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English Literacy

Question

Hi,
I was wondering how those of you whose kids are educated in local schools, and speak English at home, help them to develop literacy skills in English. Have you just read to them a lot when young, encouraged a love of books and left them to their own devices? Or have you set aside time to formally study grammar, spelling etc? For those of you who have not done any formal teaching have you found that they are lacking in literacy skills, compared to kids of the same age educated in English? I appreciate you sharing your insights and experiences.
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Also, has anyone found their French or Dutch educated child(ren) reluctant to speak English at home, especially if English is the language of only one parent?
Thanks.

J

"child(ren) reluctant to speak English at home, especially if English is the language of only one parent?"
Not unusual. Persevere and be consistant.
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"read to them a lot when young, encouraged a love of books"
Yes. (both now in early teens) one is never out of a book, either French or English and makes extensive use of the local library. The other one has no real interest in reading for pleasure. Both write reasonably well in English, with some spelling and no grammar issues. Neither has had any formal English lessons.
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"educated in local schools, and speak English at home"
We're second generation doing this.
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"time to formally study grammar, spelling etc?"
No. I'm entirely "self taught", though I do think that a good grounding in a language with a formal and complex grammar (French) helped a lot.
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There are some good books on the subject of bilingualism and how to do it. It sounds like you're not monolingual at home, so it's probably worth fishing one out and getting to grips with issues of language dominance and "refusal" to use a language. Once you understand them, there's usually nothing to wory about.

Oct 11, 2012 09:59