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Desconectado Mike

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Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« en: Agosto 05, 2015, 08:58:57 am »
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.

The issues:
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)


Desconectado salva

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #1 en: Agosto 05, 2015, 10:40:36 am »
Very interesting thread, I am not at this stage yet but this is the next step that I know I will have to take with my daughter, she is still 3.5yr old but time flies.

I have some questions, what is the system they use in UK to teach reading?, what age do you think is appropriate to start teaching reading?

Reading in spanish is, as we all know, easy since every set of letter will always have the same sound but english is a totally different story. Mixing learning reading spanish and english could be a bit of a mess.

I will be eager to read your suggestions and comments.

Desconectado mibebebilingue

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #2 en: Agosto 06, 2015, 03:37:24 pm »
Hi, I am in a similar situation than Mike right now. Diana is 5 and now, during the summer holidays she seems yo have dome interest in reading. In England schools they follow different methods to teach children to read.one of the most used is called synthetic phonics. I use at home some cards with simple words as CAT, DOG,CUP...and other more complex. Diana reads them and matches them with pictures she finds on other cards. That is a fun way to learn. As Mike points out there are a lot of exceptions, tricky words, rules...right now for us is fine.Once she starts school again and learns mote about reading in Spanish, I will go deep on the explanations...and by the way, she knows by heart the ABC song, but it is a little confusing as the letter A for example is 'ei' and in the phonic system is 'a'...at least is the same sound 'a' in Spanish. By the way, 'oo' in English not always sounds like'uuu',Right? Door,for example? It is because the final 'r' that makes the previous vowel sound longer?😅

Desconectado Mike

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #3 en: Agosto 06, 2015, 05:55:08 pm »
Quick reply for now as I'll be adding more to this thread over coming months.

Salva. As Mibebebilingue says, they seem to use the Phonics system to teach English reading in UK (Search Jolly Phonics in this forum or Google for more info - the 7 books are a good start.)

Interestingly, the phonics phonetic system is similar to Spanish phonetics with basic consonants and vowel sounds: B - E - D. Using phonemes instead of letter names is a more compatible system for our children who will probably lean how to read Spanish before English. OK, so the phoneme values are not exactly the same between English B and Spanish B, for example, but if we teach reading AFTER the child has good competence in English speaking, the child will compensate for sound differences - well, my daughter seems to be doing so. We don't need to teach reading at 5 or 6. A child must have oral competence first. (See Sweden's policy where children learn reading much later.) Ironically, I think my daughter's pre-knowledge of reading Spanish is actually helping her with reading in English - and I didn't expect that!

Mibebebilingue, in the Jolly phonic books, they teach the gesture and image of a "cuckoo". The "u" here is the "oo" in "book" and the "oo" the "oo" in "boot". (Ok, then you have "oo" as in "door"! I'm not sure of the rule.) I do give my daughter a short explanation but I don't go into depth and at 6 she isn't (fortunately) picky about phonetic rules.  :)

Mike

Desconectado Raquel

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #4 en: Agosto 25, 2015, 03:38:53 pm »
You guys are freaking me out a bit with all this reading/writing conversation. It sound awfully difficult! I've always wondered how English speakers learn to read, since they can't learn the same way we do in Spanish, just by pairing letter and sound and learning the few -in comparison to English- exceptions there are.

OK, so the phoneme values are not exactly the same between English B and Spanish B, for example
They aren't? I remember a Canadian friend of mine telling me we pronounce the V in "favor" like something in between the English B and V... I checked and he's right! Is this what you're referring to? Do we do the same thing with Bs? All of them or just some?  ???

Mibebebilingue, in case it helps, "oo" may sound like:

- Similar to the Spanish U sound, but longer (/u:/): too, boot, shoot, food...
- Like the U in "put" (/ʊ/): good, cook, book, foot...
This isn't an extensive lists, just the two sounds that came to mind for "oo".
I suspect "door" is an exception, as the "oo" is pronounced /ɔː/. It could also be because of this I read on Pronuncian: "When the consonant following the letter o is the letter r (as in the words for and order), the sound is usually pronounced as the or sound. If the or spelling occurs on an unstressed syllable (as in the words honor and factor), a schwa+r pronunciation is also possible." The O in the "or" sound would be /ɔː/.

