Hi,
Being a non native speaker, I'd like to know how native English read to learn, in particular how to deal with English spelling (also, how do they learn to write)
Regards,
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ESF infrared:
Being a non native speaker, I'd like to know how native English read to learn, in particular how to deal with English spelling (also, how do they learn to write)

In my case - and I believe this is typical - I learnt to read by looking at books while my parents read to me. Gradually I came to see that certain words were associated with certain shapes on the page.
Spelling came much later, but by then it was easy because I already knew what the words looked like. I imagine spelling would be much more difficult for someone who learnt the letters before learning the words.
It's sometimes said that skill at spelling is an innate ability, easy for some people and difficult for others. I have some doubts about that, except for the obvious cases of problems caused by factors such as poor vision and dyslexia. As far as I can see, the good spellers are precisely those who have read many books.

Writing: I don't believe I started writing in any serious way until after I started primary school. At that stage my teachers made me write the letters over and over again, until they weren't too wobbly.
Note that most of the above applies mainly to native speakers. We learnt our language, including the written forms, by immersion. I still have some problems with spelling in French, which I learnt as a second language. The easiest languages to learn are invariably those you learn as a child.

Peter Moylan [email protected] http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
Note that most of the above applies mainly to native speakers. We learnt our language, including the written forms, by ... which I learnt as a second language. The easiest languages to learn are invariably those you learn as a child.

Sure. I was just wondering how's learning to read for English children. IN some other languages like Spanish you start by learning each letter alone, how it is read and how it is written, and then you go to groups of letters and then on to words. Tipically you start learning the vowels, then consonants + vowel, (like ma me mi mo mu) then words like mama, oso, casa , sol etc.
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It's sometimes said that skill at spelling is an innate ability, easy for some people and difficult for others. I ... vision and dyslexia. As far as I can see, the good spellers are precisely those who have read many books.

One would think so, certainly. But in our nuclear family, all equally well-read, there's a sex-linkage: mother and sister aren't confident spellers, while father was and brother and I are. The only environmental factor we can identify as significantly different is that the men took foreign languages to a higher level. I wondered if it might be something to do with spatial awareness and map-reading ability; but I'm not sure it is, as our mother is probably physically the best-coordinated.
Mike.
the good spellers are precisely those who have read many books.

One would think so, certainly. But in our nuclear family, all equally well-read, there's a sex-linkage: mother and sister ... with spatial awareness and map-reading ability; but I'm not sure it is, as our mother is probably physically the best-coordinated.

In our family, my sister and I are about equally well-read. I am a much better speller. She is much better at spatial awareness, direction-finding and mapreading (that is, I'm about as good as she is, but only from long practice; she does it naturally).
I am often surprised that my spelling is so good, because I am hopeless at fitting 3D objects together, for instance, and have a very poor visual memory (I can't remember whether people wear glasses, or what clothes they are wearing, if I look away). So I don't do it visually; I've never found out what I do do.
All of this was true before there was any difference in our foreign language study. The only real difference I can spot is that I learned to read earlier, which may be associated causally either way, of course.

Katy
But in our nuclear family, all equally well-read, there's a ... it is, as our mother is probably physically the best-coordinated.

In our family, my sister and I are about equally well-read. I am a much better speller. She is much better at spatial awareness, direction-finding and mapreading (that is, I'm about as good as she is, but only from long practice; she does it naturally).

(snip)
All of this was true before there was any difference in our foreign language study. The only real difference I can spot is that I learned to read earlier, which may be associated causally either way, of course.

My spatial awareness is pretty good, my foreign-language skills are low-level, my spelling is very good. My sister and my two brothers are similarly spatially aware and similarly lacking in high-level foreign-language skills, but none of them can spell as well as I do. I'd say the main difference is that I'm simply more interested in words. As far as I recall that came before I learnt to read (probably earlier than they did).

Katy Jennison
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It's sometimes said that skill at spelling is an innate ... good spellers are precisely those who have read many books.

One would think so, certainly. But in our nuclear family, all equally well-read, there's a sex-linkage: mother and sister ... spatial awareness and map-reading ability; but I'm not sure it is, as our mother is probably physically the best-coordinated. Mike.

In our family: father and eldest daughter, lousy spellers; mother and two younger daughters, excellent spellers. Father and mother attended same schools, a year apart; all three children attended same schools.

Cece
Hi, Being a non native speaker, I'd like to know how native English read to learn, in particular how to deal with English spelling (also, how do they learn to write) Regards,

There are several methods of teaching a child to read English.

Look-and-say was it for some decades it was an educrat fad, pushed by those who do not teach but think they know best. It involved showing a child a printed word ("Look" and "look") and telling him that that pattern of ink meant /lUk/, then having him read aloud stupid little stories in which the words he'd been taught were repeated over and over. "Look, look. See run. runs after Spot. Run, . Run, run, run." Every word was treated as a sight-word (one which does not follow any rules for pronunciation like "the" and "one"), and many people never realized that letters stand for sounds. They might as well have been learning Chinese characters.
Beginning in the 1950s, this system was attacked by a few, who were ignored. By the 1980s, the few had become many and the educrats thought up "whole language." The idea behind whole language was that reading ability is innate in humans, that simply reading aloud to a child will teach him to read himself, as speaking to a child teaches him to speak himself. Fortunately, it did not last long.

The proper way to teach a person to read English is by using phonics. Begin with simple words of CVC form. Explain each letter; for the vowels, give only the sounds used in those words (&, E, I, A, V). Supply stories using those words (and sight words as needed). Then introduce another set of vowel sounds and consonant digraphs (starting with "th" for /D/ and /T/ /D/ has already been encountered in "the"). Keep adding letter combinations and their pronuciations.

By "writing," do you mean penmanship or composing? If the first: lessons! Begin with printing: as a child learns to pronounce a letter, he should be taught how to copy its printed form. Sans serif, of course. These lessons begin with a demonstration of the grip on the pencil, and practice should be done on ruled paper. The first letter taught is o, followed by c. The c shape is then used to teach a, d, e, g, and q. When the child has become comfortable with printing, both minuscule and capital letters, and beginning punctuation (periods and commas), he can be taught cursive.

Of course, if a child has no desire to read, he won't learn much. It is best if someone has read interesting, fun stories to him from infancy.
Cece
Hi, Being a non native speaker, I'd like to know how native English read to learn, in particular how to deal with English spelling (also, how do they learn to write) Regards,

I forgot spelling!
When a child is taught phonics, he can use phonics to sound words out in both reading and spelling. Formal spelling instruction can begin a couple of years after reading and writing instruction, as he learns more complex phonics and more sight words (sight words must be memorized). Formal spelling instruction can include formal phonics instruction, and related bits: study of word formation, word derivation, word meaning, word use... When spelling is taught in school, each lesson will have several words, related in form or in function or in field, which will be studied thoroughly over perhaps a week. Beginning spellers will have 10 words per lesson; five years later, the number per lesson will have grown to 25.

Cece
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