his family but at school he is still placed in an unfamiliar territory. I think this is a great suggestion.
  Posted on: November 17, 2014 1:16 am

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I do agree that respect is needed for the child in order to become welcome and comfortable in the classroom. I do think though that the teacher should still reach out to the student to show that they are noticed. Since the student was held back from the previous year, obviously, he did not receive much help from the teacher. He seems to be okay around his parents and at home. This could stem from a lack of a relationship created at school.
  Posted on: November 5, 2015 3:31 pm

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Solution 40
Posted June 16, 2015 12:54 pm

Shirley carter
Shirley carter
Reps: 17
Perhaps finding assignments where he have to respond and see if it gets him to come out of his silent period. He may think that the other students will make fun of him when he talks. Have small group activities and maybe he will feel more comfortable in a small group eventually speaking to the entire class.
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nydyra
nydyra
Reps: 202
Seems like a lot of pressure. Letting someone speak when their comfortable is best. Assignments forcing him to speak just sounds more intimidating, and might lead him to stop showing up for class altogether.
  Posted on: October 17, 2015 7:43 am

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
You bring up a good point. He may be self conscious about his accent and his grasp of the English language and not want to speak in front of others.
  Posted on: November 2, 2015 4:54 pm

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Solution 41
Posted June 16, 2014 6:09 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
The first thing I would do is try to have a one on one conversation with him with no one else around. I would ask him personal questions to get to know him better and I would also share personal things about me with him. I would contact his parents if he does not communicate here. I would ask them what he enjoys and maybe take some time with him to see if I could gain his trust. He's probably still uncomfortable in his new surroundings, so I would be sympathetic of that.
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egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
I think that having a one on one conversation with the student is a great idea. Maybe he will feel more comfortable if there are no other students around.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 1:38 am

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
Having a one on one conversation could help. I like this idea because it could build a much needed relationship by sharing things about yourself and he has the opportunity to do the same. I also thought getting to know him would help.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 10:51 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I also think that Grigor is simply having a hard time adjusting to the environment. He needs to have a class where the group is small setting, and he can get the one-on-one attention he needs. If he can write the basics in English, I'm sure that his basic skills can be sharpened, and that if he were more comfortable with his speech that he would talk more in class.
  Posted on: December 3, 2014 1:40 pm

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I believe a one-on-one conversation with his is the best idea as well. He might be talking freely at home because he has part of his "home" there with him. Thus, if part of his culture was brought to the classroom then maybe he would feel more comfortable.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 5:02 am

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
It does seem like he is still uncomfortable or hesitant in his new culture. If he is able and willing to communicate at home, but not at school, he may just need some more time. Meeting with his family may be a good idea. If they can help the teacher gain some understanding of their child as a person, not just as a student, then it may be beneficial in building a relationship with him and gaining trust.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:48 pm

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I too think that one on one conversation is a great way to help him communicate, but I mentioned in my solution that maybe he should try to have a meeting in their home. This way the child knows he can be trusted.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 4:37 pm

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
I too think meeting with him one on one and getting to know him with no one around is a great idea. Also, contacting the parents to find out things that interest him could be very beneficial that way you could find a way to tie them into the lessons.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 5:25 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74

I agree with you 100%. I think talking to him personally away from others would let him open up if there was a problem or something else going on in class that was keeping him from talking. Maybe this would help solve the problem.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 7:17 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
I think having a one on one conversation with the student might help him open up some, but I think he might still be a little shy since he is an authority figure. Perhaps giving him a specific job that he is in charge of everyday might help him feel more important in the classroom and thus allow him to start interacting with his peers.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 9:21 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I think a one on one conversation could be a great idea. Maybe even a few a week just to get to know the student socially and begin to learn more about them.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 3:09 pm

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Solution 42
Posted November 30, 2012 5:02 pm

Meredith Hein
Meredith Hein
Reps: 139
I would try having a meeting with both the student and parents to see if Grigor opens up more about his silence. I think I would also give a writing assignment about the students' feelings towards school and see if that leads to anything telling about Grigor's situation. I would also try encouraging Grigor's parents to sit in on a class to observe and see if Grigor's behavior changes positively or negatively. Another way to try to incorporate Grigor's cultural heritage from Bulgaria could be to have lessons on Bulgaria and have him bring in food, pictures, etc. to maybe help bring a comfort level back to school. It would also be nice to have students work in groups to help Grigor participate - it's important to pair him with kind, understanding students.
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Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
I agree. I feel as if the teacher should meet with the parents and try to create lessons and assignments that will help the students adjust. Allowing Grigor's parents to sit in the class is another great idea as well. They could help him adjust and feel comfortable and allow them to see how the environment of the classroom is.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 7:52 pm

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Solution 43
Posted December 4, 2012 7:42 pm

Jessica DeLaigle
Jessica DeLaigle
Reps: 110
I have actually had a situation very similar to this. Usually the silent period lasts about a year but I'm not sure why it's lasting so long. My first guess would be if he's communicating at home and with others but not at school then I would say he's probably not comfortable with the school setting or maybe the classroom. I would talk to his parents to try to talk to him and see if they can communicate with him and see what he thinks. You could always try partnering him with a classmate and see if that helps... this would allow him to communicate with others but maybe not verbally.
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Hope Crosby
Hope Crosby
Reps: 122
Your idea of partner work would be very beneficial I believe. I am a firm believer in peer interactions and I agree that a partner would help ease any discomfort Grigor might still feel at school.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:44 am

TeTugu
TeTugu
Reps: 21
I agree that asking the parent to talk with Grigor would be a beneficial approach. Placing him with a partner is also a good idea. Hopefully placing him with the partner would increase his chances of communicating with others.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 9:43 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I like the idea of partnering Grigor with a classmate. Obviously this would be someone he identifies with and you have noticed him communicating with on some level. If this partner is ill chosen, Grigor may become more quiet than he was before and a further setback will be encountered in trying to get him to open up and emerge from his silent period.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 1:01 pm

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Solution 44
Posted December 5, 2012 8:49 pm

Savanna Hayman
Savanna Hayman
Reps: 104
I think that what Grigor's parents told you about his behavior at home is the most important piece of the puzzle. Chances are he is just uncomfortable. I can imagine that moving to an entirely different country, with a different culture, different people, customs, food, traditions, language and everything- that would be so difficult. Then, to struggle learning he new language and be retained would make it even harder! Grigor is probably embarrassed and socially non confident. I think that talking to him and trying to encourage the other students to be his friend would help motivate him to come out of his shell. Students can be shy no matter what language they speak.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I agree that the classroom environment might be a stressful place for Grigor. A nurturing and safe classroom environment is crucial.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 6:11 pm

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Solution 45
Posted December 6, 2012 10:18 pm

Melissa Tolbert
Melissa Tolbert
Reps: 104
I agree that talking with his parents and him at the same time would be beneficial to figure out what is holding him back. It is interesting that he was retained because that is not normally suggested with ELL students to be retained whether they perform or not. I can imagine that to have negative effects on their overall opinion of school. Understanding his motivation for silence would be very beneficial to know. It might also help to determine interests he has and incorporate those into lessons.
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Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I think it would be very beneficial to talk to him and his parents to see if there is anything you are missing. His retention could also be why he is "shutting down" and won't talk, he may be embarrassed. The best thing to do is really understand him and what motivates him, and maybe his parents can help with that.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 3:40 pm

VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I think that a meeting with all stakeholders would be needed to truly analyze what is going on with Grigor. Grigor needs support that the teacher has not been able to provide and it will be necessary that he/she tries different strategies and gets the input of the parents. The meeting with Grigor in the room would allow the parents to get him to communicate and allow for the adults to come up with a possible solution to this problem.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:09 pm

udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
The causes for his behavior may not be cultural at all. The student may have psychological and/or medical issues that need to be addressed. I would have the parents observe the student without him knowing. Perhaps they could provide some insight on his behavior. Perhaps by the parents observing their child's behavior in the classroom, they would be willing to talk to their son, as he would probably be more forthcoming about his feelings to his parents than anyone else.
  Posted on: November 15, 2013 2:42 pm

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Solution 46
Posted December 7, 2012 12:12 am

Linda Swinson
Linda Swinson
Reps: 107
Grigor seem to be going through something more than the silent period. I didn't think it lasted that long either. Maybe Grigor has and issue with something that he's not telling. As the teacher you may first try to communicate with Grigor and if that doesn't work then move on to speaking with his parents about given the ok for Grigor to have a sessin with the school councelor. My experience with children is when they are not responsive is it's something going on.
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Nicki Kinner
Nicki Kinner
Reps: 68
Something could possibly be going on in this situation. The problem is that this teacher has no idea how much the previous teacher tried to help Grigor improve. It is important to talk to the administration and parents to come up with a plan but I also believe that it takes time to come out of the silent stage and if the teacher tries to make Grigor feel welcomed, wanted and comfortable he will eventually start to open up.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
Good point that there could be something more going on than just the "silent period." Using other classmates to try and talk to Grigor and comfort him may help. If this doesn't work I agree that the parents would be the next outlet.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 11:11 am

Carol Whitfield
Carol Whitfield
Reps: 56
I was thinking the same thing. I feel as if Grigor is going through something that is deeper than him not adjusting. I feel as if it is essential that the teacher meets with him and his parents to pinpoint the problem and find a solution. The teacher could also have a talk with the teacher he had last year to gain some insight.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 7:56 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
You made a very valid point that Grigor may be going through something. I never thought about that. It may be deeper that a language barrier. I pray it is not depression because being in the school setting can cause the depression and then he could be covering it up at home.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 11:36 pm

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Solution 47
Posted December 7, 2012 6:45 pm

Sarah Hogan Johnson
Sarah Hogan Johnson
Reps: 162
I would request a conference with Grigor and his parents. If he is able to communicate with English speakers at home and he is choosing not to do so at school, there could be something holding him back at school. Maybe he feels uncomfortable for a specific reason. He may just be a very shy student and the stress of the move and learning a new language intensified this personality trait. A conference would be a good place to attempt to better open lines of communication. If his parents could get him to talk to you about anything that was bothering him, that would be a huge start. I would then seat the students in pairs, carefully choosing someone that would best fit Grigor. One person is much easier to talk to than a group, especially if you're a shy person. Once he makes a friend, it will be easier for him to make more.
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Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
I agree that Grigor's parents and the school's guidance counselor need to be involved in helping Grigor.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 6:10 pm

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
The guidance counselor would be a great start. But this being a situation going on this long needs to advance rapidly to other professionals if that doesn't work.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 11:37 pm

jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
I definitely agree that a possible solution to this problem is to get the guidance counselor and his parents involved. Grigor may just need to see that his parents care and understand how difficult it is for him and that he needs their help to get over this period in his life. He may think that they are unable to help with this transition and he may feel totally alone. By getting them involved, he may see that they are there to support him and will do what it takes to help him be successful in this new land. I mentioned this possible solution in my post and feel that getting his parents involved and on board could only help Grigor at this time. He is obviously still uncomfortable at school. The guidance counselor may be able to find out why Grigor is having such a hard time getting past this 'silent phase' and come up with some strategies to help him with this problem. Great idea.
  Posted on: November 11, 2013 4:41 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
I agree with your comment that 1 person is easier to respond to. I feel that before we cram parents, counselors and the like into the room with Grigor, the best start would be you and he in a 1-1 conversation.Grigor may exhibit a degree of trust with you that would prevent him from opening up to a larger group. From your individual conversation, you can then branch out to counselors and most definitely inform the parents so that they can help in the process.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 1:04 pm

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Solution 48
Posted December 8, 2012 2:48 pm

Amari Hagan
Amari Hagan
Reps: 115
I would ask his parents for more suggestions and ways to help with his communication problem. I would encourage his parents to visit my class whenever possible. I would sit down with him and tell him a little about myself and let him know that I am here to teach and help with anything he need. I would tell him to open up and trust me that everything is going to be okay and he is very welcome here. I would then ask my ďbestĒ friendly boy student to become friends with Grigor. I would coach him on building a good relationship with Grigor with hopes this will allow Grigor to open up to other classmates as well.
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Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Reps: 69
I agree that the teacher needs to reach out to Grigor to make him comfortable. I think that one of the best ways that this could be accomplished is by finding out what his interests are and relating them to class. For example, if Grigor likes sports, the teacher can discuss his own interest in various sports. This can be extended even further by placing Grigor in a small group of students who have similar interests. Similarities like this will help bridge the gap between cultures and promote friendship with peers.
  Posted on: June 10, 2013 8:14 pm

vezaMu
vezaMu
Reps: 85
I like your suggestion of reaching out to the parents for insight. If they visited the class it could help provide insight into why Grigor is not communicating. It would also be very helpful if there were some kind of friendship that was developed between Grigor and another student.
  Posted on: June 14, 2013 4:50 pm

L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
I agree that sitting down with Grigor is a great idea. He definitely feels uncomfortable at school, but maybe improving the teacher/student relationship with be a gradual start to making him feel more comfortable at school.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 4:04 pm

yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I completely agree about going to the parents for help. I suggested the same exact thing with student/teacher/parents. If he knows he has a good relationship with the teacher he may become more comfortable to be in the classroom.
  Posted on: November 16, 2013 10:37 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
I agree, asking his parents for some advice or suggestions to break him of this mole with helpfully benefit him. There should be some consequences at home if Grigor doesnít participate or get actively involved at school. He should also get praised or rewarded when he does participate and communicate with not only the teacher but with his peers too.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 2:52 pm

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Solution 49
Posted December 9, 2012 5:14 pm

John Buxton
John Buxton
Reps: 114
Grigor is probably still uncomfortable in this school setting. What have you already done to try and communicate with him? If you have yet to try and communicate with him on his level, then shame on you. You should probably talk to his parents and find out his interests. Use this information to reach out to him. If you can find out what he likes (movies, sports, games, etc), you can make a connection with him that goes beyond the classroom. He and his parents will appreciate it.
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Johnnie Skelton
Johnnie Skelton
Reps: 104
I love using interest inventories with my mentees. Students love to share information about themselves, and that would give him the opportunity to open up while helping you to get to know him better.
  Posted on: June 17, 2013 9:44 am

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
I completely agree that Grigor is probably still uncomfortable in the classroom/school setting. i think it is a great idea to talk to him and his parents to find out more about his interests and use this as a gateway to open up communication.