I love anything related to pronunciation; maybe because I know it's something I'll never master. There are sounds my brain just can't tell apart no matter how hard I try. But it makes me SO happy every time I learn a new rule or how to pronounce some word the right way!
« Última modificación: Junio 08, 2017, 11:25:07 am por Raquel »

Desconectado Mike

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #5 en: Agosto 27, 2015, 02:12:59 pm »
Raquel. The /b/ sound in English, like the other bilabial plosive /p/, differs from the Spanish equivalents in that the air released between the lips on production is greater than in the Spanish versions. Perhaps this is not an important difference but the fact is that there is a difference.

The way I teach the pronunciation of English /v/ is that it is just a voiced version of /f/ (unvoiced). If you position your lips to say /f/ as in "France" and then vibrate your vocal chords, you produce /v/.

It's a similar case with /s/ and /z/ (the mouth positions are the same). Position mouth to say /s/ as in "Spanish" and then vibrate vocal chords to produce /z/ as in "zebra".

This duality rule where mouth positions are the same also works for

/θ/ (think) voiced and /ð/ (this) unvoiced.
/ʒ/ (pleasure) voiced and /∫/ (shoe) unvoiced.

Hope this helps  :)

Mike

Desconectado mibebebilingue

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #6 en: Agosto 27, 2015, 04:52:43 pm »
Gracias chicos

I am trying myself now to improve my pronunciation. I find it is actually interesting and it also helps me to offer a better input to my daughter. I know that people understand me when I talk, still I like to explore and make my english even prittier :)

Practise makes perfect

Desconectado Raquel

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #7 en: Agosto 29, 2015, 10:00:40 am »
I knew about P, but not about B! The funny thing is when I tried pronouncing both Bs I realised I do pronounce them differently (but I can only tell if I put a hand in front of my mouth to feel how much air comes out of it). So thanks for that!

I knew about /s/ vs. /z/ (still trying to pronounce all the Zs, and it's hard!), and /θ/ vs. /ð/, but not about /ʒ/ and /∫/. I can't thank you enough for this last one, as it'll help me pronounce the /ʒ/ sound better! I wasn't rounding my mouth the way I should have been!

Desconectado Mike

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #8 en: Septiembre 19, 2015, 11:03:38 am »
Update on my present practice described in:
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/community-forum/index.php/topic,277.msg1275.html#msg1275 (August 5th)

Carmen is struggling with reading the Dr Suess books.

She can read quite well in Spanish now and admittedly that knowledge is more beneficial to reading English than detrimental. It helps her letter-by-letter spell words like H-E-L-P just by applying Spanish phonetics (well the H is not Spanish). She is also reacognizing some important letter clusters TH, SH, EE, etc. But of couse, even these vary EA can be /iː/ or /e/.

Then there are words, as Raquel points out are called "sight words". Words which are difficult to decipher but are common: "some", "like" etc. Carmen has mastered some but others I need to remind again and again.

It seems we go to slow; word by painful word. So, I'm applying my own beliefs I use for teaching English: rapid input with lots of teacher help is better than slow input with student doing all the work.

So my techniques now are, for example: I read the page, then Carmen reads after me and regardless of whether it is easy or not. This does mean, Carmen is remembering a certain amount of what I just said and actually reading less. But this way, we race through the book so it's more enjoyable for Carmen. She is being exposed to more recycling of the words although not asked to read them from scratch. I'm hoping this might accelerate her reading skills in English.

Will keep you posted and would appreciate feedback.

Also, does anybody know of other simple reading materials?

