We live in Norway, our first language is english. Dd(6) has been here since she was 2yrs, speaks fluent english at home, and norwegian elsewhere. She has just started school and will learn to read in norwegian this year and next. She can't read in english yet. It will be taught at school in a few years, but obviously not as a native english speaker. We have read to her every night since she was a baby, and have LOTS of books in english. I thought she would begin to pick up words and reading through exposure, maybe that was naive!
Looking at phonics threads is overwhelming, as there is so much feeling that if you teach it wrong the child is set back, and I don't feel I know the rules in order to teach it. I learnt to read through exposure to books around 4yrs old so not formally perhaps.
Does it have to be phonics? Is there a simple guide to learning the rules for sounds?
She knows the sounds s,a,t,p,i,n from a phonics video, but I don't know how to move on!
I can't really help with the learning individual phonics sounds as ds' other language uses almost identical phonetic sounds so he learnt them in school. once he had those down i bought the oxford reading tree songbird books by julia donaldson and he loves them. over the summer we have moved through stage 1, 2 and 3 and shortly to start on 4. he really enjoys the stories and chooses them most nights as his bedtime reading, i can highly recommend them. for learning phonics sounds i think people use jolly phonics a lot, ds liked watching the alphablocks and you an use the cbeebies website from abroad which shows clips. sorry i can't be more use on that. oh we also had a couple of iphone apps for phonics that he occasionally played with.
thinking about it i bet you could just start with level 1 songbirds, you can buy a teaching guide to go with it which tells you how to explain the sounds in each level and gives activities to do. the first story is very basic... i am top cat, am i top cat, i am top cat etc etc and it tells you to go over each phonic sound, write it out, sound it out etc etc before trying to read. she will probably pick it up really well. good luck.
DD (7) is trilingual (French, English, Turkish). I tried teaching her to read English last year but it didn't go anywhere.
This year, she learned to read French at school. And this summer, she taught herself to read both Turkish and English I gave her an Angry Birds comic book when on holiday in Turkey, which we read together. Next thing I know, she is reading road signs and menus. We did the same with English - Tintin comic books in English got her reading on her own.
Maybe wait for him to learn to read Norwegian at school and then introduce English books?
I've just taught DD to read using phonics (we also live abroad) and have just posted in more detail re. what I found useful in a thread in the Children's Books section (here http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childrens_books/1560854-Living-abroad-teaching-a-child-to-read-in-English).
It's not too difficult if you buy the teaching guides that go with a phonics scheme - like Read Write Inc for example. The good thing is that because this is new to a lot of UK teachers, too, the teaching guides are written in a pretty accessible way. You just have to ignore the very classroom-oriented parts.
You do get to a point where you've taught oa ee ai igh oo er ar or etc. and you think - there are still lots of other ways of writing these sounds - oor, oar, ou, au - help, which one do I teach now? But then you find you just do the -ears and -airs and -oughs etc. as they come up in books, signs etc. And they take it on board, gradually. They can very often work the rules out for themselves (as you did when you learned by looking at books and being read to) but you also might as well talk about them and point them out.
There are some good charts of sounds on the Phonics International site (the English Alphabetic Code is the main one), but their actual teaching guides are a little hard to digest. http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ is very good for games.