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Geschrieben von SilviaH am 15.10.2005, 9:37 Uhr

Reading and writing in two languages

Hi! I am Italian, my husband is German, we have three kids, they speak both languages very well. The eldest just started primary school and the teacher told me off because I signed a note for Alex "mamma" (italian) and not "mama" as in German. She told me that I am not supposed to teach the child how tro write in Italian otherwise he will only be confused and will not learn anything. She said that, for instance, when the kids learn English starting from class 1 they do not learn to write till class 3. But I think it is completely different, I mean, English is for them a foreign language, while Italian is Alex's mothertongue (and German his "fathertongue"...) and as he know the difference in the spoken language should have no problems in writing both languages.
>What do you think? Any first hand experience? Any teacher here to give me an advice?

 
6 Antworten:

Re: Reading and writing in two languages

Antwort von birgitaustria am 15.10.2005, 12:33 Uhr

I'm not a teacher and I'm not sure whether I'm able to help you. But all I can say, is that my daughter started 5 weeks ago learning writing in German and English. Up to now it works.

She learns German (mothertonge) at the normal groundschool an English an HelenDoronEarlyEnglishSchool. The teachers there do not see any problem with it. First they were not sure about it, becauce all the other children in this class are second-years and my daughter ist the only one first-year but after two or three lessons the teacher informed me, that she does well, slow, but well. In fact, I must say, she knows all the letters, even that ones that are not teached at groundschool up to now, that should be a bit of a help.

We will see, as the year goes on.

I myself learned writing in English at the age of ten an my typewriting is really cruel, I'm soooo slow in English!!! It's really awful!

Best regards, Birgit

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Re: Reading and writing in two languages

Antwort von DK-Ursel am 15.10.2005, 21:02 Uhr

Hej!
Here are my experiences:
We are German (mother) and Danish (father).
I have never doubted to raise our daughters with 2 languages, we just did it without much thinking, and the theory came later, smile.
So when there were worrying neighbours etc., I just let them speak.
Both children are fluently bilingual!

But when Louise came to school and started reading and writing (Danish), I became a bit insecure - I wanted to make sure that Louise didn´t become worse in Danish.
Her teacher told me that he saw no difficulties, as Louise was doing well in Danish.

Later i talked with e friend who studies to become a teacher for german and upraises her children in both German and Danish - she told me that in her school, where pupils learn a foreign language from the 1. class, they never taught them how to write and read this foreign language.
BUT I think this is because it is a foreign language for these childen, whereas our children speak both languages fluently - so when thy can differ them orally, why not written?

Actually both of my children were the first to read fluently in their classes, and both took both German and Danish books - without I had any influence on that.
After having read a thicker book in German, we noticed that Sophia pronounced the words in a Danish book in the german way, but that disappeared quickly.

They continue reading in both languages, but of course they have to read at least as many Danish books as germans, just in order to enlarge their Danish vocabulary like any other Danish pupil.
They do very well!!!!

I let them write german letters to penfriends and familiy from time to time, without many corrections. I am sure that they will learn the German orthography by reading as many German books as possible.
How satisfied you are depends of course from what you exprect from them.
But they are not cunfused at any time, and the German and Danish spelling and pronounciation is ery different.

My offer: Let your child read, when it wants to do that -without too much excersing.
Try to get some of the german excercise-books (ALDI has sometimes Karlchen Krabbelfix books to an acceptable price, which are really useful and good, and my children like to excersice the small tasks when we are driving long distance trips or when we have waiting times...)

And keep an eye with your childs efforts and knowledges at school!

Good luck - Ursel, DK

(If your husband is interested, you may find a lot of information and parents in your situation on IDA mailinglist: Sprachmäuse/Schulmäuse --- www.imausland.org)
Language on the list is German!

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Re: outrageous!

Antwort von Christine&Sam&Mia am 16.10.2005, 1:49 Uhr

hi,
sorry but i think that teacher is arrogant and selfrighteous.
how dare she telling you how to write your own name!!!
the whole thing sounds just poiltically incorrect to me.
i don't know about theories with reading and writing skills for bilingual kids, but what has that to do with wheather you write mamma or mama.
i think you can teach your child whatever you want!
frankly, i would give that teacher a very hard time and complain about her if necessary...
lg,
christine

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Re: Reading and writing in two languages

Antwort von germanit1 am 16.10.2005, 10:07 Uhr

Se il bimbo vuole leggere in italiano e anche imparare a scriverlo perche non accontentarlo? Io faro lo stesso. Mio foglio ha 4 mesi ed abitiamo in Italia (io sono italo-tedesca).

Saluti

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Re: Reading and writing in two languages

Antwort von yvnabe am 17.10.2005, 22:36 Uhr

Hi Silvia,

my experience is more or less the same as the others.

You will find openminded teachers as you will find the others. Which in your case is just unfortunate, keep smiling politely and act as you have before. Moreover, act to what and how you can agree with your consciense.

Good luck and be sure, you are not alone!!
Yvonne

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Re: Reading and writing in two languages

Antwort von AustroAmericanMom am 22.10.2005, 6:43 Uhr

I totally agree with what you said in : "But I think it is completely different, I mean, English is for them a foreign language, while Italian is Alex's mothertongue (and German his "fathertongue"...) and as he know the difference in the spoken language should have no problems in writing both languages".

It is a difference! My son is in 2nd grade now and has no problems whatsoever to separate his German writing/reading from the English writing/reading! German ist his native language, it just comes naturally and English is his 2nd language. His English is very, very advanced, his German writing is good, but I can't compare it to other kids his age, so I'm not sure if he makes more mistakes. I think he does fine.

Us speaking German to him at home (and reading and writing) did NOT slow him down in any way. He just got tested and is 3 years ahaed of the "normal 2nd grader"!

Ivonne, USA

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