Sunday, 7 December 2008

Reading, Writing and Connection

BK1 is showing a definite interest in reading and writing. I am inspired by the Montessori approach, where the child learns to identify sounds, encodes them into letters, writes words, then starts reading. I read Lynne Laurence's Montessori Read and Write. Also, I bought BK1 a French book with sandpaper letters. It is great for understanding how to write letters.

I have always read to her in French, whether the book we were reading was French, German or English. Now that she identifies sounds and letters, it is becoming tricky. I decided to read her books in the original language, so sounds would correspond to letters. The other day, she wanted to read an English book. I started reading in English, then she looked at me, with a surprised look:"Mummy, not this way, read to me the way you speak to me". I was surprised and glad at the same time. Surprised because I thought she would like me to read to her in English, as she is always blabbering to herself in English. Glad because it felt so right to read the way I speak to her.

Something I find interesting with multilingual people is that the language we speak to one person becomes part of the relationship. Example, DH and I speak French between us. It feels very strange to speak English with him when in a non-French speaking group, almost as if he were a stranger. This is why I was relieved when my daughter wanted me to read in French. Reading was not about the book, it was about the connection between us.