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second language and starting reception

(7 Posts)
IamAporcupine Wed 20-Jul-16 10:18:02

my DS4 is biligual (English/Spanish). He is extremely interested in reading/writing and has started joining sounds and reading words as well as sounding the letters and writing them in order.
He does this mainly in Spanish
He starts reception in September and I am wondering what to do? I do not want him to loose his writing/reading in Spanish but I am concerned he might get confused with the sounds/letters.

Anyone has any experience?

facepalming Thu 21-Jul-16 20:58:43

No direct experience yet but we are raising bilinguals and have plenty of friends doing the same. Our close friends now 6 year old starting reception without a word of English and had no trouble at all. He still speaks his parents first language at home and doesn't struggle. They do a lot of reading in first language at home.

make sure to discuss it with thr teachers - these days it's quite common and they should have advice for uou.

Ketchuponpizza Thu 21-Jul-16 21:01:02

We have a deal with the school. They teach French, we do English at home. So far, it has worked really well and both school age kids are doing brilliantly.

Third is about to start nursery and doesn't really speak French, so this will be interesting...

noramum Mon 25-Jul-16 21:36:01

We (German) stuck to English reading/writing first. When phonics were secured (end of Reception) we started her on German reading.

She is now 9 and while not at the same level can read German pretty good. Writing is still an issue but we don't do a lot at home.

She gets confused with some letter names like the English "e" is the same as the German "i" or the German "ee" is not the same sound as in English. Phonics is mostly identical though.

Ellle Fri 05-Aug-16 17:41:21

I have experience on this. When DS1 turned 4, I taught him to read in Spanish (the language we use at home). By the summer (just before he started reception) he knew all the sounds/syllables. When we had the visit from his teacher to get to know him at home, I told her he could read in Spanish but that I would leave the English to her.

He then went to learn phonics from zero and before he finished reception he was fluent in English as well. We never experienced confusion or any problems. If anything, I would say that knowing how to read in one language helped him to get it quicker in the second language.

If you think your son is ready and you want to teach him how to read in Spanish I would say go for it, and let the teacher know so they can keep it in mind when they teach him to read in the other language.

IamAporcupine Mon 22-Aug-16 09:20:33

thanks Ellle! I've only just seen your post

That's very similar to our situation, I haven't formally taught him to read/write but by now he knows all the sounds and syllables (with the exception of C-S and G-J and Q) and is able to read/write by himself 2-3 word sentences (not perfectly but close enough).

I have told the teachers so they are aware. I just didn't know what to do at the very beginning, when they start learning English phonics. I mean, whether we should stop Spanish completely until he is more confident in English or carry on as normal?

Ellle Sat 27-Aug-16 00:52:01

In our case I didn't have to do anything different. I didn't stop the Spanish as I didn't notice any problem with his learning to read and write in English at school.

I continued the reading in Spanish in parallel to his learning to read in English. But I didn't teach him to write, I kind of left that to the school (letter formation), and once I saw he was able to write neatly we started writing in Spanish. He was able to transfer the skill from one language to the other. I only had to teach him the things about spelling that were specific to Spanish.

I think the best thing is play it by ear and see how it goes or what adjustments you think you might need to do.

For example, I tried to reinforce what DS was learning at school with games at home in Spanish. But one time DS told me about how they played a game at school and he had to read a number to get a toy animal and he didn't get it because he said the wrong number. I realised that even though he knew the answer in Spanish he couldn't say it in English. So that time I made an exception and played lots of games saying the names of the numbers in English and translating them to Spanish and vice versa until I saw he got it, then switched back to Spanish exclusively.

So just see how it goes. I'm sure he'll be okay.

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