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Virginie
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,
This is my first post.
My trilingual son (speaks French with Mom, German with Dad, English with brother and friends) just turned 4. He has been taught phonics in the conventional way at school, in English, since September, but just does not get the point. The other day, he said "k, k, k, as in balloon"! If he sees a picture of, say, a dog, this will be "chien", "dog" or "Hund" depending of who he is speaking with, so there is no way a picture or object will be associated with a single word, let alone sounds. I wonder whether you have similar experiences with your child(ren), and, if so, what alternative reading/writing teaching methods you have used.
Many thanks.
Virginie, from London
Michael Trout MCA
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm a teaching in Japan working with my 2 yr old son. Currently we are teaching him Japanese and English. Plans are for him to start Mandarin when hes three or four. I was very dyslexic as a child and couldn't read at 8. Because of this from the day he was born I started him on phonics.  Initially vows, then constants, plosives and fricatives and gutturals sounds.  He was word forming at 8 months and talking at a around a year. At two hes quite the chatterbox. I don't even worry about the alphabet. I have words and numbers in the bathroom. In japan the family all take their bath together and when we do we make it a fun class.

Phonics car game... I chant phonics in the car and we play a game where I chant the sound and he comes up with a word with the sound in it. For example if I chanted "a, a, a" he might say "ant" or cat etc...

Other things I do, since we live in Japan, is he only watches English cartoons and TV. Also we read books together. I play a game where he repeats after me as I read... I haven't found any good kids books and have come up with some of my own. 
helena
Reply with quote  #3 
Have you  considered teaching reading using natural rather than synthetic phonics?  In this method, children learn to read whole words first not individual letters in the way that children learn to speak using full words rather than abstract sounds.  Once the child has learned a certain number of words they begin to see for themselves the sounds that certain letters or clusters of letters make.  They themselves register that a letter may make one sound in one language and another in another language so the normal confusion doesn't arise.  If you want to find out more you could check out the work of Glenn Doman ( How to teach your baby to read).
Helena

A Chica
Reply with quote  #4 
hi, it sounds like the problem is not really with phonics but phonemic awareness. That is, the ability to recognize that words are made up of sounds and to be able to isolate sounds in a word. Most experts agree that phonemic awareness is a prerequisite to learning to read, but not all agree. Experts also disagree on whether phonemic awareness can be explicitly taught with special games and activities, or whether, like Piaget's stages, is a stage that needs to be worked through by each child at his or her own pace.

If you do decide to teach phonemic awareness, you can do a google search for "teaching phonemic awareness" and you will find all kinds of ideas. Most of the activities are oral, with the child learning to listen carefully to the sounds of language. For example, clapping the syllables in his or her name and the names of friends and family. Rhyming games are usually a hit with young children, but you should usually not work on rhyming at the same time as working on identifying initial sounds in words, as young children have trouble focusing on both the end of words and the beginning of the words. You should work on one at a time. Many parents and teachers have found music and singing to be useful in teaching children to pay attention to the sounds of language.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a whole age range at which normal, healthy, intelligent children learn to read, including the pre-reading skills. Traditionally, reading, writing and phonics were not taught until age 6 or 7. Now, children are expected to know all their letters and have a basic grasp of reading before entering kindergarten. This results in many children being identified as slow, even though they are well within the normal range of development. Boys, especially, may not be ready for developing pre-reading skills at age 3 or 4 or even 5 (although many are). This is simply because they are focusing on other developmental tasks.

You may also want to double check your son's hearing, since a simple childhood ear infection can result in a temporary loss in hearing, making it hard for him to distinguish between sounds. Your pediatrician can do an initial screening and tell you what to do from there if necessary.

Best wishes!

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