Saturday, 19 September 2009

OPOL or OBOL?

I have previously mentioned that I tend to read all books to Lilia in French, whatever the original language of the book. Lilia prefers it that way, and I do too, as I posted some time ago on the subject of reading connection.

I now wonder if that has not slowed her acquisition of reading. She totally grasps the concept of phonics, she can also write words using simple phonics. However, I now realise that the next stage in reading acquisition, that is pattern recognition, is eluding her. The majority of children books we own, and borrow from the library, are in English. Because I read those books in French, she has not learned to match spoken words with written words. That became obvious while reading "We are going on a Bear Hunt". The text is repetitive with simple words such as "and", "it". I would have expected Lilia to recognise those words after a while. But actually, she has not go into the habit of following the text in stories...

I am confident that she will be able to make up for this "delay". However, I can see now that multilingual reading and writing is not as straightforward and natural as multilingual speaking. I suppose the OPOL principle still applies, only it becomes OBOL in the context of reading (One Book One Language).

From today, I will read each book in the language it is written in. I probably should have done this long before. The obvious solution is to get more books in different languages.