Is it possible to have a 6 year old held back a grade because of inadequate reading skills? Is it possible to have a 3rd grader not be able to read at their level? Is it possible to implement a program that can prevent this from happening?
All these scenarios present the distress in the educational system that has been accumulating for decades. The United States educational system is crying in desperation for a reform. It is stating year after year that parents, educators, professionals, and students should wake up before more and more bilingual children are illiterate. Or more and more high school students decide that graduating is not an option.
What can parents and educators do to help bilingual struggling readers?
When the No-Child-Left-Behind Act (NCLB) was passed in 2001, it presented hope for those children that lag behind in school, for those children that need that extra push to succeed, or for those children that need a little bit more encouragement. But these children need more than education. They need a caring community.
It is a whole community that needs to participate into the program: teachers, educators, tutors, parents, caregivers, family members, mentors, and anyone that would care to encourage a child. As a matter of fact, the NCLB program is meant to do just that: bring children that are struggling in school up to date.
When parents and educators work together, bilingual struggling readers thrive. When parents and students work together, family reconnect. And this intervention in education is probably the most significant aspect in any child’s life. Research has shown that when parents and educators collaborate, the struggling child tends to do much better academically.
In particular, bilingual struggling readers tend to perform much better under the NCLB program. Because of so many circumstances, many instances English is not the spoken language in bilingual homes. Hence, children from these bilingual homes are not fully prepared by the time they enter elementary school. Children in the NCLB program tend to improve their reading skills and behavior. And this eventually helps them move onto the next learning stage.
If parents or caregivers perceive that the child is not reading at the corresponding level or is struggling in other subjects, there’s help. Many resources are available in English and Spanish. Here are a few helpful resources:
- Helping your child become a reader
- Preschoool language and literacy: Teach phonological awareness
- Reading tips of parents = Consejos practicos de lectura para los padres
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