  Posted on: October 21, 2013 7:05 pm

LaChristen Boyd
LaChristen Boyd
Reps: 68
I could not have said it better myself. He is obviously still uncomfortable. If you open up to him and find out things that he likes he'll probably open up more in school.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 6:05 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
I totally agree that you should get to know Grigor's interest. You need to get to know him on a more personal level. By doing this you are letting him know that you care about him and his interest and maybe gain his trust. As teachers we need to let all of our students know that we care about them and make them feel as comfortable as possible.
  Posted on: June 13, 2015 6:58 pm

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Solution 50
Posted December 9, 2012 9:48 pm

Jessica Jacobs Graham
Jessica Jacobs Graham
Reps: 116
You need to find out what makes him comfortable. He obviously does not feel comfortable at school if he can communicate at home and around other people, but not at school. Spend extra time with him to find out exactly what he may be struggling in that is holding him back and use that in your instruction to allow him to succeed. Also, use strategies that give him a choice so that he can choose the strategy that he feels most comfortable with.
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yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
I like that you incorporate choice into you communication strategies. It may be entirely possible that cultural difference (specifically, relating to the instructor and fellow pupils) may be at play. Perhaps offering a solution is a poor idea if it doesn't fit for him. A better option would be to offer several solutions and see which on e he naturally gravitates towards.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 8:40 pm

Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker
Reps: 60
I also agree that it sounds like Grigor is not comfortable at school. I like your idea about integrating choice into the classroom so that Grigor has more control over things. This could definitely help him to feel more comfortable and give the teacher insight into Grigor as a student.
  Posted on: June 14, 2014 4:36 pm

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Solution 51
Posted February 11, 2013 3:25 pm

Olivia Giauque
Olivia Giauque
Reps: 28
English language learners develop and move through the different stages of second language acquisition at different paces. For some students learning a second language may not be as difficult as it is for others. In the case Grigor seems to be moving through the stages at a slower pace and might not be comfortable speaking english for fear of messing up or being embarrassed. A solution for this case would be to find Grigor a "buddy" in the class who can help him become more comfortable speaking english. By assigning Grigor a 'buddy" he will have someone to converse with daily in class as well as get assistance on assignments and clarity on things he does not understand. As well as a buddy, a dialogue journal could also help Grigor. By providing him with a dialogue journal, he will be able to write about what interests him and also express feelings about everything that is occurring. You will be able to read about his interests and from that you can gather a better understanding of him and provide activities that will interest him as well as making him feel comfortable.
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Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I really like your idea about having a dialogue journal for Grigor. This could give teachers, parents, and the counselor an idea of what he may be feeling about school and friends. As others have stated, two years is a very long time for the silent period to be taking place. It sounds like he may have never gotten acclimated to the American school.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 11:35 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
I agree that finding Grigor a buddy would be helpful. Perhaps the teacher could also find him an older student who has been through the same stage of language acquisition and can help Grigor move along in the process by offering his/her advice and experiences.
  Posted on: November 8, 2013 1:22 pm

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Solution 52
Posted February 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Madeline Westog
Madeline Westog
Reps: 30
It seems to me like Grigor is just not completely comfortable speaking in a school setting. The way that we communicate in school and outside of school varies just like the way that we communicate with our peers differs from how we communicate with our elders. I would suggest incorporating more group work and partner activities, this allows for Grigor to communicate in a casual setting, while still being in school.
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Colleen Keller
Colleen Keller
Reps: 92
I agree that he may not be completely comfortable speaking in a school setting. He may be comfortable at home, but may feel overwhelmed at school. I like your suggestion of incorporating more group work and partner activities to give Grigor more opportunities to communicate in a casual setting.
  Posted on: June 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
I agree. Working in groups and with partners may allow him to feel a little more comfortable than facing the entire class would. I would also suggest to keep him with the same group for a while until he has established a friendship or opened up. I think group work is great, but I also think being bounced around often could add to the problem.
  Posted on: June 20, 2013 4:15 pm

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Solution 53
Posted June 10, 2013 7:33 am

Jessica Heilman
Jessica Heilman
Reps: 58
Different immigrant children move at different rates through the immigrant process of adjusting to a new country. This student is still very young. He may speak English better in his home because he is comfortable there and not afraid of being laughed at or judged by his peers. You need to find a way to get Grigor to open up. You could try the filmstrips that Igoa did in her book or another activity like that to help him to open up. Something that he is going to be proud of and allow him to express his feelings about being here in another country.
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VyQaqu
VyQaqu
Reps: 71
I agree with you. All students do not grow at the same time or level. It should be expected that some students are going to take longer to develop some skills than others. The teacher does need to be patient with Grigor but he/she needs to make sure that they do not sit passively by and allow Grigor to slip further between the cracks. The teacher needs to make sure that he/she does everything possible in order for Grigor to meet all of his language objectives.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:06 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I agree that Grigor may only be speaking at home because that is where he is more comfortable. I think the teacher should try to see what is bothering the student and help alleviate the silent phase.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:03 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
Film strips would be a great start! Grigor needs something tangible to connect to. He is in a new country and you are right, students move at different speeds, because every student is truly different. I would also suggest getting to know Grigor a little better. One of the most effective things that you can do as a teacher is to build a personal relationship with your student. Some students are just harder to get to know and it takes a lot more work...it seems like Grigor is one of those students.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 3:28 pm

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Solution 54
Posted June 14, 2013 11:06 am

Heidi Landon
Heidi Landon
Reps: 58
Coming to a new place, whether it be from another state or country, can be very overwhelming. If you think about it Grigor has been with two different sets of kids so he has yet to get comfortable with the same students. I think by finding a peer to help him out and work with him may help some. Using small group projects may work as well. You could also set aside some time to talk with Grigor about his culture and maybe have him bring in and share thing with you until he's comfortable enough to share with classmates. When he feels comfortable he will be more interactive so making sure that happens is key to Grigors academic success.
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L. Carrell
L. Carrell
Reps: 63
Trying to encourage Grigor to interact with his classmates is a great idea. It may help him to feel more comfortable. He needs to see that he has things in common with his classmates. Encouraging Grigor to work in small groups may help him to create friendships in the class. Everyone is more comfortable if they have friends because they know they have their support.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 4:07 pm

gyjyjy
gyjyjy
Reps: 71
I like the idea of having a peer buddy to work with Grigor. The peer experience will be a great way for him to learn to communicate in the school setting but with a small group. Eventually he may build up confidence to speak in class more.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 10:35 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
A small group project would be a good idea. I agree that he may not be comfortable in a whole group setting.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 8:04 pm

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Solution 55
Posted June 17, 2013 1:21 am

Love Joy
Love Joy
Reps: 78
I am unsure of what Grigor's previous teacher did to help him but I would consult with the previous teacher first to see what actions were taken. Since his parents have stated he communicates at home, it may be that he is trying to not be so obvious with his cultural diversity at school and is choosing not to speak. He could also be taking it all in and it is on too fast track to keep up. I would first try and be positive with all communication with Grigor and find something in class that he likes and try to turn it into a home feeling. This way he can relate it to home and open up more. I will also allow him to bring items from home that will help him to be more comfortable. I would begin to incorporate stories and storytelling with characters he identifies with. This can lead to the filmmaking that Igoa suggested she used. Allow Grigor to listen to some stories and this could allow him to speed up or slow down the recorder and you could see if listening is what he has trouble with. Working with Grigor individually on a daily basis can allow him to talk with you and be more comfortable with only you or select a student to allow him to get more comfortable with so this can open communication. Igoa also states that the student should be able to compete alone and not against other students and this will help the silent stage disappear.
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yVyLyG
yVyLyG
Reps: 69
Consulting with the previous teacher is good, especially if these problems existed before the move. However, it may prove very difficult to contact his teacher. This is where communication with the parents comes into play, as they are often the best resource for information as well as providing connections.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 8:43 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
Good thought. Itís true that when students who are of older ages will often feel more uncomfortable than students who are younger about their culture background. Itís easy to think that heís afraid of losing friends due to his language or is lack of ability to communicate. Possibly heís okay with not having any friends rather than losing friends. I also think that his parents see him as a normal child at home because heís in a more confortable area where he canít be judge.
  Posted on: June 17, 2014 2:49 pm

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Solution 56
Posted June 18, 2013 10:03 am

eDaNep
eDaNep
Reps: 66
Perhaps the SIOP method may be a good way for Grigor to not only participate in the fourth grade content but also provide him with some language skills that will help him gain academic English skills. I would really be concerned that he may understand the content but the language is becoming a roadblock for him. By explicitly teaching the language as it relates to his native language, it can provide Grigor with a more level playing field through which he can access the content of the curriculum.
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Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
I agree that the SIOP method would be a good method to help Grigor with his academics. Forth grade is a challenging year both academically and socially. He may not be willing to admit that although he chooses to communicate at home in English, he is still struggling with the written language. Therefore, in order not to draw attention to himself he chooses to sit quietly in class and fade into the background. However, in my opinion, something needs to be done. Any additional help would be very beneficial. If no help is given, I could imagine that Grigor would end up "slipping through the cracks."
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 4:58 am

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Solution 57
Posted June 18, 2013 6:08 pm

Erin Ashurst
Erin Ashurst
Reps: 73
Grigor is obviously still adjusting to being away from his homeland. I would suggest contacting his former teachers, both American and Bulgarian, to discuss Grigor performance and behaviors prior to being in your class. I would ask what were his interests and learning style. I would recommend including choice activities in your lessons that match Grigor's interests and learning style. Also, I would look at your classroom management plan and lessons. Have you established a class environment that fosters community and supports students regardless of background? Are your lessons culturally sensitive? Are you lessons and materials modified to meant his language needs? Since Grigor does understand simple English, I would recommend pairing him with a friendly and high achieving student to do peer tutoring in order to build a friendship. The first thing you should do is contact your school's guidance counselor to evaluate Grigor's psychological well being.
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qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I never would have thought to contact his Bulgarian teachers, but I think it is a wonderful idea to contact both his Bulgarian and American teachers. It is important to find out his interests and learning style so that the teacher can accommodate him in the lessons. I also agree that pairing him with a friendly peer buddy is a great way to encourage social interaction and hopefully help Grigor open up.
  Posted on: June 18, 2013 10:17 pm

Krissy Chance-Bailey
Krissy Chance-Bailey
Reps: 65
It seems that his parents could give some insight on what he enjoys and how he entertains himself at home. Maybe the ESL teacher could set up face time with some of his old classmates and teachers for that matter. Grigor will adjust after the silent stage. Some children take longer than others to become acclimated.
  Posted on: June 12, 2014 3:04 pm

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Solution 58
Posted June 18, 2013 10:11 pm

qyzeha
qyzeha
Reps: 105
I agree that Grigor's silent period seems to be lasting longer than normal especially if he is communicating with English speaking people at home. You have already done my first suggestion which would be to contact his parents to make them aware of his behavior at school. His parents can not only tell you about his progress with English at home, but they can also tell you about any issues he may be having or things that he has told them about school that may be helpful. My next suggesstion would be to contact the guidence counselor to see if they can meet with Grigor once a week or so until he opens up. I would also do anything possible to help him open up in the classroom. Keeping a class journal where he can write or draw pictures may be the best way to help him start to open up to you. I would also try to assign him a buddy or multiple buddies to offer to work with him in class, sit by him at lunch, and try to help him understand that his peers want to get to know him.
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Solution 59
Posted June 18, 2013 11:09 pm

Kimberly Spicer
Kimberly Spicer
Reps: 71
Grigor is obviously not going through the silent period stage like a typical ELL would. Or maybe he is and he is just not a heavy talker. There are many American students that are deathly afraid to talk in front of the class or to other students. I really don't see this as a problem. However, if you still wanted to "fix" this problem, maybe you could confront a student in the class that you trust. This student can start befriending him (on the playground, at lunch, during group activities, etc.). This might get Grigor to open up slowly or to just one other person. I think even opening up to one friend would be sufficient enough, especially as long as he is making good grades and understands the work given to him.
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A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
I like the idea you brought up about maybe he is just not a big talker. His parents say he can communicate with people at home. Maybe he just does not enjoy the school setting and in turn does not want to talk. This however is still affecting his school work or else he would not have been held back. So maybe the teacher could reach out and try to make a connection with him.
  Posted on: November 10, 2013 9:45 am

