Monday, 4 February 2013

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

Learning to read and write for a bilingual kid may be one of the most stressful experiences ever for the minority language parent. But we are here and I'm happy to say that we are all surviving.

Suzanne has made it through her first half of CP (1st grade in France) and is decoding slowly but steadily, as her teacher said. she also said that Suzanne is an élève agréable (a nice student) which makes me one very proud Mommy.  She is still reversing her B and D; and she is still confusing the S and Z in her name. But I remember doing the same thing with the B and R in my name at her age. She is apparently good with math and her penmanship is good (very important in a country where graphology is a respected science).

Max is also learning something at school. The temptation of a big cardboard box in our living room took over. Both kids just couldn't resist drawing on it. Suzanne drew a princess and her name. Max wrote a wiggly M and drew a tadpole looking person, the first time I've seen either of them. Max recognizes almost all the letters of the alphabet and can sound most of them out (thanks to super Why). 

They are both doing more interlanguage than when we got back from the US this summer, but nothing to be concerned about. Suzanne's thing at the moment is, "what like flavor is it?" while Max adds "that" into his sentences as he would use the conjunction in French. All I can do is make them repeat the correct sentence back to me.

Although Max is dying to have the power to read, just like Super Why, he knows he'll have to wait a while longer. He's been asking Suzanne to read to him. The other day, as they sat side by side reading magazines on the toilet/potty, he handed a National Geographic Little Kids to his big sister. As she flipped through it, I heard her say, "ok, I can read it to you but only in French." So I guess it will be a little while before she understands that it's even more complicated than it seems.

All in all, I'd say the bilingual experiment (ie my children) is still going strong. I remain a strong proponent of OPOL but have become a little less rigid as time goes by. I even said an entire sentence to Suzanne in French last night when we had a guest over from I guess we're all making progress.

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