Anyone in the US whose children have been through Kindergarten?

(16 Posts)
piratedinosaursgogogo Tue 27-Aug-13 16:56:03

This may be a really daft question but it dawned on me this morning that when ds learns his phonetic sounds in Kindergarten, then he will be learning the sounds pronounced differently to how I do them at home. Or will he?

Has anyone found this an issue? How about reading words? For example, if I were to read 'grass', then I obviously say it in an English accent with the letter 'a' making an 'ar' sound but our ds pronounces it with a longer 'a', more of an 'air' sound. Considering I was a primary school teacher back home, I've done an appalling job of explaining that!!

I'm sure I'm over-thinking this but I can't get my head around it this morning.

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Wibblypiglikesbananas Tue 27-Aug-13 19:40:28

I wonder about this - though my DD is younger than your DS.

I'm from the north, DH is a southerner and we're now in Washington DC, so goodness knows how she'll end up. One thing I have observed here is that children who have one American parent and one British parent seem to switch between the two modes of pronunciation depending on who they're talking to.

I'm still going to introduce Jolly Phonics to DD (coming from a family of teachers) and hopefully she'll go to the British School here for a couple of years before we move home so will follow the British curriculum. All that said, I don't want her to end up being the child who stands out as different because she doesn't use American pronunciation! It's tricky.

PeppermintBark Wed 28-Aug-13 01:55:01

My youngest was in kindergarten 10 years ago, in the south. (That was our second year of three there.) What I found was that she mainly kept her English accent, but towards the end of the third year she had quite a southern accent and pronunciation.

We moved back to England for two and a bit years and she reverted to an English accent and pronunciation. Now we've been back here, in the North, for five years and she's what we call bilingual - she speaks with an American accent with Americans and an English accent with us. Both she and her sibling do pronounce some words in the American way but with an English accent, IYSWIM. The most obvious one I can think of is Tuesday, or Toosday as they say it!

I know it's not exactly what you asked, but hope it helps a little.

Bumply Wed 28-Aug-13 02:05:29

I've lived in Scotland for twenty years but still speak with an English accent. Ds1 and ds2 went to Scottish nurseries and schools and speak with a Scottish accent.
The only time I've heard them sound more English is if we've visited relatives on England - after a few days their vowels start to change over, but they revert back when back home.

HansieMom Wed 28-Aug-13 02:08:24

How do you pronounce Tuesday in England?

PeriodMath Wed 28-Aug-13 02:16:11

Most people say Chews-day or
T-yoos-day if they're being a bit posh wink

wentshopping Wed 28-Aug-13 06:22:22

My dc went through Kindergarten, elementary school etc. and learned to read and spell with an American accent. In one spelling test dd1 wrote "Argust" as she had not recognised that the teacher said "August". When I would help them with spelling homework, I would have to stop myself and think how the word was pronounced here - they often had to sort words phonetically. Now, they correct my pronunciation when I say the English version of schedule, advertisement etc. However, when we visit the UK they revert to English pronunciation, and have no long-term spelling problems. smile


Cheryzan Wed 28-Aug-13 06:28:22

Do they learn phonics in the US? I thought lots of states still taught sight words instead of phonics.

He may well be taught the alphabet instead of phonics.

wentshopping Wed 28-Aug-13 14:51:06

Youngest dd had some phonics but not until after they had done sight words - they were gradually changing over to phonics-style spelling learning over the last couple of years. Her spelling lists would be grouped by sounds with a couple of "oddball" words thrown in.

piratedinosaursgogogo Wed 28-Aug-13 14:51:37

Thanks for all of your responses. I know that in pre-school, they covered the letter names and he has been following a handwriting scheme that starts with only learning the capital letters. I'm finding it a bit hard to understand how his new school approaches the teaching of reading. I got a very woolly response from the teacher I spoke to at the orientation so they may be going with a sight word approach which goes against what I believe to be good practice. We are in New York State, if that makes a difference. I'm hearing a lot about the 'Common Core Standards' which people seem to be quite unhappy about. We shall see.

OP’s posts: |
ljny Wed 28-Aug-13 15:59:32

The state doesn't make much difference in early years - what school district are you in?