Laura Toft
Laura Toft
Reps: 71
Being a mentor for the student is very important in helping him to become more comfortable at school. It was said that he us able to communicate through writing, so an interactive journal may be a good way to reach out with him as well. He may need to take time to think about his thoughts before speaking them. A journal would therefore be a good outlet for him.
  Posted on: June 15, 2014 7:10 pm

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Solution 60
Posted June 18, 2013 11:29 pm

Kyle Chambers
Kyle Chambers
Reps: 68
I think that Grigor may not be comfortable interacting with kids in his age range. I have slightly seen this in the past with someone in my family. Even though she was not from a different culture, she would still have a completely different personality around adults than she would around kids of her age. In Grigor's case, I would ask the parents to have a meeting with Grigor and them at a location outside of school. This does not have to be anything formal, and should show Grigor that you actually care about his success and background. The idea is to find out why Grigor avoids social interactions while at school. I would also bring in the school counselor to speak with Grigor and maybe create a time for one on one time on a weekly basis.
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Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
Reps: 103
I agree with bringing in the counselor to assist in the situation. Their expertise could prove to be extremely valuable in decoding the issue with Grigor. Overall, the teacher needs to build a relationship with the student and figure out where the uncomfort stems.
  Posted on: June 19, 2013 7:05 pm

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Solution 61
Posted June 19, 2013 11:27 am

Emilee Roberts
Emilee Roberts
Reps: 69
It could be possible that Grigor is not yet comfortable in this new classroom setting. Maybe this has been enhanced by being held back the year before. I would try to talk to his parents especially if he is not acting any differently at home. I would ask them to describe things that interest him, how he interacts in English, and ask what they can do to make him more comfortable at school.
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Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
That's a great thought - maybe being held back is creating anxiety. He also was not able be with the same group of children that he was becoming familiar with as most of his classmates advanced into 5th grade.
  Posted on: November 9, 2013 8:44 am

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
The lack of communication could be due to Grigor still getting adjusted to the new environment. Also, with him having to repeat the fourth grade, this may have some influence on why he is not communicating effectively in the classroom. Additionally, the student could be have been having difficulties before moving to the United States. It would be a good ideal for the teacher to discuss these issues with Grigorís parents so that he can get a good assessment of how he has performed academically in the past.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 9:04 pm

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Solution 62
Posted June 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Monique Cook
Monique Cook
Reps: 70
Grigor probably is not comfortable in class or does not feel welcomed. Try developing a one on one relationship with him and see if he will first open up to you. He may not use English at first so allow him to express himself in any way that he can whether it is through picture, writing, or technology. Once you have made a connection with him, maybe he will open up to the rest of the class.
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Solution 63
Posted October 21, 2013 6:58 pm

Emily West
Emily West
Reps: 102
Because his parents told you that when he is in his home setting he can easily communicate with English speaking people or guests, I might think that he is intimidated in the school setting. He may have had a hard time at first going through the silent period, but he should be encouraged to participate and become an active learner in class. I think that using methods that will help him to feel like he is truly an equal contributor in class is important. You may want to start by talking about Bulgaria and discussing some interesting facts, language differences, cultural values, etc. with the class. As Grigor becomes more comfortable you can have him tell his peers about his own culture and language. i think this could be a great learning opportunity for all your students and it could help Grigor feel like his is contributing to the classroom community.
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Solution 64
Posted November 8, 2013 8:19 am

BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
Grigor is struggling with the school environment. His parent stated that at home he communicates and interact with people that primarily speak English well. I will suggest creating an environment that relates to the studentís prior knowledge and interest. Implementing the 8 components of the SIOP will be a framework that fully supports content instructions, while utilizing methods of language that incorporates reading, speaking, writing and listening. I will also develop peer-mediated strategies matching Grigor with a student who has similar interests. The student that can speak English well and pose great social skills can model those skills for Grigor. Research has proven that students retain and learn better from each other.
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Solution 65
Posted November 8, 2013 1:21 pm

yZaveh
yZaveh
Reps: 109
If Grigor is communicating with people in English at home and can read and write in English in class, then the problem does not seem to be a language skill issue. I think it's just a personality one- Grigor is just shy. He speaks English at home because he is comfortable there in his own environment, but he is hesitant to at school because he is uncomfortable for some reason. Have you ever corrected his English? Perhaps this embarrassed him. Perhaps he speaks English with an accent and other students made fun of him. Perhaps he really is just a quiet person, introverted, and doesn't like to communicate verbally. I think the only thing you can do is make sure you get to know Grigor as a person so as to make him feel comfortable with you and in the classroom. What are his interests? How can you incorporate these in the classroom? Since he is able to write in English, you could ask him to write why he chooses not to speak in class.
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Jordyn Nail
Jordyn Nail
Reps: 108
I agree that the issue will be resolved when Grigor feels comfortable in the classroom setting. That can start with the teacher taking a person interest in Grigor and then finding ways to get Grigor involved with the other students in the class.
  Posted on: November 9, 2013 8:56 am

TeTugu
TeTugu
Reps: 21
Having Grigor feel comfortable in your classroom seems to be the most important obstacle to face. I agree that the teacher should get to know the student to help make him more comfortable.
  Posted on: November 17, 2013 9:40 pm

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Solution 66
Posted November 10, 2013 9:49 am

A Battles
A Battles
Reps: 115
Grigor seems as if he is uncomfortable in the school setting. First I would try communicating with Grigor and finding out more about him. If Grigor does not want to talk then you could use Igoa's strategy and just have the student around you for periods of time until he is ready to talk. I do not think it is the language barrier that is holding him back since he can communicate with English speakers at home. It is probably more of just nervousness of school. The SIOP method could be implemented to make sure he is picking up language skills to help him feel more comfortable with English.
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BazuTy
BazuTy
Reps: 116
I agree observations are great, but I also think you should speak with his parents more in-depth. I believe his parents have tremendous insight about their son interests and prior knowledge. Making sure the student feel comfortable is the foundation for the studentís success in the academic environment. I personally think the student is dealing with a lot of anxiety; so including a counselor would also be great.

  Posted on: November 14, 2013 9:01 am

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I agree Igoa's strategy of having him around you for periods of time is a great idea. Maybe in time he will be more comfortable and start talking.
  Posted on: June 19, 2015 12:28 am

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Solution 67
Posted November 10, 2013 6:26 pm

udydyV
udydyV
Reps: 108
You stated that he was retained because he did not develop his English language skills. Were other skills developed (i.e. math, science, etc.). Perhaps this student is having a hard time adjusting to his new school. Students adjust to their environment at different rates. I would suggest extending an open line of communication with the student. Let the student know that you are there for him when he wants to talk. I would show a genuine concern for the child and his well being, but aside from that, you are limited in what you can do. You cannot make the child talk.
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upyNuX
upyNuX
Reps: 100
I agree that it doesn't seem right to retain him solely because he has not developed his language skills. Unless it has been verified that he also did not develop math, science, etc. skills then I think this should be reconsidered.
  Posted on: November 11, 2013 8:35 pm

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Solution 68
Posted November 10, 2013 8:01 pm

Stormye Brantley
Stormye Brantley
Reps: 121
I do not think I would make Grigor talk and communicate with others. Forcing the situation may not help at all. I would speak privately with Grigor and explain the concern I had as his teacher. I may would even want to include his parents and an ELL teacher in the conversation. I would find out the form of communication that Grigot feels most comfortable with. Perhaps he just wants to write to respond. If so, maybe a journal would be beneficial. I think it is possible he is still going through a silent phase, but he probably is because he is still uncomfortable. I would try everything in my power to make him more comfortable.
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jaMyDu
jaMyDu
Reps: 119
Stormye,
I definitely agree with you. One thing that I have learned is that you do not want to force Grigor to talk in class. I think that the teacher needs to try and establish a line of communication with Grigor and let him know that he is concerned about him. He needs to let him know that he is there to support and help him through this time in his life. I would also contact his parents, ELL teacher if applicable, and the school guidance counselor to set up a meeting to discuss possible strategies to help Grigor break out of this 'silent stage' in the school setting. His parents may provide great insight into why he is choosing not to talk while he is at school. The ELL teacher may be able to help the teacher with ways to help encourage him to communicate while in the classroom when and only when he is ready to. The guidance counselor could just be another ally for Grigor at school and someone that he could go to if he is feeling down or alone. It is obvious that he is having trouble adjusting to this new environment and may need someone to help him work through his thoughts. The guidance counselor may also be able to provide some type of peer mediator or 'buddy' to befriend Grigor and be someone that is his age that he can feel comfortable talking to when he needs to. Great post.
  Posted on: November 11, 2013 4:50 pm

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Solution 69
Posted November 13, 2013 8:17 pm

BeWuXe
BeWuXe
Reps: 117
There must be a reason Grigor is not speaking in class. It seems his English is progressing since he does speak English with his parents at home. I would suggest some "one on one" time with him. It is possible he will open up and let you know the reason for his silence when there is not an audience in the classroom. The reasons for his silence can stem from a variety of reasons such as fear of being made fun of or simply shyness. Regardless of the reason it is apparent Grigor needs intervention to come out of his shell. If speaking with him yourself is not successful, an intervention by a counselor may be in order. Another suggestion might be to bring his parents in for a family conference to find a possible reason for his silence. Since he is comfortable enough to speak at home, maybe bringing his parents to the school will prompt him to speak up.
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yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I agree that there are probably background reasons for his silence. I said in my post that he was probably not comfortable with his English and therefore was afraid to speak. Positive encouragement always helps students to feel better about themselves.
  Posted on: November 16, 2013 10:39 pm

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Solution 70
Posted November 16, 2013 10:36 pm

yJaGus
yJaGus
Reps: 106
I think a parent/student/teacher conference would be a good idea. One on one with student/teacher may make the student feel overwhelmed and want to stay silent even longer. It seems to me the student is still not comfortable with his English. It might be good for him to have some individualized encouragement every time he does speak English. When he writes in English give him positive reinforcement about how proud you are. He needs to know that he is doing his best and being accepted.
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Solution 71
Posted November 17, 2013 3:24 pm

Meredith Bryant
Meredith Bryant
Reps: 106
You need to develop a personal relationship with Grigor to be able to effectively communicate with him. My suggestion is to set up a parent conference and also have the school counselor present as well. Address your concerns to your parents and the counselor and then together, formulate a plan that you can use. In this meeting, it might be helpful to try to get to know Grigor, his interests, hobbies, favorite foods and subjects. Once you can learn more about him, you can begin to differentiate your instruction towards him. It might also be helpful to address to the class (without him in the room) your concerns about him and suggest to them making him feel more welcome by inviting him to their lunch table to recess with him. The key is to make him comfortable. It seems like he is simply uncomfortable in school.
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Solution 72
Posted November 17, 2013 6:34 pm

Tracy C
Tracy C
Reps: 104
From what I have learned, the first step a teacher should take in this situation is to bridge the gap between the child's home culture and the school's culture. It seems as though Grigor is not culturally secured or feels a sense of belonging at school. In this regard, the teacher should reach out more to Grigor by inviting him to share aspects of his culture with the class. Also, I would make it my business as his teacher to adorn the classroom with elements of Grigor's culture that would make him feel more at ease at school.

