Thursday, March 8, 2012
I took this video last month. Jie Jie is reading the first book of a series of learn-to-read books. Jie Jie is now on book four. I am also using the book How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I like this book a lot and it's working, obviously!
In the USA, children are generally taught to read by grouping sounds like a, at, hat, cat, mat, had, bag, etc... For a person like Jie Jie, where English is a new language, it's like trying to say a tongue twister. The words at and hat are VERY similar to her when she hears them and in some cases, she can't tell the difference between sounds. If you have tried to learn Mandarin, I'm sure you've encountered the same problem, especially with the work shi and the various tones to use with it.
Whenever we are now, Jie Jie tries to read the signs and things that we pass. In her workbooks, she is reviewing the alphabet, reenforcing the letter sounds and learning more vocabulary by seeing different pictures in the exercises. Differnt fonts through her off, though.
Jie Jie finds arithmatic easy so far, but remembering the names of the numbers by sight is harder for her. I've been doing flashcards and oral exercises to help her and it's working. I think she'd have been a better verbal learner if she wasn't also learning a whole new language at the same time.
When she has to learn something without knowing the relavance, she resists learning and/or becomes very frustrated and frozen. Once she learns enough to make a connection, she picks it up quickly. Therefore, on the days when I introduce new material, it's torture for both of us. As I get better at teaching her, I'm sure I'll figure out a way to help her through this in an easier way. I admit that I get impatient, too, and that doesn't help either. Fortunately, like I said, she picks things up quickly once she gets the point, and then we have great school time for a week or so until something entirely new comes up again.