Just starting this post on reading and writing. I don't think anyone here is at this stage yet but I just wanted to report back events as they happen for a future reference for everybody.
As I mentioned in former post I have been using the Jolly Phonics with my daughter, Carmen, but I felt the books offered little practical work. After reaching book 4 (completed), we started reading other books, namely the Dr Seuss books on reading - a series that goes back many years but very well structured.
1) Consider the sentence: "I do not like green eggs and ham".
Whereas my daughter just reads phonetically through her Spanish books: C - A - S - A = "CASA", that process is hindered by the pitfalls of English phonetics: l - i - k - e = /leekay/.
Solution to date: I explain the rule /ai/ sound with silent /e/ at end of word. Mmmm! That was easy! But I feel I need to give some sort of explanation. In reality, I see it's a case of just recognizing complete words. Now she does seem to say "like" correctly as it occurs frequently (thanks to the layout of the text in the books). So at the moment, I get the feeling the process is going to be awfully slow. It's not enough to learn the letters - you have to learn the words.
2) No written English in her immediate environment. It's a shame, but there's little written English out there for her to practise with apart from books. The odd word in shopping products, clothes, etc. She did come running to me the other day though - "Dad, I know how to spell 'yes' in English! Y - E - S! I saw it on Bob Sponge. He said 'SÍ' but he had a sign that said 'YES'" (Grrr! why was she watching Bob Sponge in Spanish anyway?!).
3) I have not taught the ABC. I mean the traditional ABC names for each letter. We just use the phonetic sounds of each stand alone letter: A as in "apple", B /b/ as in "bus". It doesn't seem useful for learning to read. Have I got that wrong? By using the phonetic sounds, Carmen, can get some words right when she phonetically reads. Eg. C - A - T = "CAT". (She reads C and K and also now knows CK all as /k/ - I'm teaching the double letters too, of course.) Now, when she reads phonetically S - O - M - E, she says /som/. I ask "Do you know a word /som/?" Then, sometimes, she corrects to the similar sounding "SOME". This approximating approach is what I'm using at the moment.
That's all for this report to the current time. Of course, any suggestions, queries, are welcome.
Mike (father of 6-year-old)