In addition, I will try to allocate times for one-on-one conferences with Grigor to identify what is really hindering his progress, as well as to use such times to teach him strategies to support his learning.
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Solution 73
Posted November 17, 2013 8:56 pm

TuVuze
TuVuze
Reps: 99
Since Grigor is not communicating in the school environment, lessons can be tailored to address his language needs. Implementing the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) may help Grigor to communicate more effectively in the school environment since he is able to communicate socially with English speakers in his home environment. By honing in on language that is essential to the academic lessons through SIOP, this may help the student to learn vocabulary that is pertinent to learning new content, while increasing his knowledge of the subject matter as well. Additionally, if Grigor is not receiving ESL instruction, this may be helpful to him as well because there will be other students in the class whose first language is not English. Lastly, Grigor may feel more comfortable expressing himself through the creative arts. It may be a good idea to implement visual arts, music, dance, or drama into learning centers so that he can express himself in other ways, as opposed to just expressing himself verbally.
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Sara LeClair
Sara LeClair
Reps: 68
I agree- SIOP or ESL instruction may help Grigor open up. THis way he is able to connect his home language to the school atmosphere and possibly begin talking. If Grigor does not have an ESL teacher, this may be the time to test him and make sure he doesn't need help in other areas. The hope is that he is understanding perfectly fine, he is just having trouble translating or speaking up.
  Posted on: June 11, 2014 3:41 pm

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Solution 74
Posted June 12, 2014 2:40 am

Michael Herndon
Michael Herndon
Reps: 68
I would have a conference with Grigor and his parents. He may be more comfortable speaking while his parents are present. If no one has reached out to him, he may not be comfortable in his new environment. There may be some cultural issues that the teacher may not know about. I believe the best solution is to speak to Grigor and his parents to attempt to discover why he is being silent.
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Tiffany Parker
Tiffany Parker
Reps: 69
I think it is important for Grigor to feel comfortable at school. The teacher should try to make school feel like home in any way she can.
  Posted on: June 16, 2014 2:56 pm

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Solution 75
Posted June 14, 2014 3:15 am

Nick Hanna
Nick Hanna
Reps: 71
Grigor could most definately still be going through a silent period, not likely, but it is still a possibility. All ELL students adapt to their new environments differently and it is hard to pinpoint when exactly certain teirs will be met. In the case of Grigor, I would really try to setup a meeting with the parents to discuss his academic performance. If Grigor is not communicating with anyone, I strongly doubt he is earning good grades in his classes. Also an obervation I pulled from the Case Scenario is that Grigor's parents have English speaking people come over to the house and Grigor talks to them. Do his parents speak English? If they do, then I believe this completely changes the ballgame. If he speaks English at home and his parents do too, then this is absolutely a comfort level at school. Something is happening at school that has caused him to completely shut down. This could be bullying, comfort level with his peers or teachers, or anything else that makes him not want to participate. If this in not figured out, Grigor may never want to open up at his current school.
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Solution 76
Posted June 15, 2014 4:07 am

Alicia Garcia
Alicia Garcia
Reps: 69
Was Grigor in your class last year as well or did he work with another teacher? Does he have ELL supports in place? If so I will assume you already taken any steps to help him feel less like a stranger in the classroom based on the fact that you are concerned about his well-being.
His development of language, especially academic language, is highly dependent on his level of literacy in his native language and interventions within the classroom. I would start by having a teacher to student conference with him and listening to his perspective on what is going on. You have stated he has developed social language so this would be a good start. If he is still feeling isolated and having trouble making friends the counselor may be able to help also. I would also consider trying to incorporate the sheltered instruction observation protocol with him. More about this can be found. A brief introductory video is linked below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C7Rwa8l580

I would also consider cutting back on slang and using purposeful speech when speaking with him about content. I personally can understand some Spanish but when a native Spanish talks rapidly to me I get totally lost. If they use regional slang I just get lost faster. Slower purposeful speech is helpful to me when I am listening to a foreign language.
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Solution 77
Posted June 15, 2014 7:17 pm

LeeAnna Elder
LeeAnna Elder
Reps: 75
Some children's culture shock experiences are deeper than others. It is important for the teacher to keep a regular stream of communication with Grigor's parents. The teacher could also create a quiet space in her classroom where Grigor will safe and comfortable. In this space he needs a journal to draw and or write what he feels. This comfort zone can also be a place to express what he has learned. I think the teacher should be patient and persistent with Grigor. Whatever the method of communication, the teacher needs to find out what Grigor knows academically. The teacher's can find out from Grigor parents what he does know. I don't think retaining Grigor is the most appropriate decision. In fact retaining could be hurting the potential for verbal communication from Grigor.
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Solution 78
Posted June 16, 2014 8:54 am

Justin Redmond
Justin Redmond
Reps: 51
First, I would meet with the parents and the student. Maybe with the parents present, Grigor would feel more comfortable talking to you. Once you have established a line of communication with him, this could make him comfortable enough to speak to you at school. The more comfortable he becomes with you, the better chance he will begin to feel comfortable speaking with classmates. After some time if this approach appears to be working, I would pair him up with a buddy. Once a line of communication is established with the buddy, hopefully this will lead to him being interactive with other classmates. If this approach does not seem to work, I would incorporate a journal for him to write in. This way you could find out what he is thinking and some things that interest him. With this information, you can begin to establish a relationship with him to help him feel more welcome.
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ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
I too feel as though a journal would be helpful especially since Grigor is able to write in simple English. Implementing project and classroom groups could be beneficial too. I think however for Grigor not to feel pressure or as if he is different, the whole class should be split up.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 4:08 pm

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Solution 79
Posted June 16, 2014 12:57 pm

Josh Oglesby
Josh Oglesby
Reps: 69
In following our lesson from this week, I would fully implement SIOP based lessons in order to make sure that my presentation of material was not holding Grigor back. Once this variable has been removed, then I would meet with Grigor 1-1 or with his parents present in order to discuss with him what is going on and see if he will open up to me so that I can begin to help him. The fact that he will communicate and open up at home tells me that there is something at school, in the room or in your teaching that is placing a block on his communication skills. Without resolving this, I believe Grigor will continue to be in "silent period" for a little while longer.
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Solution 80
Posted June 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Susan Esra
Susan Esra
Reps: 68
Every immigrant child's experience is different, and it seems that Grigor is still in the silent period. If he is still overwhelmed by hearing and speaking English, he will have difficulty speaking up in class or social situations. I would pair Grigor with another quiet, sensitive student who can help him understand instructions or assignments that are complicated. I would also meet individually with Grigor on a regular basis, and give him positive feedback about his English and academic skills. Grigor should be receiving ESOL services, and if he is, this may give him a place to feel more comfortable around others who are not proficient with English. If Grigor is willing, I would invite him to share with his classmates about Bulgaria, by bringing in photos, drawing pictures, sharing words from his native language, or writing about his homeland. I would do this in the context of having all students share about their homes and families, so that he is not stigmatized for being an immigrant. Because Grigor is able to speak basic English, I would ask him directly if there was anything you could do to help him feel more comfortable. I would also keep lines of communication open with his parents if they have any suggestions for helping him to be more comfortable.
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Solution 81
Posted June 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Kristen Eason
Kristen Eason
Reps: 57
Considering that Grigor's parents said he acts like a normal child at home makes me feel that heís just uncomfortable at school. Immigrant children often will experience a great deal of different emotions when being placed in an area that they feel uncomfortable in. Instead of trying to get him to be sociable with his peers, it would be best if he had one person to rely on while at school (teacher/student relationship) and who could help him to possibly grow and expand his learning ability to speak. Sooner or later, he will break from his silence and heíll have to speak.
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Solution 82
Posted June 17, 2014 9:08 pm

Kimberly Rahn
Kimberly Rahn
Reps: 70
I feel that knowing he can communicate in English is certainly a plus. I would definitely keeps the lines of communication open with his parents. This child may still be just very overwhelmed and if this is his second time in 4th grade, chances are he hasn't made a lot of friends. I would try to get him to open up about his culture and share with the class often. I would also make sure to pair him with other children who can be a role model for him and at times possible guide him thus creating a friendship as well. As the teacher, I would also spend time with him each day engaged in conversation with him and possibly set aside one-on-one time with him daily as time permits. Hopefully he will begin to feel a connection to the other students as well as the teacher and begin to communicate with others more.
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Solution 83
Posted June 18, 2014 1:18 am

Caley Copeland
Caley Copeland
Reps: 69
I would suggest holding a meeting with the parents and explaining the issues you are having in class. Explain to them your theory of the ďsilent periodĒ and suggest things you could do in class to help him through this. Get their feedback and see if they agree that he may be going through something like this and make a plan to help him adjust in school. You might could also send him to someone at school he is comfortable talking to, like the counselor or ESOL teacher, to see if they can determine what is wrong. Journaling may also be a good way to gain his trust and get him to open up more.
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Hannah Nabors
Hannah Nabors
Reps: 68
You suggestion is an excellent family-centered approach. It sounds like you understand the valuable input of Grigor's parents' input as well as their support of classroom solutions. I think a meeting with Grigor's parents would be great. Would you include Grigor in the meeting? I wonder if Grigor has any close friends that he speaks with frequently. It may be difficult to find someone for him to speak with, especially if he is unwilling to open up for the counselor or ESOl teacher.
  Posted on: June 18, 2014 3:45 am

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Solution 84
Posted June 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Cardia Foster
Cardia Foster
Reps: 73
Grigor may be uncomfortable in the school setting because he may not have found that connection with anyone. A lot of times some students have to trust people to open up. I would observe Grigor through out the day. I would try the peer buddy system, I would even throw in journal writing prompts such as how do you feel today? Things like that will help you to know how he is feeling and tell you what's going on with him. I would also ask his parents about the people that he socialize with at home and what are some things that he like.
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Jennifer Loncon
Jennifer Loncon
Reps: 68
Asking the parents about his interest is a great idea. If he is not communicating enough for you to get to know his interests in class, then his parents would be a great way to find out. By incorporating his interest, he may see that he is welcome and appreciated in the classroom and hopefully open up!
  Posted on: June 19, 2014 1:30 am

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Solution 85
Posted June 19, 2014 1:02 am

James Moran
James Moran
Reps: 62
If Grigor's silence is not affecting his academic achievement I would not try and change his behavior. Some people are naturally shy and reserved and a student being quiet in class is not a significant problem unless he is refusing to respond to the people when spoken to. However, if his silence is affecting his academic achievement the teacher should consider ways of bring Grigor out of his shell. One way might be to include more small group activities or a think, pair, share activity where the student can share in a smaller less intimidating setting rather than the whole group setting.
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April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
I agree while it is important to encourage Grigor to socialize it is not an issue unless it begins to interfere with his academic success. You should certainly make attempts to include Grigor in groups and try to create a comfortable environment for him.
  Posted on: November 3, 2014 8:26 pm

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Solution 86
Posted November 3, 2014 1:16 pm

Whitney Johnson
Whitney Johnson
Reps: 97
In my opinion, I think Grigor is shy when it comes to being around his classmates. Perhaps he feels uncomfortable still around people his own age in a different culture. A case study on this particular student might help, or perhaps the teacher meeting with Grigor for some one-on-one insight. Somehow, the teacher must get the student to trust them, and then they may start trusting classmates. If the teacher cannot make a connect to Grigor, then a counselor can get involved in order to see if Grigor will open up. If Grigor does not talk, then he can write down or draw how he is feeling. Ultimately, I think the best insight here is for Grigor to gain trust in his teacher, allowing the teacher to plan activities where he can become acquainted with the other students his age.
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PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
I also believe it is a teacher's duty to connect with our students on another level other than academics. It allows the child to feel comfortable and be able to give their all in their learning when they feel like someone truly cares about them and their feelings.
  Posted on: November 6, 2014 1:24 am

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Solution 87
Posted November 3, 2014 8:23 pm

April Rozier
April Rozier
Reps: 110
It sounds as if the language is not what is holding Grigor back from socializing. It is possible that Grigor does not feel comfortable with his peers. Perhaps you can begin pairing him up with a different student until he finds someone that he has something in common with and desires to socialize more. I would suggest sitting someone new next to him at lunch and ask the child to initiate conversation with Grigor. He may surprise you and begin responding once he feels that he has connected with someone.
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Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I think this is a good idea. I am also concerned that Grigor may just be a very shy person. Just because an immigrant child is having issues doesn't mean that the issues are being cause by the fact that he is an immigrant. Grigor's parents should be able to provide a wealth of information on this topic: did he have these troubles at his previous school, etc. He may be further reluctant to speak out because of embarrassment at being held back a grade. This could compound his problems if he is shy to begin with.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 3:28 am

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Solution 88
Posted November 4, 2014 3:34 pm

zuPeQy
zuPeQy
Reps: 99
I think the most important thing to do in the situation is to help Grigor feel like he can relate to someone, especially the teacher. He needs someone that he can trust because he is more likely to open up when he trusts the person. When he is at home he has his parents around who I'm sure he trusts quite a bit. Even though they may have guests over he still has his safe place, being his parents. He needs to a safe place at school as well. I would try and figure out what his interests are and make a concious effort to talk to him on a personal level every day, even if he doesn't answer. He needs to know you care and are trying to get to know him.
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Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
I agree that Grigor may not be communicating verbally at school because he does not feel comfortable or safe. If the teacher can establish a personal connection with Grigor he may begin to feel comfortable enough to start opening up. In addition to asking him questions every day you could also share a bit about yourself with him to help build that personal connection.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 11:02 pm

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Solution 89
Posted November 4, 2014 8:32 pm

aHeRaL
aHeRaL
Reps: 112
If Grigor speaks and interacts fine at home, it sounds like it might be something beyond the "silent period." You are already familiar with some strategies and techniques in dealing with immigrant students, so I would dig into that bag of strategies to see what might be the issue with Grigor. I would intentionally try to create greater rapport with Grigor to let him know you care about him and his situation. As a fourth grade teacher, I am sure you have already identified some of your trustworthy students. Speak with them about including Grigor in play time at recess and make sure Grigor makes his way into that student's group as well during group work. Some consistency in relationships may be helpful for Girgor and make him feel more comfortable in communicating and participating in class.
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Solution 90
Posted November 4, 2014 10:42 pm

SaSyXu
SaSyXu
Reps: 105
I would talk to Grigor's parents and find out a little more about him from them...like some of his dislikes, likes, hobbies,etc. This could lend itself to starting a conversation with him about something he is interested in. That may be the push he needs to start opening up! Find some common ground with him!
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Solution 91
Posted November 6, 2014 1:23 am

PyveDu
PyveDu
Reps: 101
Coming from a school where most of my children were Hispanic and came from homes where the only language spoken is different from English. I believe as a teacher we would need to connect with Grigor in some way. It seems like he is not comfortable around the classroom as he is in his own environment at home. I think building the relationship with him and understanding what his likes are will help opening him up to feel connected to the classroom.
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Solution 92
Posted November 7, 2014 9:47 pm

yXeBeX
yXeBeX
Reps: 114
Maybe it would be helpful to give Grigor some responsibility around the classroom so that he feels a part of the group. Come up with some simple but important jobs that need to be done on a daily basis and make him feel like he's the only one that is able to complete them. They are his jobs. He might take pride in this work and open up a bit.
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Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I agree that giving him some jobs and making him feel as though you think he is capable would be a great idea This may also help him with his peers, and his communication with them. I also think that reaching out and intentionally making conversation with him would be helpful. Getting to know him and what he is interested in and what he is feeling will be very helpful.
  Posted on: November 8, 2014 10:45 pm

BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
What a good idea! Feeling responsible and needed in the classroom are definitely ways to foster a positive attitude.
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 2:15 pm

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Solution 93
Posted November 8, 2014 10:37 pm

Kim Lucas
Kim Lucas
Reps: 107
I believe that Grigor is definitely struggling and uncomfortable with school. There may be many things effecting his level of comfort, from feelings of failure to possible bullying of some sort. I would begin by intentionally trying to create a relationship with him by daily engaging him in conversation, inquiring about his interests, family, friends and interests. I would also reach out to parents and ask if it might be possible to do a home visit, so that he can connect you to his world, and have the opportunity to show you things that are important to him. This may be helpful by allowing you to see if he truly does open up more away from school. It will also give you a good idea of the level of English that is spoken in the home and if he is able to communicate as well as his parents have indicated.
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Solution 94
Posted November 8, 2014 11:17 pm

Myzusy
Myzusy
Reps: 113
It is essential to build a welcoming trusting relationship with Grigor. I would try to learn as much as possible about Bulgarian social Culture and school culture. Be persistent in your attempts to get to know him personally by engaging in conversation dailey. Speaking with Grigor's parents to find out what his interests are is another good way to make a connection with him. If he is interested in art such as drawing, music or sports I would try to incorporate those themes into the class. Perhaps Grigor would prefer to communicate though, drawing pictures, writing or even technology.I would encourage him to use one of these methods to communicate his thoughts. I would also try to find a classroom buddy for Grigor. A buddy with similar interests who is also welcoming would help Grigor develop conversation skills as well as to help him make friends in class. Using some of these strategies may really help Grigor blossom out of the silent period.
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Solution 95
Posted November 9, 2014 8:57 pm

LeHyZa
LeHyZa
Reps: 107
Grigor may still really miss the school, peers, and teachers in Bulgaria and feel that the U.S. way is very different, making it difficult to express himself. It sounds like he does not feel school is a judge-free environment and it is prohibiting him from expressing his true self. Perhaps his first teacher here was not welcoming nor understanding of his new situation. As his teacher now it is important to persistently reach out to Grigor and have one on one discussions to get to know him and find out some of his interests. Get to know him while doing an activity he is interested in such art or playing catch at recess. It is important to have him understand that you realize he is new to this culture and the English language and that together you can work to develop his English and comfortability within the school setting. He will only be able to express his true self in an environment that is not judgmental or fearful.
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BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
Moving to a new school as a child is stressful enough - I couldn't imagine moving to a whole new country with a different language and culture. I'm sure Grigor is a bit overwhelmed.
  Posted on: November 10, 2014 2:12 pm

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Solution 96
Posted November 10, 2014 1:44 am

aheduX
aheduX
Reps: 112
Grigor seems to be unsure of himself when he is surrounded by people from a different background. I would find a way to connect with him through his culture. I would let him express himself using any approach such as music, art, etc. This would also hopefully show that you want to help him and that it is okay for him to be different. Be sure to gain his trust so that he is comfortable with you. Encourage him to express himself.



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Solution 97
Posted November 10, 2014 2:10 pm

BazaNu
BazaNu
Reps: 89
Perhaps Grigor doesn't feel welcome in the classroom. I would discuss with Grigor and his parents to determine what might help him open up. Inviting him to talk about his culture with the class may help. Encourage Grigor to interact with peers through games and group assignments.
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Solution 98
Posted November 13, 2014 12:51 am

aQazuV
aQazuV
Reps: 105
Grigor seems to need a personal connection to the school, teacher, and students. It appears that Grigor is comfortable with his English speaking abilities so I believe this is a situation in which the student simply does not feel "at home" in the classroom. I would suggest that you make a personal connection with the student by finding out his likes and interests. Then, you will be able to communicate with Grigor using these common interests and you could even pair him with a student that has similar interests so that a friendship may grow. I would also bring in some things from Bulgaria to make him feel a sense of home and more comfortable to open up. Give him the opportunity to share things from his culture with the class and become more involved. I feel as if Grigor has great potential he just needs a little help opening up.
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Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
I like incorporating things from Bulgaria is a great idea to help Grigor feel more at home in the classroom. This solution would create a foundation to develop conversation with peers and teachers in the school. In addition to bringing cultural things that he can connect with into the classroom, I think providing an artistic outlet to express his feelings will help him overcome the fear of not communicating with others.
  Posted on: November 16, 2014 9:00 pm

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Solution 99
Posted November 16, 2014 1:37 am

egyveW
egyveW
Reps: 103
This seems like Grigor is having trouble adjusting to school in addition to only struggling with the language. Try to relate to Grigor on his level in some way that can make him feel comfortable. Also, I would talk to his parents and the counselor and make sure that he understands why he was held back. If he was held back because of only his English language skills, I would hate for his self esteem to be damaged at that age because he saw his classmates from last year advance, and he did not.
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Solution 100
Posted November 16, 2014 8:44 pm

Jordan Nelms
Jordan Nelms
Reps: 104
My first suggestion would be to find something that Grigor likes to do or that interests him. This may involve learning about Bulgaria and incorporating Bulgaria culture into some of your lessons. I can't imagine how he is feeling being from another country and now he has been held back due to his deficiency in English skills. Also, maybe try some journaling activities to see if he expresses himself through writing. If this didn't work, I would get the counselor involved.
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Solution 101
Posted November 16, 2014 8:56 pm

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Reps: 107
It sounds as if the student is not fully in the silent period, but uncomfortable with teachers and peers at school. He needs support to build relationships with other classmates and adults. I would try to include interests that would encourage him to share his ideas, whether it be written on paper or spoken in a small group. Meeting with his parents to develop a plan of ways to help him communicate at school similar to communicating at home will build connections that could develop success in the future.
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Solution 102
Posted November 16, 2014 10:46 pm

Qureby
Qureby
Reps: 102
To reach Grigor and help him to communicate with people at school I think you should try and make a personal connection with him. You could ask him questions about what he likes to do, what his family is like, what he misses most about Bulgaria, what traditions his family brought with them from Bulgaria, etc. By continually reaching out to him on topics that are not related to school work he may eventually open up. The key is to not give up on him and continue to make him aware of your interest in his life and well being. If he is resistant to answering your questions verbally you could chose to begin by writing to him. Maybe the two of you could journal back and forth to one another.
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Solution 103
Posted November 16, 2014 10:49 pm

GyJeWy
GyJeWy
Reps: 105
You could try to make the classroom environment more culturally sensitive by adding other cultures to the room especially from Bulgaria. Lessons could also be tied to Bulgarian culture as well. This may make him more comfortable and allow him to open up if he sees that the teacher and other students are accepting of different cultures from their own. Also, talk to his parents and see what he is interested in, adding that in or talking to him about his interest may help as well.
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Solution 104
Posted November 16, 2014 11:06 pm

Jonathan Buys
Jonathan Buys
Reps: 42
Grigor seems to have trouble connecting with his new environment and the people in it. He probably lacks trust and feels alone. I would make an effort to reach out to him. I would attempt to find out more about his past and where he came from. I would also give him an opportunity to express himself in a creative way. Often children in the midst of the silent period just need to feel like they can express themselves, they need to break that barrier. I would have him create a comic strip about a topic and see what he comes up with. This may also give insight into what he is thinking.
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yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
Having no connection with the world around you is like being locked in a darkroom with four walls and no window. You just wait for someone you trust to open the door so you can feel that fresh air and light on your face. Trust is important especially to children who are away from family. The feeling of safety and security is vital for a child being able to open up and learn from the environment around them especially a new environment.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 2:40 am

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Solution 105
Posted November 17, 2014 1:14 am

ezasyp
ezasyp
Reps: 107
I think this student needs to be tested on his knowledge of the fourth grade curriculum. Maybe he is simply bored with what he is learning so he shuts down at school. If he is communicating with people outside of school and he can read and write in simple English then maybe you need to push him harder in school. He may also be embarrassed by being held back especially if they is not common in Bulgaria. When he first entered the US he may have been shy and just learning English which could have caused the silent period. Now that he is repeating the same grade, this could be causing an extended silent period. He could also not be confident to speak English in front of his peers because it is normal for children of any background to be concerned of what people think of them. I would first start with a test that truly tests his knowledge of the curriculum you are teaching him. If it shows that his placement is correct, then I would try and discover his confidence level in the classroom and help him to feel more comfortable around his peers.
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Solution 106
Posted November 17, 2014 1:40 am

zaSyNu
zaSyNu
Reps: 58
Sometimes students need to see the extra step and reaching out on your part. Often times the students feel as if they are not important enough to be reached or communicated with so they often do not show that they are a person who also has feelings and opinions. I would first reach out to him using a translating software so you may communicate clearly with one another. I would ask him things about himself that are not necessarily school related such as his interests and hobbies. Getting to know him as more than just your student can make him feel more comfortable outside of his home environment.
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Solution 107
Posted December 3, 2014 1:37 pm

NyVyTy
NyVyTy
Reps: 90
I suggest having a conversation with the student about his culture and his interests. I'd try to learn more about the type of learning environment he's more comfortable with. I'd also suggest partnering up with the speech teacher to see if Grigor can be pulled out the class for small group learning a few days of the week.
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Solution 108
Posted February 22, 2015 3:19 am

ZyhyJu
ZyhyJu
Reps: 95
Have you worked with him in a small group to see if he responds in that setting?
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Solution 109
Posted February 22, 2015 3:21 am

ZyhyJu
ZyhyJu
Reps: 95
Grigor may benefit if one of his parents came to volunteer in class. The interaction with a family member and his class may bring his comfort level to a place where he can open up.
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Solution 110
Posted March 10, 2015 5:36 pm

Robyn Jones
Robyn Jones
Reps: 104
Find out how he communicates best. Maybe the guests are people that he is used to. Lots of times students are quiet when they don't know anyone and another thing may be the atmosphere in which he is. Maybe he's not very sociable in places where number is big especially people of his own age. Maybe pull him when it's just you and him and he will be more open and willing to talk to you or you can refer him to the counselor.
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Solution 111
Posted June 11, 2015 6:31 pm

Monica Rainwater
Monica Rainwater
Reps: 71
As I was reading your dilemma, I could not help but notice that Grigor is now in the 4th grade for the 2nd time. I think the retention could be the cause for this silent period. Grigor is probably experiencing a feeling of confusion. He's probably asking himself, "Why did the other 4th graders move on, and why did I get left behind?" Being that he was new to the US last year, he also probably has feelings of insecurity. Maybe he was just beginning to build friendships and gaining confidence/security in the 4th grade classroom, and now he is having to start all over again with a brand new group of 4th grade peers. 4th grade is a hard year for any student to join a new school, much less a child with limited English proficiency. He communicated well at home because that is his safety net. Everything is familiar to him there. He communicates with guests that visit his home because he knows them, and he trusts them. Maybe it would be a good idea to allow him to have a peer buddy from his last year's 4th grade class. This could help him to have some familiarity. Also, it would probably be a good idea to place him with the same 4th grade teacher that he had last year, especially if they had a good, positive relationship. Grigor might appreciate time for journaling. He may just need some more time to adjust. The teacher definitely needs to make a conscious effort to make the classroom feel as safe and welcoming as she possibly can. She should try to incorporate more of the Bulgarian culture into her lessons.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I thought about that, too! Possibly his silent period is not due to culture but due to his educational issues that he is covering up for. There are always reasons behind behavior and they can be due to a feeling of inadequacy and frustration with school.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 1:17 am

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Solution 112
Posted June 12, 2015 1:32 pm

Tina Joiner
Tina Joiner
Reps: 63
It seems that you have already talked to the parents and have had Grigor in your classroom to know his academic strengths and weaknesses. Since he is comfortable at home, it seems that he is still not finding his comfort zone in the classroom environment. You could have a Bulgaria Day where Grigor is given time to present things about his former country to the class. Students can test taste a Bulgarian food, participate in a Bulgarian sport or game, and have Grigor share what he liked most about his home country. This may help him open up more if you connect with his comfort zone.
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Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
I agree. I wonder if the parents have spent a day at school to watch him and the lack of interaction. Sometimes the parents can shed light on a deeper problem that the teacher may not recognize.
Parents are some of the best information on a child.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 1:18 am

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
It is a great idea to have a Bulgaria day. I would try and have a day for each group of students in the classroom, just so that it doesnít seem like you are singling him out by holding a day for him. I think it would be great to have a few other students go first and see if Grigor opens up and becomes ready and excited to share his home traditions with his class.
  Posted on: June 16, 2015 2:04 am

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I like your idea of having a Bulgarian Day!
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 2:04 am

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Solution 113
Posted June 13, 2015 2:56 am

zyWyma
zyWyma
Reps: 70
If you want Grigor to open up, you need to find something to peak his interest. Send home students surveys and find out what some of the students' favorite games, sports, television shows, candy, and anything else you think you can use. You can see which students have things in common with Grigor and plan lessons that either focus on those interests or put him in groups with students who share the same things. In smaller group situations where the topic is about something he really enjoys, he may feel more comfortable opening up and talking in class.
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Solution 114
Posted June 13, 2015 5:00 am

