Behavior & Learning in School/Why is it that


Why is it that when a girl (child) that is born in the United States, walks the streets in her mothers native country Icelandic and speaks Icelandic it is impossible for anybody in Icelandic to tell that she is born and raised in the United States. She has an Icelandic and United States passport. Why would she allow a European man to tread her has a European girl (not American girl) the same way as her European mother? Why would she only speak Icelandic to her mother and become an expert in reading/writing her mothers native language Icelandic. The child can speak/read/write English better that most adults in the United States.

I am not certain that I am an expert in this area but I will try to answer your question as best I can.  
A child's first teacher of language is her mother. If a child is born in the United States but is taught a different language from the moment that she is born, the child will become fluent in the taught language.  It is the only way that the child has been communicating with her mother.  Therefore, this is the child's primary language.  That does not mean that she can not be proficient in English as her Second language.  That would probably be the reason that no one can tell that she is born and raised in the United States.  
As to why she would allow a European man to tread her as a European girl, it seems to me that the reasons are all within her up-bringing.  Think about it, we are taught the culture and the expectations from our parents.  Children learn what is expected of them within their culture at a very young age.  We are raised to celebrate holidays in a certain way.  We are raised to practice religion in a certain way.  We are raised to understand our roles within our culture.  Different cultures have different standards and ideas when it comes to raising children.  A girl's first role model and teacher is her mother.  If she sees her mother being treated a certain way by a man, than this is the behavior that the child learns to see as acceptable.  It is irrelevant whether the child learns to speak, read or write English.  She was still raised with certain beliefs and rules and those things are learned behaviors that she has accepted to remain within the norms of her culture.
I hope that I have answered your question.
Lynn McDermott
Reading Specialist

Behavior & Learning in School

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Lynn McDermott


I am a retired reading specialist. I taught reading to children in grades 1-4 for 32 years. I can answer any questions from parents or educators about problems children may be having learning to read. I can also offer some ideas to educators, parents and tutors for teaching children how to become successful readers.


I worked with small groups of children in a public elementary school setting. I have also worked with and trained teachers in the field of reading. I have also done one-to-one tutoring in the field of reading.

I have written for a few teacher magazines including "The Mailbox" and "The Bookbag."

My undergraduate degree is in English and my Master's degree is in Reading with Emphasis on Learning Disabilities.

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