I'm a third year middle school English teacher in Austin, Texas. This year, I'm teaching 3 sections of 8th grade, one section of 7th grade, and two sections of a mythology elective. I have a student in mythology who literally cannot write a single word correctly. He is tracked by ESL and is evaluated every year, but does not receive any instruction from an ESL teacher. He is in regular-level courses. His writing is completely unreadable. He writes in this horrible mish-mash of misspelled Spanish and misspelled English. He inserts letters randomly with little to no sense. His reading however, is at an intermediate level. He can read and comprehend texts (below grade-level) fairly well. He speaks and listens pretty well too. He's not in my English class, but I've decided to start working with him after school on phonics. My question is, why can't this kid write? What's the disconnect between reading/comprehending/speaking and writing?
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