Syjetu
Syjetu
Reps: 70
I would first try to find something interesting for Bulgaria that you can ask Grigor about after class. I think you need to build your relationship with him so he will communicate with you, individually, first. Maybe there is some underlying issues that are occurring at school that are preventing him from wanting to communicate with or around his peers. Thus, I would find things from his culture that you could talk to him about to get him to open up to you. It might be that he just does not feel comfortable without other people from his culture around while he is speaking. Therefore, if he knows that you care and are truly interesting in investing in him and his culture, he might invest in you and your classroom.
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Solution 115
Posted June 13, 2015 6:55 pm

Amanda Morris
Amanda Morris
Reps: 70
The first thing I would do is to find someone in the class/school that has gone through the same situation Girgor has and let them buddy up. Even if you cannot find another student that speaks Bulgarian, find someone that did speak another language before moving to the US. This way the two students will have an automatic connection. Then I would find out Girgor interest and hobbies. I would have him share something new with me every day. I might even switch it up and me tell him something I like one day. By doing this you are being his trust and building on his communication skills. You want him to feel safe in his environment and make him feel as comfortable as possible. He needs to know that you care about him and his interest.
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Solution 116
Posted June 14, 2015 3:39 pm

RuXuqe
RuXuqe
Reps: 67
I think the first step might be to refer Grigor to a counselor. It is possible that he is experiencing depression which is keeping him from opening up. He also might be embarrassed either because he was held back or because he is afraid that he will be made fun of when he tries to speak English. It is even possible that he might be being bullied by the other children. I also think the teacher should make an effort to get to know Grigor better which might let him begin to open up to his classmates.
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HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
You make a valid point about depression being a possible root cause of the silent period Gregor is experiencing. I would not want him to feel as though you think something is "wrong" with him though. Maybe talking to his parents first to see if he is exhibiting signs of depression at home and in other settings might be a good way to judge if his behavior is related to depression.
  Posted on: June 14, 2015 8:50 pm

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Solution 117
Posted June 14, 2015 8:47 pm

HyZery
HyZery
Reps: 70
Perhaps a culture unit that incorporates other cultures as well would be a good way to focus on his culture and have him create a project that can be shared with his classmates. It could be a video or PowerPoint that he can record audio for or simply a picture book that tells about Bulgarian culture. Other students would also be working on a cultural assignment to share so Gregor would not be singled out. This might help him get to know his classmates and understand where they come from as well. Making sure that there is not pressure to orally report on the project would be important though, as you would not want Gregor to be uncomfortable about presenting to his peers.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
I definitely think a culture project is a good idea as long as he is not expected to present it right off the bat. I think a journal would also be a good idea. Allowing him to have a space in the classroom he can go to and reflect on the day, just to get away. Being in a room full of people who don't speak who language has to be extremely overwhelming. I think Grigor just needs to be taken in and loved for who he is. Once he is made to feel comfortable, I'm sure he will open up.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 3:00 am

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Solution 118
Posted June 15, 2015 1:15 am

Paige Lutes
Paige Lutes
Reps: 64
Since Grigor can understand English when it is written, I would begin a dialogue journal between you two. I would ask him simple questions about the material to see what he can understand. If he is able to understand and his silence is not apart of an educational deficit, then I would begin to turn the dialogue journals to begin to ask him about why he is still silent. I would encourage him to speak up because he has valuable input.
I would also see if someone in the class would take him under his wing--regardless of his silence. Hopefully, modeling correct behavior and peer engagement will motivate him.
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Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
Great idea, Paige. Help Grigor feel comfortable in the classroom by communicating with him in writing at first. Maybe allow him to chose who is going to be his buddy in the room. He may be more open to having someone he is able to pick and that he is more comfortable around. I thought about allowing him to bring something in from home to keep at his desk so that he is reminded of his culture on a regular basis.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 2:55 am

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Solution 119
Posted June 15, 2015 2:52 am

Misty Coleman
Misty Coleman
Reps: 73
It sounds like Grigor wasn't welcomed into his first classroom the way he should have been. Students do have a silent period, but 2 years does sound like a long time. Allow Grigor to have a journal or a place that he can go for quiet time to draw or write. He needs to be expressing himself in some way in the classroom. If you talk to him and maybe allow him to bring something from home for his "reflection area" so that he feels more comfortable. A classroom full of students who don't speak your language, including the teacher, can be very overwhelming. I was just informed that English language learners develop social English long before they develop successful schooling English so that is not out of the norm.
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Solution 120
Posted June 15, 2015 3:42 am

Melissa Aspinwall
Melissa Aspinwall
Reps: 79
I would suggest letting him express himself through filmstrips, like Igoa used, or some type of media that he can use to share with the class. Technology is a great way to help students because students love using it. I am sure he may be embarrassed that he was retained because of not knowing a second language well enough to pass. I would also do testing to make sure there are no speech problems or other disabilities causing issues. I would make sure he had a peer tutor that he felt comfortable with in class.
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Solution 121
Posted June 15, 2015 3:45 pm

vabehe
vabehe
Reps: 69
Gregor may still be in the silent phase or he may just a be a shy child by nature. The key to communicating with him is patience and sensitivity. I would find out all that I could about him and create opportunities where I could have a conversation with him or interact with him in some way. In class, I would find someone who could partner with him so that he could practice English in a more intimate setting and get some practice. I don't think he should be pushed in the spotlight or pushed, because that could cause this situation to magnify. His move to a new country, culture and language could still be very overwhelming to him and if he was already a shy person, this would just make it even more profound. In his home he is more comfortable and at ease with people he knows and loves. It may just take time for him to become immersed the classroom.
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Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I agree with your idea of partnering him with another student. He needs to feel connected to something or to someone in the classroom to help bring him out of his shell.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 4:08 pm

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Solution 122
Posted June 15, 2015 3:46 pm

uqeXun
uqeXun
Reps: 69
There are several things that may be contributing to Grigor's unwillingness to speak in the school setting. For example, does Grigor have a shy, self-conscious, or anxious temperament? Are any children ostracizing him because he is an immigrant learning a new language? Are there any cultural factors contributing to this long "silent period"? Are there any developmental or language delays affecting his language development? Further investigation into some of these questions, may assist in removing the "silent" barrier. I would also encourage you to provide lots of hands-on activities and interactive small group work for Grigor to participate. This might give Grigor more confidence speaking to his peers. There are also some great programs out there that other schools have implemented that may help. I read about one called the "Newcomer School Program" in Garland, Texas. In this school, they group all ELLs in a self-contained classroom for all core classes and then send ELLs with regular ed to electives or P.E. This program, according to the teacher, Marie Heath, has had tremendous success helping students acquire English and at the same time maintain continued academic growth and progress. It was intriguing and might be worth investigating.
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ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
Because Grigor is outgoing and comfortable around English speakers out of the school setting, it is evident that he is not comfortable in the school setting. Your idea of implementing self expression is great. I think a step further would be to implement journal writing with drawings. Grigor is able to write in simple English and his teacher may be able to see deeper into Grigors current "silent period."
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 4:05 pm

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Solution 123
Posted June 15, 2015 4:01 pm

ynyqaz
ynyqaz
Reps: 64
It seems as though Grigor is not yet comfortable in the school setting. I think as his teachers it would be very beneficial to research the Bulgarian culture and get a sense of what school was like for him prior to coming to the United States. You need to find a connection to Grigor to help foster a sense of comfort. It could also be beneficial to implement self expression into lesson (art, music, drawing, journals). You may learn something about Grigor viewing these pieces. Especially since Grigot is able to write in simple English
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Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
I agree with your solution. Find a way through his culture to connect with him. Also, you could partner him with another student for him to be comfortable with someone in class.
  Posted on: June 15, 2015 4:06 pm

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Solution 124
Posted June 15, 2015 4:04 pm

Ashley Lawrence
Ashley Lawrence
Reps: 70
Like we read in Igoa in chapter 1 "The Silent Stage" finding a way for Grigor to communicate is important. Use other forms of communication to connect with him. The example in Igoa's story, she uses filmstrips to give her student a way to communicate. You could use something like that to help Grigor communicate.
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Solution 125
Posted June 15, 2015 4:36 pm

TyhyMa
TyhyMa
Reps: 84
I know that you said you have discussed this issue with his parents, but have you considered having a parent teacher meeting with the child involved? Maybe the reason he communicates so well with guest that come into his house is because he knows his parents trust the parents, and that gives him a reason to trust the new people. Maybe you could even have the meeting in their home so they all feel more comfortable and it lets the child know that you are okay, and can be trusted. This could possibly help him to transfer these feelings to you in the school setting because he knows his parents trust you and he should to. This way he may open up more to you, and speak English.
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zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
You very astutely point out a potential factor of Grigor's silent period, that being trust. It is very true that Grigor may not trust the teacher and what child is going to speak to someone they don't trust. As every parent tells their child,"Don't talk to strangers." What is more strange than an adult speaking a foreign language in a place that is very hard to relax in?
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 2:13 am

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Solution 126
Posted June 15, 2015 5:22 pm

Kalie Walker
Kalie Walker
Reps: 66
First I think you should look into what "silent period" is and research how long it usually lasts. Two years may be a common length of time and he could come around. But, while you research it I would meet with Grigor and his parents to find out what is wrong. It might be the case of him getting embarrassed during class and doesn't like to talk aloud in front of his peers. Meeting with them may help you come up with a solution and find things that interest him that you could tie into your lessons with the hope that he opens up.
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Solution 127
Posted June 15, 2015 6:38 pm

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
Reps: 70
I wonder if, perhaps, his silent period was lengthened, because he was held back. When we retain children, we do risk further alienating them or making them feel as though they have failed. For a child already having trouble adjusting to a new culture, this could definitely be a reason why he is remaining silent at school. Because he can read and write in simple English, I would suggest starting a dialog journal with him. This would be a great way to develop an open, trusting relationship with him. I think the key here is to show that you are putting in the effort to help him; when he feels that you value him, it shows that you believe he can be successful, which will ease the feelings of failure he might have developed from being retained. Even if the retention was not the source of the continued silence, a dialog journal is a great way to open the doors of communication. Through a dialog journal, you might be able to learn more about what has caused him to "shut down" at school, and then you can work with him to make things better.
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Solution 128
Posted June 15, 2015 7:15 pm

deTusa
deTusa
Reps: 74
I would just talk to Grigor and ask him why he is not participating or talking in class. I would let him tell me the reasons and I would ask him if there was anything I could do to make him feel more comfortable in class. Maybe communicating with him would help matters and the problem could be sorted out.
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Solution 129
Posted June 15, 2015 8:08 pm

jamasy
jamasy
Reps: 67
You are going to have to find a way to make him integrate himself into your classroom environment. He was most likely uncomfortable after the move and being held back removed him from the students he was around last school year. You need to try to talk to him first to see if he can tell you what the problem might be. You can only make assumptions about the issues that might be causing this behavior. Only he can tell you how to fix it. You need to find a couple of trustworthy students who you can attempt to pair him with so he will have someone to talk to. You can also try to find things he likes and relate to him that way. He really needs some friends and you can help him find some in your class.
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Solution 130
Posted June 15, 2015 9:20 pm

Kaitlin Stringer
Kaitlin Stringer
Reps: 116
It is possible that Grigor is simply shy in the classroom and is having trouble adjusting. At my school, teachers can recommend specific students to attend lunch bunch with one of the counselors. A couple times a week, these students bring a friend to the counselor's room and join a small group for lunch. Depending on why the student is at lunch bunch, (behavior, resource, etc.) the counselor leads a group discussion to make the students feel more comfortable. Perhaps having small group moments like this would help Grigor open up to his classmates. It might be a good idea to create a lunch bunch for other ELL students. They could talk about what it was like to move to the United States. These students could share what they miss about their homes, what they like about the United States, and how moving has effected them. Grigor might be able to open up more in a smaller group setting which might allow him to open up in the classroom.
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Solution 131
Posted June 15, 2015 11:47 pm

avuNaD
avuNaD
Reps: 36
Well we know that students are completely normal for going thru a "silent period." I think that they are something else going on especially since parents say he is acting normal at home and speaking simple English with English speaking guest In order to get the student to feel more comfortable at school I would suggest finding some common ground with him. Meaning you should see what interests him and maybe have him bring something in from home that he would like to share or something that he can keep at his desk so that he feels comfortable while he is at school. I would also suggest maybe giving him a partner in class to help with things or just have someone that sits and talks with him, whether he talks back or not. I think that once he starts to feel comfortable in the classroom setting and the feeling of trust and community have been established I think that he will open up.
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Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
I agree with your suggestions. Students are often much more likely to open up with their peers when they are in a small group setting. They might not start communicating right off the bat, but over time, they might gain confidence and begin communicating, even in very small ways.
  Posted on: November 10, 2015 11:21 pm

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Solution 132
Posted June 16, 2015 1:46 am

