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teaching a young kid to read.....

 
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ratslash



Joined: 08 May 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 3:54 am    Post subject: teaching a young kid to read..... Reply with quote

this is quite a wierd situation. i've recently started teaching a kid who has lived in america all his life. he is 6 years old korean so about 4 or 5 western age. the kid has great subject knowledge. i mean, show him a flashcard and he knows what it is. he can speak english well too. but he can't read. not a word. i was wondering if anyone out there has any great tips on how to get this kid reading. all the foundation is there i just don't know how to advance him to the next step. any advice would be cool and thanks for your time.

also, shouldn't this kid be able to read now if he has lived in america for all his life? what age are children usually able to read
something by?

thanks again.
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4 or 5 western age? That may or may not mean he ever went to kindergarten. Even then, many children do not learn to read in kindergarten. Many kindergarten focus on social skills and getting kids ready for reading. What is all the rush with learning to read? Reading at an earlier age is not better does not mean a better end result. The pressure to read makes some kids hate it.

Anyway- try and make this a pleasant experience if his parent insist that he needs a private tutor to learn to read in English. Reading should be fun an meaningful to him.

Repetitive stories are a must. Rhyming ones are also good. Let him fill in the parts that he knows. As you read model pointing to the words and then have him do it, so he learns that the sound chunks are related to words on the page. Later when he is reading some on his own these repetitive books will help him achieve success, because he knows that story well, and the vocabulary is more limited. A series called Learn to Read and Read to Learn has this type of structure and works particularly well with ESL young learners. However, don't let your storytime be limited to these books. Also choose ones that he shows interest in or are just for fun. This is an important tip to give his parents as well- here in Canada, we really push parents to read to their kids. It is the biggest indicator of future reading success.

The alphabet is a must, but I caution against too much drill and practice unless it is fun for him. Letter recognition is key to decoding. My kindergarten class always does the letter hunt. I assign the special person of the day to find all of the letter C's in the morning message. There are lots of other fun games too. Let me know if you need some.

Phonics doesn't hurt either - just don't let it take over your program. Some kids need this approach and others don't. There are plenty of books on it if you need support. Start with initial consonants first, then final ones, and short vowels last. Once you have those you can read a lot of small words. Play lots of games with this stuff too or it can be like eating your daily quantity of fibre - both of you hate it.

Don't forget writing. These skills should be developed at the same time because they are so related. Write stuff together. At first maybe you write the message - showing yourself as a model for how someone writes - but don't give too much information at once. Focus on one or two key elements. Then let him tell you the message and you write it - again thinking out loud. Later - as he knows more letters sounds, sight words, punctuation rules - he can tell you what letter to write, how to spell words etc. Let him write as much as he can. A whiteboard is good for this if it is special for him.

Journaling is also a good way to build writing skills. At first it will just be pictures telling a story. Have him tell the story to you. Later help him to add letters to his pictures to represent the words he wants to say. It is sometimes helpful to make blanks together to represent the words in his sentence. Let him help you with that - how many words long is your sentence? As he knows more about words and phonics - the journals will become more about the words than the pictures. Use what he loves to get him to write. Way back in 2000, with my 5 year-old class in Seoul - they loved Pokemon and would wait for me every Friday afternoon with their journals open to see what Pokemon picture I would bring for them to write about.

Any other meaningful writing or reading is always good. Kids love to imitate adults - making lists, ordering from a menu, writing letters. Maybe he would enjoy a penpal relationship with kids in his old neighbourhood?

Well, I can't say everything here, but I hope this might give you some ideas about how to start to think about teaching literacy. Give me a PM if you need specific ideas or help.

Happy reading!
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Phonics doesn't hurt either - just don't let it take over your program.

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Phonics is BASIC!!! Once a kid learns phonics, reading is easy...and so are the things that are difficult for Korean kids such as rhyming. If he already knows the alphabet, teach him how each letter sounds. Start with simple things such as "mat" "rat" "hat" then go on to "mate" "rate" "hate".

I've found that the better the kid is at phonics, the better they are at English.
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anae



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ajuma -

Perhaps my sentence of "it doesn't hurt" was belittling the role of phonics too much. Of course, if you can't decode the sounds - you can't read. But people thinking about teaching kids to read rarely miss the phonics part. They seem to think that doing worksheets and having kids repeat r says "rrrr" constitutes a reading program. Decoding without seeing the whole picture of what literacy means often leads kids to hate the very idea. I recently went to observe a reading program given by a popular tutoring company in North America who have kids fill out endless worksheets and read boring passages like "the fat cat sat on the mat " day in and day out. The kids have to be pushed into doing them and complain the whole time. Reading should be a joy not a chore.

Plus there are plenty of kids who don't get formal "phonics training" in the traditional sense who learn to read. My kindergarten partner teacher in Calgary has been teaching kids to read without the worksheet route for 15 years. Letters and their sounds are taught in their natural state - in words. I am not so opposed to isolating sounds as she is as long as I make sure to to show kids how the phonics we talk about relates to the words they see on the page.

Phonics alone won't guarantee that kids learn to read. English as any number of confusing rules that apply and then don't apply. I always start with basic phonics being a regular subject but don't go much past the "e" controlled vowels. I want kids to be reading real books right away instead of waiting until they have "mastered phonics". Once we are reading - we can talk about the different sounds and their families in a real context.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Bugs phonics and Dr. Seuss
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is exactly like my old school. I had to teach all but 2 classes how to read.

I would start out by having him memorize/learn high frequency words. Here they are (I'll never forget them)

a
am
be
can
I
is
it
go
like
look
my
see
the
to
you
your

These are the words most used in children's books. Phonics is also great, and the other advice you've gotten so far is really good, too. I'd just add these high frequency words--I'm sure if you look it up on the net, you can find the next most common words. I think it's good to have some memorization in the begining stages of learning to read. My kids felt so good that they could at least read some words and tried to sound out the rest of them.
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bignate



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Location: Hell's Ditch

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What anae said before are all important, particularly the bit about making it entertaining, as well as making sure he experiences success in the begining stages very frequently to build up his confidence, then
justagirl wrote:
I would start out by having him memorize/learn high frequency words. Here they are (I'll never forget them)

a
am
be
can
I
is
it
go
like
look
my
see
the
to
you
your

These are the words most used in children's books.

Yes, the learning and use of "sight" words is very important for early readers when they are decoding simple sentences.

The use of Dolch word lists can get you started. Also the technique of boxing the words to show the form and shapes of the words is sometimes helpful in their development of a good repertoire of sight words.
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