Teaching your child to read and write English(6 Posts)
I'm looking for advice and possibly reassurance! DH and I are both from the UK, living in France with our two dc, aged 3 & 6. They both go to local, French school, the older having just stated primary this year. His spoken English is excellent and he's doing well at school so far in French.
We do have a bilingual school option, but have opted to keep them local while so young rather than having a long bus journey each day. In order to get into this school at secondary level, they need to have good written and reading of English. So it's down to me.
I am struggling! Mostly it is so difficult to find the time to do anything that fits around the long school day (8:30 to 4:30 4 days a week), plus an activity one evening, an extra class another, plus homework every night. The younger one makes it very difficult to do anything as he gets bored after 5 minutes of a word game and starts throwing cards around and climbing on me. Also, older Ds is pretty resistant to bring taught anything directly by me. We mostly do word games, we read a lot of books together etc. He is keen-ish to learn to read, but not hugely so. We are making progress, but it is very slow, and not a lot of fun.
Any tips? Anyone else doing this?
Can you get the same books in English and French so they get to read them twice?
Write a family diary everyday - in English, you all put what you have done today. To start with you will be doing all the writing.
Are they reading in French yet? Look at the words that are the same spelling but pronounced differently, you and they will be surprised how many 'English' words they can spell already.
Don't push too much, they are only small.
We also have the minority language (German in our case) also only at home.
We waited until DD was secure in phonics and then got lots of easy reader books. At the moment we read together. She finds it difficult and we don't do it regularly under the week so progress is slower than her English school progress.
What we also do is letting her read the first two sentences of the German bedtime story books just to practise.
It is worth keeping up.
It's slightly different for us as our dc are bilingually educated in the uk.
Spoke only English at home but Gaelic in nursery and then total immersion in Gaelic from p1 - Christmas of p3. Then English reading and writing introduced (I can find out the name of the scheme) geared at older first time learners. My dc were 8,8 and 7.3 when they started this. By the time dd1 got to the end of primary school she was reading common books for children of her age (and older) in both languages, and ds in Primary 7 now reads the sports pages of the guardian!
I'd make sure his French phonics were well embedded before starting in English, but that's only my opinion. My ds taught himself English in p2 before the teacher started on it! I think it's important not to push it and make it a chore, though in case he resents it (have been guilty of this myself!)
Hth. I can find out the name of the reading scheme if you would like?
cheers all. since posting we've made great strides - as long as I don't push it, keep it as games etc, ds is happy to work on it. something else that is helping is to spend time around bilingual children - we went to an activity for English speaking children y yesterday morning, and there were some older children who were writing in English.when we got home Ds went straight to the table, picked up a pen and wrote his first ever complete sentence in English! just like that. everything that he is learning in local school he is putting to use to in English as well, with some support and encouragement.
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