Beth Jackson
Beth Jackson
Reps: 71
My solution to help Grigor get passed his silent period in class is to open up to him. The teacher needs to get to know him as much as possible. It is important that he feels valued and important in the classroom. Once you find out some things he likes, try and discuss those topics with him. At times you may not get a response but I believe he will start to respond and communicate with you eventually. I think it takes some time to open up and feel comfortable in a new country. Students are different and it takes each one a different amount of time to open up and leave his ďsilent periodĒ. You have to be patient and continue to try and initiate conversation using topics that he is very familiar with and interested in. It is important to stay patient and understanding, regardless of how long it might take him.
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Solution 133
Posted June 16, 2015 2:34 am

yBySuL
yBySuL
Reps: 70
I would do some research of his culture he left behind. During a meeting with his parents, I would ask what his likes and dislikes were in Bulgaria and what are his likes and dislikes now. I would place articles or books written in his native language, and maybe find a couple pieces of artwork illustrating a familiar scene from Bulgaria around the classroom for him to notice and watch his reactions for a couple of days. Hopefully something will grab his attention for you to observe his actions and behavior then I would encourage to add to what has grabbed his attention to build the teacher-student relationship. Ask him questions about the pictures he has noticed or ask him if he would help you with reading one of the articles from Bulgaria that is written in his native language. Just remember to continue to reassure him that it is okay to express himself through drawing or writing. Maybe you can ask him to draw what the article is talking about. He has to find that safe and secure place at school for him to open up and communicate like he does at home.
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Solution 134
Posted June 16, 2015 3:23 am

vasere
vasere
Reps: 70
I would highly recommend Cristina Igoa's Inner Life of the Immigrant Child. She was an immigrant herself and became the teacher of several immigrant children. She did an excellent job reaching out to each student she taught. I think you made a great first step in talking to Grigor's parents. They know him the best and can therefore help you. Igoa suggests trying to learn what you can about schools in Bulgaria. Perhaps, then you can make some adjustments in your classroom that would help Grigor feel more comfortable. I think this is probably Grigor's difficulty: comfort. He is speaking well at home, with people and surroundings that are more familiar to him; he is probably far more comfortable there. Hence, whatever you can do to help him feel comfortable in the classroom will likely help Grigor begin speaking.
Also, encourage the English he is using in his writing. Let him know that he is doing a good job, and maybe he will begin using it verbally.
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Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
This is an excellent suggestion. Igoa's text can provide several strategies and ideas to implement for Grigor. She establishes relationships with her students by researching their cultural backgrounds and making adjustments within the classroom. I like your suggestion of having him use his English in writing to express his feelings. Igoa is definitely a great tool to utilize in this issue.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 4:42 am

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Solution 135
Posted June 16, 2015 3:08 pm

yzaSeR
yzaSeR
Reps: 68
I would do as many have suggested and try to connect with the student by finding out more about the Bulgarian culture. I think that that may help the student feel more comfortable in the classroom. I may also look into getting him screened at school for any language disabilities. If he is not speaking in school and you believe the two years of "silent period" is too long it may help to find out if there is not something else causing him from communicating with his peers. I do think it is good that you discussed the problem with his parents so that they are aware. I would keep those lines of dialogue open so that you can continue to talk to them.
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Solution 136
Posted June 16, 2015 4:00 pm

Farhat Ahmad
Farhat Ahmad
Reps: 68
I would start by having a conference with the parents, the child and a guidance counselor and see if there was anything specific that was happening that caused Grigor to be silent. Depending on how this meeting transpired, I would come up with my plan of action from there. If it is something about the environment you can control, change it, if it is something you are doing, make accommodations. If is is a problem with other children, determine how involved you need to get.

If this conference does not prove to be productive, I would refer the child to a counselor or school psychologist. Is there something going on with this child that causes him to clam up in class? If so before he falls even further behind, he needs to be referred to the appropriate parties to determine what his problems are.

Does the school have an international welcome center? And if so are their translators available who can reach out to him or his family in their native language? It would be prudent to include such a school provided translator at your parent conference, using someone from the school who is familiar with the language and culture of the student can perhaps give you valuable insights as to why the student is engaging in this behavior and what you can do to accommodate him and facilitate his learning.
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Solution 137
Posted June 16, 2015 6:28 pm

Katy Fitzgibbons
Katy Fitzgibbons
Reps: 71
I would recommend asking Grigor to help you get some information and develop activities that are related to Bulgaria. You could have Grigor create illustrations and displays that show what his home country looks like. By integrating something familiar for him into your classroom, it may help Grigor open up more. Moreover, the other students could come up with questions to ask Grigor about his home country. This could help facilitate positive peer relationships. The students would also all be working on developing their interpersonal skills.
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Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I think these are good ideas, especially bringing things that Grigor likes into the classroom. This will connect with what he is familiar with and help him to feel more comfortable in the classroom. I am afraid that, until Grigor feels more comfortable, having students submit questions to him may make him more apprehensive if his reluctance to speak is based off of shyness or anxiety in school. I would make sure that this is not an issue before putting Grigor on the spot like this.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 3:07 am

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Solution 138
Posted June 17, 2015 3:04 am

Brad McMahon
Brad McMahon
Reps: 71
I would recommend meeting with Grigor and his parents, perhaps in a neutral setting. This could help Grigor to get comfortable speaking with you. Once he becomes more comfortable speaking with you, then perhaps he would become more comfortable speaking in other situations in school. His parents could also provide you with information about what Grigor's interests are. Once you have this information, perhaps talking about something he is interested could help him come out of his shell. I would also ask his parents about the culture of the school that he attended previously. This may sound like a silly question, but I think it is one that needs to be asked: were students allowed to talk at his previous school? Were they allowed to talk to other students? Were they allowed to answer questions asked by the teachers? It is possible that this is a cultural barrier causing a misunderstanding. Regardless, I think that establishing a rapport with Grigor through his parents is the first step.
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Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I believe that these are great solutions for establishing a relationship with Grigor. Parents can definitely provide insight into their child's interest which is vital for creating a relationship. Asking questions about the previous school is an excellent suggestion as there may be a culture barrier at hand. With these suggestions at hand, I believe that this will provide an excellent start for breaking Grigor's silence.
  Posted on: June 17, 2015 4:39 am

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Solution 139
Posted June 17, 2015 4:46 am

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Reps: 69
I believe that you took a great first step by contacting his parents and gathering further information. I would suggest researching Grigor's home country to find information related to his culture and schooling. From there, you can make adjustments to your classroom to make him feel more comfortable. I would also suggest having him complete activities related to his home country or even allow him to bring items from home that are sentimental to him for adjustment. Christina Igoa's "The Inner World of the Immigrant Child" text provides excellent activities and strategies to implement for communicating with immigrant children; I strongly encourage you to purchase this. This is a great tool for the issue at hand.
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Solution 140
Posted June 17, 2015 4:49 am

Meagan Cook
Meagan Cook
Reps: 53
To communicate with Grigor, you should find what he is good at so you can praise him and allow him to grow through his strengths. This will give him confidence and something for you two to work on together as the teacher and student. His silent period could be a result of various things at school, so finding out what he likes about his culture and incorporating it into your class could be a first step. You could also teach others about different cultures (purposefully incorporating his) so his peers are also aware of his likes and homeland.Reaching out to his parents was a great step, so now utilizing more resources within the school will be the next step to helping him become more successful with his language and adaptation.
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Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I like your idea about teaching Bulgarian culture to the class. I think this would be a great way to make him feel accepted.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 1:59 am

zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
What a great idea to incorporate Bulgarian culture into a lesson. I believe this will, at the least, help Grigor feel more comfortable in the classroom. As you stated, it was an excellent decision to involve the parents and it really is helpful to have parents that are so willing to engage.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 2:09 am

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Solution 141
Posted June 17, 2015 11:06 pm

zyzaSy
zyzaSy
Reps: 68
To open up a line of communication with Grigor, I would advise beginning with simple interactions. Perhaps a simple "hello, how are you today Grigor?" will help him open up. Since you seem to have a line of communication with his parents, I would ask them if there is anything that Grigor responds strongly positive towards. Maybe he really enjoys soccer, or perhaps he has a love of animals. See if you can find something to spark interest from him and them incorporate that thing into your lessons. Also, give Gringor opportunities to speak with small groups or with a partner. It could be that all of the opportunities to practice speaking English aloud thus far have been whole class settings. Even for native English speakers, this is terrifying. Public speaking is one of the most common fears amongst the American people.
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Solution 142
Posted June 18, 2015 12:16 am

ReMuXy
ReMuXy
Reps: 78
First off I would get his parents to talk to him about his problem at home. If this didn't work I would do some research on Bulgaria and try to find interest that he likes to help him stay engaged. I think failing a grade could be very intimidating and maybe that was not the best decision that the school made. However, by gaining a relationship with him you can work magic.
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Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
I agree the personal relationship needs to be built with the teacher. I like the idea you have about researching his home. That would lead to an easy first discussion and let him know you are interested in where he is from.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 12:36 am

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Solution 143
Posted June 18, 2015 12:34 am

Alyssa Wright
Alyssa Wright
Reps: 69
It sounds like this student does not feel comfortable at school. Maybe you as the teacher could set aside some one-on-one time each week to get to know him better. Also, finding a buddy class in a lower grade and assigning each student to a buddy they help once or twice a week may make him feel more confident in his abilities.
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emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
It is not that the student doesn't feel right at school but that he is experiencing a natural phase that comes with the uprooting process/culture shock. However the child can never fully develop/adapt as they should if they don't somewhat overcome this at some point-- and the sooner the better after the 2 year mark (Igoa, 1995). Yet, it is natural and I'm not sure that your solution would be an effective despite your good intentions.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 3:28 am

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Solution 144
Posted June 18, 2015 1:57 am

Rebecca Ritch
Rebecca Ritch
Reps: 70
I suggest having Grigor complete a student inventory. This inventory would tell you what things he likes and dislikes. If he likes music, art, or dance. I would definitely incorporate those things into my classroom to help him feel comfortable. If he feels comfortable I am sure he will begin to open up to you more. You could also ask his parents for suggestions on what cultural things you could bring into your lessons.
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aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
The student inventory is an interesting thing to do. I did not think about that. Bottom line, student needs to be given the chance to integrate his culture into the classroom and needs to be well understood by the teacher and his peers.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 10:47 am

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Solution 145
Posted June 18, 2015 2:54 am

ezyXyh
ezyXyh
Reps: 57
I would suggest incorporating things into the lesson that may peak his interests. Maybe incorporating some Bulgarian culture would be helpful. Furthermore, I would start spending some one-on-one time with him to see if maybe he will start talking more then. Maybe it is the number of kids in the classroom. He made feel intimidated. Also, I would let him visit the school counselor. He might have some feelings about being retained due to not speaking English well. I would also investigate how well he was doing in Bulgaria. I had a student come from Germany who was doing well over there and came over here started performing poorly due to his poor English. He started getting very reserved and silent with others. Upon speaking with his mom, his confidence was low due to low scores in here and he felt dumb. He didn't understand why he wasn't smart anymore. I used that information and every time he got anything correct I praised him. I praised him until he gained his confidence back and his grades started soaring. Sometimes it takes a little praise and a little bit of investigating to see what the problem is.
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Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I like the idea of incorporating some of his interest into the lesson. This could easily be integrated into any subject area and hopefully help him feel more comfortable within the classroom.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 3:16 am

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I think it is a good idea to incorporate some of his culture in the lesson to see if he will show an interest and maybe talk. Talking to the school counselor is also another good option.
  Posted on: June 19, 2015 12:21 am

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
Great post
  Posted on: October 13, 2015 6:45 pm

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Solution 146
Posted June 18, 2015 3:14 am

Nicole Turner
Nicole Turner
Reps: 70
I think that you should try relating to him in ways through his culture. He is more open at home because he knows that it is a safe environment and his parents understand him. If you bring some of his culture into the classroom and allow him to develop that safe feeling then hopefully he will open up like he does at home
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Solution 147
Posted June 18, 2015 3:21 am

emuZuW
emuZuW
Reps: 69
I can't help but to think back on the experiences of Igoa (1995), as she shares that the silent period seems to be an experience that all immigrant children undergo. However by her writings this period can last 1-2 years or more if no real friendships are made. That being said, I would not be too alarmed of the silence but would try to help the child come out of it since they are approaching two years. I would also go with Igoa's advice and try various avenues to pull the student out of their shell. Offer him the opportunity to express himself through art or writing or other creative paths. I would also see about attemting to match him with a potential friend. I'd speak with another student that would be a good role model (another ELL if possible) and ask them to work with him on a couple of group assignments. I'd ask this peer student to be patient and kind and see if a friendship could blossom.
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aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
I agree that according to Igoa, the silent period could last around 2 years. I feel like perhaps there could be more opportunities provided for this student by the teacher so that the student begins to express himself,as you said. I do not think that it will just happen without some help....or if it does, it will take additional time.
  Posted on: June 18, 2015 10:43 am

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Solution 148
Posted June 18, 2015 10:45 am

aQanaD
aQanaD
Reps: 67
Silent periods can last an abnormally long time. It is important to reach out to the student in various ways using their culture...such as through art so that the student is able to express themselves and feel more comfortable in class. I believe the reason the child is comfortable interacting at home is because the child feels like both cultures are integrated successfully, whereas in the classroom it is not.
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Solution 149
Posted June 19, 2015 12:19 am

yteduM
yteduM
Reps: 77
I would discuss what is going on with Grigor with the school counselor and see if he/she can help come up with some ways to maybe get him to talk. I would also discuss with his parents how important it is for him to communicate at school and see if they can talk with him at home. As a teacher I would give him all the attention I could to make him feel like you care so maybe he will begin to talk. I have read in my cultural class that the "silent period" is common in ELL students but two years with no communication is getting to be concerning. Maybe between the counselor and help of his parents he will begin to communicate.
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Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109


