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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,452
Senior Member

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,452
Senior Member

Old 12-19-2017, 03:53 AM
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They need to be able to understand and speak some English before you attempt to introduce reading in any meaningful way. Assuming the child is young (Kindergarten age) they will learn the basics of reading with their class - with the ESL teacher is where they should be learning to say and understand.

For an older child, who for some reason has missed out in their first language education, I would still try and have them speaking first. The purpose of reading is to make meaning from print - if you don't have the language, it's pointless. I can make a reasonable go of "reading" Italian, say, but that doesn't mean I can read it in the deeper sense of the word.

Language first; reading later.

And, I do understand you will be under considerable pressure to get the child "reading", with no consideration for their actual language needs. I've been there, too. Do some basic letter/sound stuff and some sight words - even without understand recognising them will help now and also help later. I have had some success with the Spalding method for older (Year 5/6) refugee children from Afghanistan. Their education, even in their home langauge, was fragmented or non-existent, especially the girls, and Spalding is clear cut in teaching basic skills. But they still need some understanding first.
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