Jeanne, do teachers in America use word notations for grades? For example, very good instead of B ?
In Poland there are numbers and words for grades:
1 insufficient 2 passing 3 sufficient 4 good 5 very good 6 excellent
On some assignments teachers do use notations. A common one is a check mark...Check plus is very good, check is satisfactory, and check minus is "needs improvement." Some courses in high school and college may be just "pass" or "fail", though you don't see that too frequently. On the report cards in my elementary school students get letter grades on academic subjects (A,B,C or D) but for social areas (i.e. neatness, cooperation, working well with others, etc.) They get 1 (Good), 2 (Satisfactory), or 3 (Needs improvement). All this varies widely across the country as most grading is determined by local schools and there is no national or state-wide standards.
I have always had a dilemma. Shall I tell parents that their children lack any talent for learning a foreign language?
Some of my students are quite immune to knowledge: in the process of learning they are awfully absent minded, easily distracted, disorganised, chaotic and messy. They are unable to grasp certain issues, even despite having private lessons for 10 years and doing hundreds of exercises in a few books. Most of them are burdened with specific problems which haven`t been diagnosed as regular dyslexia but I can see they are close to it.
Parents sometimes ask me about the progress of their children. I try not to be too straigthforward - I have never said that a kid was a hopeless case and it would take two decades to teach him/her some decent English, forget the perfect one. I mention weak points without going into details but I also try to stress the strong ones.
Should I be more sincere with parents? It would be too cruel, I think, because I would have to be really direct with them. Once a mother looked at me in disbelief when I told her that her 15-year-old son whom I had tutored for 8 years was still unable to understand grammar. She didn`t believe me, as I tried to sound rather soothing. In result, she probably thought it was my fault and incompetence.
I still strongly advise some parents to send their kids to special clinics to diagnose dyslexia. It happens even at high school level, at the age of 16.