I think it is a good idea to visit with the counselor and getting his parents involved. Two years is a very long time to not communicate at school. I understand as well to just make the students feel comfortable but at the same time this length of time is pushing it. I feel like getting a plan with the parents and counselor will help Grigor start communicating.
  Posted on: October 26, 2015 10:52 pm

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Solution 150
Posted October 13, 2015 6:45 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
Reps: 203
They are go through this and you just have to make them feel comfortable
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Solution 151
Posted October 26, 2015 10:45 pm

Laura Doolittle
Laura Doolittle
Reps: 109
I would find things that interest Grigor from his parents and try to incorporate into class. This could spark conversation between peers and you. I would also try to incorporate some of his Bulgarian culture into class. I think he would like to share this with the class. The silent period should not last for 2 years. If this does not work, I would set up a conference with parents and Grigor to discuss why he does not communicate at school.
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Solution 152
Posted November 2, 2015 4:53 pm

Japuje
Japuje
Reps: 107
You could try to related to him by learning about his Bulgarian culture and sharing the things you have learned with him. You could ask him what he thinks about the things you've learned and discuss any misconceptions you may have about these things.
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Solution 153
Posted November 3, 2015 2:46 pm

ezajaV
ezajaV
Reps: 102
I would recommend reaching out to the student. You could reach out to him with knowledge of Bulgarian culture. You could also try and find out what interest him. Once you find out what interest him you can have him express himself. This will bring him out of the silent stage that he is in.
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Solution 154
Posted November 5, 2015 3:36 pm

Chelsea Abbott
Chelsea Abbott
Reps: 112
I can only assume that few teachers have reached out to Grigor if he is still in the silent period after one year at school. Since he was retained, he may still not be be comfortable in the setting since his behavior is better back at home and around people he is comfortable with. He also is probably feeling lonely and isolated if he is not socializing with classmates. It is crucial to make him feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom. Unless, he can open up, he will not achieve academically either. Igoa points out that even though students are silent, they still comprehend different things.
Helping him feel successful and needed in the classroom will be key. He could feel intimidated by the new environment and language skills that he could be frustrated. Outlets will allow him to express himself. The filmstrips that Igoa presents may help him. If no connections are made between students in the classroom or more importantly, the teacher, the student can remain in this stage for up to two years. Reaching out to the student will help him gain a connection. I would connect with him about Bulgarian culture and learn about his interests in order to better connect with him.

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Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
You make great suggestions. I think using the strips to get him to share about his personal life with his classmates may allow him to create connections between himself and his peers. I also feel that he could be withdrawn because he thinks he has nothing in common with his peers. Anything that gets him to see that he isn't as different as he may think will benefit him.
  Posted on: November 6, 2015 12:52 pm

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Solution 155
Posted November 6, 2015 12:50 pm

Kristen Bagwell
Kristen Bagwell
Reps: 107
This is a difficult situation. Like you say, I find it odd that he would be in a silent period for two years. Maybe, because he did experience a silent period when first transitioning to the US, he doesn't have friends or feels like he is the odd one out. In my opinion, I would pick a student or two to speak with and ask them to befriend Grigor. Additionally, I would, as the teacher, may a real effort (not saying that you have, but a really, really big effort) to get to know him, his family, his interests, and the culture from Bulgaria. I think this is the only way to create a connection with him to get him to open up at school. Additionally, you may want to consult a counselor.
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Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
I think that you brought up a great point. If a student does experience a "silent period" when they first enter US schools, other students are likely to notice. Many students are very interested in beginning friendships with new students, but if the student is silent, his peers will likely move on. Students don't typically try to befriend someone more than once. I think creating a friendship group (and asking this student to join the group), like a lunch bunch, would be a good way to get him connected with a group of peers. He might not open up right away, but over time, he might feel more comfortable in the small group setting.
  Posted on: November 10, 2015 11:19 pm

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Solution 156
Posted November 6, 2015 7:03 pm

Edward Kim
Edward Kim
Reps: 106
It is odd for a student to be in the silent period for so long. I would have a one-on-one talk with Grigor first to see if he has a reason for being silent. He may be getting bullied or made fun of at school. He could also just not have any friends. A simple discussion may answer all the questions about Grigor you need. If he says that he does not know why he doesn't say anything then I would try my best to include him in as many things as possible. This could be done with partner work or simple one-word games. I would also start doing response journals where students have to write about a topic and then have another student read and respond. This way other students will get to know each other even without speaking.
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ehyNyn
ehyNyn
Reps: 109
I agree with this, but I would learn some basic phrases in his home language so that he sees that you are trying to connect with him. Also, he may be able to help you with his language and this will bring him out of his shell. It might not work, but it is worth a try.
  Posted on: November 6, 2015 9:36 pm

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Solution 157
Posted November 7, 2015 10:23 pm

yWasyD
yWasyD
Reps: 107
Grigor is not comfortable with his classroom environment. If his parents can spare the time, you might ask for the parents' assistance that if either or both of them can come and stay in class with him to let him know that school is a safe and comfortable place to be. Try and see if you can find another student that speaks the slavic language that you can introduce to him. You might also learn something about his culture that you can talk to him about. I think any of these suggestions should draw him out
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Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
@ yWasyD- Having the parents come to the class is a great idea! I am sure that when the student sees his parents, he is bound to feel more comfortable. A part of the problem, I am sure, is the studentís feelings of not identifying with anyone, whether through language or our culture as a whole. I would also recommend the teacher sitting in with the student as he interacts with his parents. This will give the teacher an active opportunity to discover new interactive approaches to reaching the student by watching the parents and their approach to embracing learning.
  Posted on: November 8, 2015 8:19 pm

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Solution 158
Posted November 8, 2015 5:41 pm

Jasmine Bringuel
Jasmine Bringuel
Reps: 102
Grigor may feel more comfortable speaking English around his parents than around people in school. His parents probably don't make fun of him if he says something incorrect or has trouble saying certain words in English. I would ask the parents to come in with Grigor for a parent conference that is student lead. Let Grigor talk about what is going on and why he won't communicate at school. Grigor can give you some help with what can make him more comfortable in school, so that he can participate in class and speak with his peers. He can provide ways or you and the parents can talk with him about different ways you can all do to help him communicate in English more at school.
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Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
A student led conference is an awesome to allow the student to take ownership for his learning! In addition, if will verify if he is actually retaining or learning any of the instruction taking place in the classroom and even help promote learning. The teacher will also have an opportunity to learn from the experience. The studentís style while presenting may also shed some light on his preference for learning. If he draws graphics or visuals to explain the lesson, this may indicate that he prefers a visual approach for his learning modality etc. The experience can be a teachable moment for all parties involved.
  Posted on: November 8, 2015 8:27 pm

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Solution 159
Posted November 8, 2015 7:34 pm

Hedynu
Hedynu
Reps: 112
The positive side of this situation is that the student is at least speaking English and reading English at home. Therefore, at least he has the ability to perform this in the classroom which is half the battle. I would engage the parent questioning what is it about his guests at home that prompt him to speak more? Are they also bilingual? Are they family? Are they close friends? Then I would ask the parents what are their recommendations? Directly ask how you can make your classroom a more comfortable atmosphere for Grigor? Then, I would try to re-create those tactics in the classroom environment.
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Solution 160
Posted November 9, 2015 4:40 pm

Kateline Vaughn
Kateline Vaughn
Reps: 106
I would suggest building Grigor's school vocabulary. He may be excellent in normal social situations, but school can be entirely different. School might make him nervous, and therefore he might not want to participate in class. By improving Grigor's vocabulary, he will be able to function better in the classroom. It would also be helpful to break assignment into shorter and simpler assignments so he does not feel overwhelmed. The biggest thing is to make him feel comfortable. I believe that Grigor will have more success when he becomes more comfortable in his own skin and around his peers.
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Solution 161
Posted November 10, 2015 11:32 pm

Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
Although I think it is important to value student's cultures in the classroom, I don't think that's what is holding this student back from speaking in class. I think this student is refraining from speaking due to some sort of social/emotional issue. Perhaps he is extremely shy because he does not have any friends. Or maybe he is embarrassed because of his accent. I think one of the best things this teacher can do for this student is to invite him into a small group of safe friends. The teacher can host activities or games for the friends to do together. At first, the student might not participate or say anything, but I believe that over time he will want to join in on the fun. Once he is comfortable in this small group of friends, it is likely that he will become increasingly comfortable in the classroom environment. It is crucial that the classroom environment is one of acceptance so that all students are valued, even if they are different (or in this case, silent).
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Solution 162
Posted November 10, 2015 11:33 pm

Qybuse
Qybuse
Reps: 118
Although I think it is important to value student's cultures in the classroom, I don't think that's what is holding this student back from speaking in class. I think this student is refraining from speaking due to some sort of social/emotional issue. Perhaps he is extremely shy because he does not have any friends. Or maybe he is embarrassed because of his accent. I think one of the best things this teacher can do for this student is to invite him into a small group of safe friends. The teacher can host activities or games for the friends to do together. At first, the student might not participate or say anything, but I believe that over time he will want to join in on the fun. Once he is comfortable in this small group of friends, it is likely that he will become increasingly comfortable in the classroom environment. It is crucial that the classroom environment is one of acceptance so that all students are valued, even if they are different (or in this case, silent).
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Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
I agree that there is something holding the student back that isn't part of the silent period. I like your suggestion of small group activities.
  Posted on: November 11, 2015 1:55 am

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Solution 163
Posted November 11, 2015 1:54 am

Daisy Dumler
Daisy Dumler
Reps: 106
We would need to find a way to get Grigor to open up to us. Maybe have the parents come in for a conference and include Grigor in it. There may be something at school holding him back from wanting to communicate.
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Solution 164
Posted November 12, 2015 2:33 am

Amanda Whittaker
Amanda Whittaker
Reps: 114
Grigor could be worried about what the students will think of him when he speaks. He could have an accent or something the he is embarrassed by and thinks that the other students will make fun of him. It can be very difficult to break out of your shell when you are the "different one". I would suggest talking to his parents and see if they have any advice for you or even speak to the counselor and have them talk to Grigor to make sure something else isn't going on.
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Solution 165
Posted November 15, 2015 4:33 am

Jill Elton
Jill Elton
Reps: 108
It appears to me that Grigor is using his "silent period" to his advantage. Although he can communicate, he is choosing not to. Children, as we all are, are very manipulative. I would first ask his parents what his "currency" is, what he likes best. From there, I would initiate conversation with Grigor based on his likes. Once that connection is made and he sees and feels that you have invested your time into getting to know more about him, I feel that he will begin to open up. This may then lead to others opening up about their likes and he may end up making friends with classmates that share the same likes.
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Solution 166
Posted November 15, 2015 6:12 pm

Tetygy
Tetygy
Reps: 90
You should first begin by researching his native country and culture. Then using that new knowledge just sit down and talk to him. Maybe he's shy? Maybe he's nervous? But simply sitting down with him and talking with him would be very effective.
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Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
I also agree that sitting down to talk to him could work wonders. To figure out what is holding him back from talking is key for this child's future.
  Posted on: November 15, 2015 10:49 pm

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Solution 167
Posted November 15, 2015 10:49 pm

Amanda Robinson
Amanda Robinson
Reps: 98
I would reach out to his other teachers and see how he does in there room. Also, I would ask his parents if he has any close friends that he could be placed with to encourage conversation. If that does not work, I would start having small conversations with him each day and then lengthen them each day.
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Solution 168
Posted November 16, 2015 2:39 am

uPaSeW
uPaSeW
Reps: 209
I think many immigrant children go through this silent period because they are afraid that they will say the wrong thing or will be teased if they say something wrong. If there are any other Bulgarian children at the school, I would create a buddy program with he and these students. This may make him feel more comfortable. If there aren't any Bulgarian students at the school, I would have a meeting with he and his parents and try to make him realize that it is important for him to communicate. It is okay for him to make mistakes. By having his parents there, he may feel more comfortable.
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Solution 169
Posted February 22, 2016 7:54 pm

Victoria Horn
Victoria Horn
Reps: 201
Grigor might be shy and have an introvert personality. I would ask him to participate for class grades. You could also incorporate more group work so that he would have more of an interaction with classmates. I would also talk to him after class to see if there is something else that is bothering him other than his situation.
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Solution 170
Posted October 15, 2016 2:30 am

Husava
Husava
Reps: 180
I would have a one on one with Grigor and boost his confidence with positive reinforcements about his work that he does in class. Grigor is obviously a smart child as a teacher there are so many resources or activities that can help grigor you must work every technique until you see a improvement with grigor.
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Solution 171
Posted March 4, 2017 2:27 am

Shelby Farrell
Shelby Farrell
Reps: 125
Maybe he does not feel that he is comfortable enough to speak with educators and friends. He may be embarrassed. I would try to make him feel more comfortable in class, with a variety of different tactics.