Mike (father of 6-year-old)

Desconectado Stacy BabyLingüe

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #9 en: Septiembre 22, 2015, 09:15:54 am »
Hi Mike,
Great thread!
We are also working on reading with Eva, who is 5. I think that phonics is useful to a point, but there are so many "sight words" that are essential for beginner readers. I also think you are correct in that lots of teacher/parent help and input is better than letting them struggle too much. We also use the Dr Seuss books, which can be difficult, but are also great because they do offer a lot of repetition. I also recently purchased Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds "Get Started with Julia Donaldson's Phonics Story Collection" Levels 1+ and 2. I cannot give a full review yet, as it just came in the mail yesterday and we have only read one story. I will say that the "story" is told more through the pictures than the writing, and the writing is very simple. Top Cat, (Level 1+) uses different variations of the same sentence "I am top cat" on each page. ("Am I top cat? I am, I am!). Reminds me a bit of a watered down Green Eggs and Ham. My daughter liked it.

On a similar but different note, I am looking for suggestions for a non-bilingual child who is 8 (in 3rd grade). She already has an English language book, plus natural and social science books from school, so I would like to find an authentic (ie written for English children, not ESL) reading scheme or stories to use with her lesson. The challenge I am finding is that the stories for her age are too complex, but the simpler stories are too boring for her plot-wise. Open to any recommendations!

Hope everyone had a great summer!  8)

Desconectado Mike

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Re: Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #10 en: Septiembre 22, 2015, 09:40:06 am »
Thanks for that input, Stacy.

Re. material for the 8-year-old and any age, in fact, the combination good plot and correct text difficulty level is problematic for any age. We, who live outside of our native countries miss that luxury of browsing through books in English/US book shops - one needs hours to find a suitable book. Perhaps the best idea is to read books that motivate her but with parental/teacher help similar to the approach I'm using with my daughter (see above). Of course, you may want her to have more autonomy - reading alone...

Sorry, I can't help more but this topic is still new to me.

Mike (Dad of 6-year-old)

Desconectado mibebebilingue

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #11 en: Octubre 15, 2015, 01:03:03 pm »
Hi everyone

I do have the collection mentioned above "Get Started with Julia Donaldson's Phonics Story Collection"( I´m pretty sure I suggested those books in an old post)  Anyway, we bought them last year while living in England and Diana loved it from the beginning. I think Stacey you made a good choice

For a non-bilingual 8 year old, or even for a bilingual I would recommend "Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper" Oxford University Press.
I have a pack with levels 1 to 3, so maybe higher levels would work for an 8 year-old-kid. Still, her/his choices and love for books also determine the level.

Diana still not really interested so much in reading, but she is getting better. From time to time I read with her some simple English words, and with the Spanish reading at school I think she is getting in the mood  ;D


Desconectado Raquel

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #12 en: Junio 08, 2017, 12:57:32 pm »
I thought it would be a long while before I had to revisit this thread. In fact, I had decided that since I learned to read in English at school, so could my daughter... but then school happened, and at the age of 3 they're learning all capital letters (oops! Se me había ido la pinza y estaba escribiendo en inglés). Hay hasta niños que escriben al dictado  :o :o Me he enterado de que hay niños del curso siguiente que saben leer y escribir en mayúsculas y minúsculas (yo flipo), así que veo que empiezan a leer en español en 1 año y hasta primaria seguro que no tocan el inglés. Mi miedo es que veo a mi hija emocionada con su nueva habilidad de leer en castellano y demandando libros en español -lo que me parece genial-, pero no queriendo saber nada de sus libros en inglés. Ya sabéis como son los niños; en cuanto se ven capaces de hacer algo no quieren saber nada de que se lo hagas tú (que es perfecto, salvo en este caso).

Así que me he planteado que el año que viene nos va a tocar aprender a leer en inglés en casa (yikes!!) Lo bueno es que he encontrado unos libros que tiene buena pinta (y veo que casi todos los que los han comprado los recomiendan), lo malo es que veo que es un proceso muy largo y nos veo haciendo deberes en inglés todo el año  :-\

Desconectado Mike

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #13 en: Julio 03, 2017, 09:11:36 pm »
He comentado en otros posts que al final y a pesar de mis miedos, Carmen aprendió a leer en inglés gracias a sus esfuerzos en practicar la lectura el castellano. Para nada ha sido dos estudios aparte. Es una buena noticia que si aprendes a leer, sabes leer y punto. Sin embargo, tuve que esperar hasta los 5 años para ver los resultados. Rápidamente, Carmen supo distinguir entre los dos sistemas fonéticos de la misma manera que sabe emplear un sistema fonético distincto para cada idioma hablado.

