Wednesday, 26 August 2015

BK1 can read Arabic!

When we landed at Algiers Airport a few weeks ago, I noticed BK1 (10 years old) looking at the signs in Arabic. I said to her casually that I was hoping she'd be able to read Arabic by the end of our 6-week stay. She then squinted at the sign and spelled out "ma-t-a-r م ط أ ر " (airport), just like that. Turns out she could already read!

During our stay with my parents, particularly at mealtimes, BK1 would decipher the Arabic writing on bottles of water, lemonade etc. Granted, she has a limited grasp of what the words she is reading mean, but still! How many 10-year olds are there who can read in 4 languages?

Compared to our friends' son, who at 10 years of age passed his Arabic GCSEs successfully, grasping how to read is neither here nor there. However, compare that to the vast numbers of kids of a similar age, born to both Algerian parents and who are unable to speak colloquial Arabic, let alone read or write classical Arabic, and I feel sort of ... satisfied.

Yes, the road is long before BK1 achieves some literacy in Arabic, but we're on it :)