Kids at local school abroad, how do I teach them to read english? Help!

(30 Posts)
barnet Sun 02-Sep-12 07:28:15

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!

Any help gratefully received!

frenchfancy Tue 11-Sep-12 09:44:50

Like Alexrider here too, though I didn't waste any time or money on it.

DD1 is now 13 and devours books in either language. DD3 is 6 and just starting to read in French. I expect the English to follow easily afterwards.

After all, whilst I had lessons to teach me how to speak French, no one ever taught me to read in French, I just can as I know what the words are.

As long as she is a fluent speaker of both languages then don't sweat it.

Bonsoir Tue 11-Sep-12 09:51:35

"Unless of course you find one who used to be a primary school teacher in a former life"

My DD (7) has had English tutors for the past four school years and will continue to do so this year. Her tutors are indeed qualified English primary school teacher and, tbh, I wouldn't dream of using a tutor who wasn't.

IME, learning to read in one's other mother-tongue is a small battle compared to learning to write in one's other mother-tongue.

Hopandaskip Sun 16-Sep-12 17:47:27

My kids would ask to do starfall. They didn't have much in the way of tv or video games though so it was a treat.

I bought a series called 'brand new readers' there are a few samples on there website. The text is easy to predict and the books are amusing. I would read the book to my kid and he would read it to me with me helping. When he could do it all without help I would write his name in the book and it went on a special bookshelf and was his now.

Everything in the house was labelled. He would ask for more things to label.

We wrote stories together. Either invented spelling (his) or he would dictate. Daddy got read lots of lovely preschooler stories about dogs and fire stations.

We made shopping lists together, they would help me read the list (mainly just remembering what we had written together) and help fetch spaghetti/eggs/milk from the shelves.

We read a lot in front of them. "sorry ds, let me just finish this sentence/page this is a really good story and I want to see what happens next!"

NulliusInBlurba Sun 16-Sep-12 18:06:20

I'd like to support what a few of the others have said - reading in a second native language happens really very quickly and with very little need for active teaching (presuming that both languages use the same alphabet). I think it's considerably more difficult to teach writing, though, particularly because English spelling is often so counter-intuitive and unphonetic.

My DC are growing up as bilinguals in Germany, but they were taught to read at 6 in English first, within an international school. We were told they would be taught to read their second language (German) in their second school year, but DD1 just picked up a German kids' novel before that point and started reading it fluently. She simply needed a bit of help with special characters (in the case of German it was the ess-zett and umlauts).

She says she's slightly more fluent reading English than German, but DD2 finds reading German slightly easier than English, for some reason. What they both have difficulties with is writing correctly - they apply German conventions to English and vice versa (eg they capitalise all nouns in English texts, or get the commas wrong).

As a result, I think you need to be concentrating on getting your DC to write correctly over the next few years, but the reading will just happen as long as you provide enough reading exciting reading material.

swissmaid7 Thu 27-Sep-12 15:36:15

HI there,

We are in a similar situation in Switzerland, Zurich and here there are lots of the English speaking children who are in local schools who attend a group reading and writing lesson. These usually last ca 90 mins every week and there's usually a lot of homework and advice for the parents. I actually teach one of these and have my own business but lots of other people do it too. Do you have something like this in your area?

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