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Christina
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!  I have a three year old daughter with whom I speak Spanish in the U.S.  She speaks fairly well, though she mixes some of the grammar rules between English in Spanish (i.e. 'No quiero lo.' instead of saying 'No lo quiero.') This also happens in English, though not as often since she hears English from so many other people. 

My question is in reference to teaching her how to read and write.  My husband and I have decided that we will continue the OPOL method for now both in the speaking and reading/writing form.  (He'll teach her English reading and I will teach her Spanish reading, etc.)  I'm curious if any of you found it confusing for your child when it came time to read and write both languages concurrently.  I'd appreciate any input that you might have.  Thanks.

Christina
Daira
Reply with quote  #2 
Dear Christina:
Greetings! I am a mother to a child who just turned four, so we are not that far ahead of you, although, really I have been introducing her to reading and writing for over a year.  I speak only Latvian to my child, her father only English.  We live in the U.S.  Beyond that experience, I was born here too, but both of my parents are Latvian and we were not allowed to speak English in the home (ever). Though this with years became less strict, mostly due to some necessity (company), and we to this day still talk among ourselves in Latvian. So, from both sides of the coin, so to speak, I can only earnestly support and encourage your decision.  My child knows when she is reading something with papus to sound out in English, while with mamma, in Latvian. There are some tricky letters (I think you know, the 'i' and some which don't translate at all), but sometimes in the beginning I would assist her conscious effort to sound the letters correctly by saying, "the Latvian I not the English. Yes, the Latvian A which looks like a comb (E)."   Of course, she isn't even reading yet, some small words only, but for the time being she strongly but easily knows the differences.  From my own childhood, I don't recollect, but have always been an adequate speller, and was never retarded in my reading or writing, quite the opposite. From an earlier posting, a reader recommended the book Growing up with Three Languages. It is my first book on the subject matter and I have found it very interesting, encouraging, and insightful. I think we all figure things out, though.  Good luck to you!

Leticia
Reply with quote  #3 
I have two boys (6-3), and we speak German (dad), Spanish (me) and English (between my husband and I, plus the kids with company and at school). We use the OPOL system and has worked great for us. The kids are tri-lingual and have little difficulty having conversations with their grandparents and relatives who only speak either language. Now, my 6 year-old is refusing to read with us. At school, they tell us he is reading, but when I ask him to read for me (whatever language he feels like) it's just not happening. Any ideas?? I am getting very frustrated.
Daira
Reply with quote  #4 
Dear Leticia:
I think your last sentence said it all, frustration will definitely not help the matter, and perhaps your child is sensitive to your frustration, which may only compound the whole issue he is having with reading.  It isn't easy to judge your situation, not knowing it, but since it doesn't seem to be grounded in any particular language, perhaps it is merely unwillingness to do what he is told.  I know my daughter who is four has a severe aversion to being told what to do.  In order to stimulate him, you could change tactics a bit.  Listening to stories (your language of choice) on disc together and drawing illustrations for the stories, is a nice way to get him actively listening and maybe even perk his interest again in reading.  He could try writing a book of his own, with your help, illustrations included.  You could have him create his own reader (your language choice), creating one page for each alphabet letter and drawing or gluing or pasting images that evoke the particular sound or begin with the particular letter. You could choose wonderful books to read to him yourself, and perhaps give him some respite from his reading in your presence and model for him the pleasure you get from reading. In the book I mentioned in my previous response, the author explains how her children dictated stories to her and then she would utilize their language and retell the story back to them in a more sophisticated way, adding imagery and adjusting the language. She found this a useful tool in modeling language.  Try not to be frustrated, children too have their phases, and it sounds like he is reading fine in school.  Adios!   

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