No es todo "a bed of roses", however. Las lagunas que Carmen tiene en su inglés hablado también tiene en la lectura. Es decir, los libros que puede leer en inglés son más bien por debajo de su edad. Así que el mismo problema de cómo aumentar su vocabulario existe todavía. Además, Carmen escribe bien en castellano ahora pero fatal en inglés por no tener esa formación constante de practicar la escritura como en el colegio. Francamente, aunque detesto esos libros de texto de inglés del cole, Carmen aprende más de cómo escribir en inglés gracias a esos libros que conmigo.

Mike (padre de niña de OCHO años - recién cumplidos)

Desconectado Raquel

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #14 en: Julio 05, 2017, 02:05:54 pm »
Yo tenía claro que al final aprenden a leer en inglés, igual que aprendimos todos los españoles en el colegio. Mi preocupación es ese tiempo en el que ya leen en español pero todavía no en inglés.

Lo de que Carmen no escriba aún bien en inglés no me parece preocupante, Mike. Aún es muy pequeña para que en el colegio dominen la escritura de un segundo idioma (aunque para ella no lo sea). Llegará el día en que escriba perfectamente en inglés, en cuanto a 'spelling' se refiere, igual que el resto de sus compañeros.

Es lógico también que su nivel de inglés no llegue al de su español y esto también se vea reflejado en el nivel de los libros que pueda leer. Al final es un tema de número de horas en cada idioma. Llegará el día en que pueda leer cualquier libro, pero necesitará algo más de tiempo que los niños monolingües ingleses de su edad, que pasan 24 horas en inglés.

Por cierto, felicidades a Carmen!!

Raquel (madre de niña de casi 4 años y niño de 1)

Desconectado dvenezuela

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #15 en: Noviembre 05, 2017, 11:37:27 pm »
Buenas tardes Mike!!

Mi hija está aprendiendo a leer con una mezcla entre el método “phonics” y leer las palabras completas.

Una vez que aprenden los sonidos y empiezan a unirlos para leer palabras completas e desarrollo se acelera.

Aca dejo un link de un pequeño vídeo que hice de mi hija con un libro que le gusta y venía practicando.

https://youtu.be/AvnKIDMuNy0

Saludos,

Desconectado Mike

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #16 en: Noviembre 06, 2017, 01:43:26 pm »
¡Qué bien lo hace! La pronunciación me gusta - habla claramente. Tendrá sólo unos 3 años, ¿no? A mi hija le costaba más leer en inglés. Creo que cada uno tiene su ritmo y tu hija está adelantada. Gracias por compartir.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvnKIDMuNy0

Desconectado dvenezuela

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #17 en: Noviembre 07, 2017, 06:31:43 pm »
Gracias Mike!!

Tu opinión como nativo, profesor, investigador y papá es importante.

Si, cumplió 3 años en julio. Cada niño tiene su tiempo. Yo intente empezar a enseñarla un tiempo atrás y era frustrante porque era más mi interés que el de ella. Luego ella empezó a aprender por unos vídeos el abecedario y los sonidos de cada letra por su cuenta,  fue entonces, cuando todo lo que en el primer intento parecía imposible, se fue dando de manera natural y a un buen ritmo.

Saludos,

Desconectado esther

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #18 en: Noviembre 25, 2017, 12:30:04 am »
Estoy alucinada! Mi hija ahora con 5 años a duras penas está aprendiendo a leer en español! Ya en inglés ni te cuento! Cero patatero!!! Enhorabuena menudo portento!

Esther (mamá de niñas 5, 1 año)

Desconectado Mike

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Re:Reading and writing in English for bilinguals
« Respuesta #19 en: Noviembre 30, 2017, 11:55:51 am »
Hola, Esther, me alegro saber de ti pero no entiendo bien el significado de tu mensaje. ¿Estás preocupada por la calidad de enseñanza de lectura en su cole? ¿Piensas que el inglés le influye negativamente en su aprendizaje de la lectura en español? ¿Estás preocupada? Si prefieres, puedes enviarme un email directamente a mí.

Mike


 

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