LISTENING, DRAWING AND LEARNING QUIETLY, BUT STILL WRITING
September 3, 2006
Author: Karina Bland, The Estimated printed pages: 2
English immersion: Rosario Portillo
Rosario Portillo is quiet and diligent. She follows classroom rules and does
what her third-grade teacher, Emaretta Hines, asks.
Rosario, 8, listens intently while Hines reads aloud from Beverly Cleary's Ribsy.
Her teacher is not sure yet just how much Rosario understands. The girl arrived
at Creighton from Mexico for first grade.
Rosario doesn't talk much. In her journal, she draws detailed pictures of her
family and favorite foods (pizza and ice cream). A few weeks into the school
year, she hadn't written any words yet, only her name on the cover.
She will brave going to the board to do math problems.
Though Rosario is quiet, she is learning by listening, says Linda Beck, language
acquisition specialist at Creighton: "She's absorbing so much."
It can take five to seven years to become fluent enough in English to do well in
school, Beck says. State education officials want kids to do it in a year.
Rosario is expected to learn to read this year, no matter that she is still
Rosario wants to learn to read: "I like books." In second grade, she talked of
being a teacher. She says she'll teach children to read, just as soon as she
figures it out herself.
CAPTION: Third-graders such as Rosario Portillo, 8, are expected to learn to
read this year, no matter that she is still learning English.
Edition: Final Chaser