Lethologica Wed 28-Aug-13 16:20:55

I wouldn't worry about this at all unless there are any special educational needs involved. My DCs have a very 'international' education
(four countries inc US Kindergarten) I can't remember any problems they had with accents or different styles of learning to read.

I always read to them a lot at home but I would have done that anyhow. You might find he retains his English accent forever or that he quickly slips into speaking with the same accents as his friends.

My DCs all have slightly odd genetic international accents but are sounding much more English now that we have been living in the UK for the last couple of years.

ProbablyJustGas Wed 28-Aug-13 17:10:37

I think a lot of US schools do teach phonics, but maybe not quite the same way as in the UK. Based on what I grew up with, what my cousin's kids are doing back home now, and some of the American educational material I've come across over the past couple years, it looks like US schools are still teaching the alphabet letter names first, and then quickly teach the various sounds that go with them.

I don't particularly mind that method, but that is what I'm used to. Listening to my Scottish DSD spell her name (which ends in -ly) "x, x, x, ell, yeh" drove me bonkers. Because it's not actually "ell yeh". It's "-ly", which sounds like "lee". The way she was taught phonics basically just replaced alphabet letter with sound names - she found blending difficult to understand and pick up.

SquinkiesRule Wed 28-Aug-13 19:49:27

Ours teaches a combination of Phonics and whole word. Worked well for all three of my children. I was told they all had British accents even though I couldn't hear it.
I too found I had to make sure to pronounce the words both ways when practicing spelling words. I also kept up making them speak correctly as it really helped with spelling. No twosday or Woof (for Wolf) and all the other odd ways of saying things. It seemed to work all are good spellers, Dd is 3rd grade this year and we move back to UK next month, we'll see if the's up to par once we get settled.

mathanxiety Wed 04-Sep-13 06:06:10

My DCs all left for school sporting an Irish accent (a bit diminished over the years but still distinct from the Chicago accent around them thank God ) and those that learned in school came back just fine. A south Dublin Irish accent may be closer to American than British English, but the DCs didn't have an issue, though some swore they sounded Irish. I never made any remarks at all about their American way of saying things even if some pronunciations grated on my ears. I had a relative who used to be very pass remarkey when I was growing up, and I think it made me self conscious about my appearance and the way I spoke.

The accent isn't going to be an issue as far as reading goes. Actually, if you think about it, while SE British pronunciation may make perfect sense to you, it isn't phonetic. Your use of the letter R in your example illustrates that. Your child will hear more of an Irish or Scottish R in school, or more of an American R since the school is in America - that is actually a pronunciation that lends itself better to phonetics.

Two of my DCs learned to read before ever being exposed to phonics, at age 3-4 from being read to alone, so pretty much by sight. The remaining three of them learned some time in the course of KDG before getting to the end of the KDG phonics course. DD3 said one day 'The letters disappeared!' and she could read. KDG phonics wasn't much like Jolly Phonics, etc. Yet class after class learned to read and read well. Many of their KDG schoolmates went on to great universities.

The method the DCs' school used was phonics (againl not like Jolly Phonics) plus Dolch words (or sight words) in a systematically graduated scheme. The Dolch words comprise approximately 200 words that make up 75%ish of the words a child will encounter in literature aimed at children up to about age 8/9. Mastering the Dolch words opens up the world of books to children.

Once you go beyond the basics in phonics you are basically teaching spelling/word recognition anyway, as there are so many exceptions to rules that they make the rules ridiculous in many cases.

Agree with 'ell, yeh' -- replacing letter names with sounds still gives a child something to learn and remember. Children can distinguish between cats and dogs and squirrels and they can distinguish letter names from letter sounds. It doesn't confuse. There is a lot of hype about pure systematic phonics that is pure marketing. I would guess that a lot of children know the alphabet song by the time they get to Reception in the UK, and know which letter is which, but they learn phonics all the same.

Trust the US teachers and read to your child at home in your own accent. The brains of five year olds are very plastic.

helzapoppin2 Thu 05-Sep-13 13:12:00

Ha, ha, ha! I remember having the same thought as the OP when we moved with our (then young) children to Yorkshire! We are effete Southerners.
My experience in the States is that kids very quickly adopt the accents of their friends.

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