Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Reading - The Next Level

As expected, my fears about how Kavya was going to pick up the intricacies in the wildly inconsistent English language are proving to be quite unfounded. The last few weeks have been an eye-opener with respect to how kids improve their reading when they are first starting out. I know learning to read is a gradual process but I think Kavya has reached what could legitimately be called the next level in her reading.

So far for Kavya, reading just meant combining the sounds of all the letters in the word she was trying to read(in other words, ezhuthu kootti padippaa). Whether the final word was a valid word or not was never her concern. Considering the number of variances in the pronunciation of words, especially as words get longer, she didn't get all the words right and ended up with some rather funny pronunciations (she recently gave me a fright when I thought she was swearing with the dreaded four-letter word before I realized that she was just trying to read 'face'!)

But now she has started applying what she hears in the real world to her reading and that has made a world of difference. In the first pass, she still strings together the letter sounds to come up with a word. But now, it doesn't stop there. When it is a word she doesn't recognize, it is fascinating to watch as she thinks hard about what the word could be. And the wide smile of success when she makes the connection and hits upon the right word is truly priceless.

This step seems to have given her that all-important confidence in reading. Words with 5 or more letters were 'long' words before and hesitated to read them. But now the length of the word doesn't seem to stop her and she keeps on reading bravely. And she gets quite a few of them right (I was really surprised, pleasantly ofcourse, when she successfully read the word 'adventure' on an invitation). From school, she has now learned the concept of letters being silent in a word(the letter is supposed to be 'sleeping'). With these two things, her reading ability has had a big jump. She is now able to read complete books on her own and more importantly, understand what goes on in them.

Kavya tries to read everything she lays eyes on right now and I know that's because of the thrill of discovering reading. I'm just hoping that this fascination develops into a full-blown love of books and she gets to experience the wonderful worlds they are capable of opening up...

13 Comments:

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous ram said...

It's amazing how kids think...your article not just captured their cuteness and innocence but also your joy at watching kavya grow up...very nice read...

one of the first "english lessons" i vividly remember (PS had great English teachers...Physics and Chemistry-- err, ahem...!) was our English teacher explaining when to use "a" and "an" before words and how the sounds meant everything and not the spelling...but even now i have kiddish arguments with ppl...e.g. i would say, "words that start with AN 'h' (pronouncing it 'aechh')" but when reading it, it mite appear to be wrong...

aana, bb, remember the rendering versus rendition e-mail exchange with the "pretty gal." adhukku apaalaye naan konjam boom-boom-maadu avatar-ku goodbye solliten...indha ponnungala utaa thala mela yeri ninnu thaniyaavardhanamey aadidunge... (no offense my madhippukku ooriya fairer-sex readers at bbthots! just a joke...)

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Kumari said...

Ok, DOn't get me wrong, but I get a distinct feeling I've already read this post. I seem to remember most of the lines, verbatim. Is this deja vu? Or are u reposting?

Sorry, just want to check that I am not going mad :) Maybe, i'll go thru the archives.

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous ram said...

kumaari, sikki mukki thappi thavikkira kumaaaari...!! yeah, he did post this last friday...it seems that was a draft and blogger.com screwed up things...for a more polished answer, wait for bb's response...summaa indha paatu nyabagam vandhudhu in this context...so decided to put in my $0.02 comment!

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Kumari said...

Ram: Mikka nanRi :) etho naan thaan thappu thappa yosikirenonu ninaichen :D

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

BB, I guess that is one good thing she inherited from her parents. It makes a big difference I think. It could be genetic or absorbed (osmosis). But definitely parents do play a role in the children's love for the written word. And the best part is they love to read to their younger siblings and save you some work ;-)


It is fascinating to see their skills build up, right?

sleeping, eh? :-)

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Nice post! My daughter seems to enjoy going to the library, picking books by herself and 'padam paathufying' them for now! Just makes me impatient when she would start reading books by herself[really tired of reading her some of her favourite books over and over! :( ]

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Gladtomeetin said...

Nice post and gr8 observation on the kid's innocence and bahaviour :-))

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey balaji

if ur daughter;s just learning to read then how did she write that movie review of curious george?

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous deepa said...

very cute :) makes me wonder how i'd done all this as a kid... all i've been told is that i had a hard time distinguishing between 'b' & 'd'! definitely gonna prod my mom for more stories ;)

kids nowadays r so lucky, they get so much more attention & every small milestone is cherished & remembered... i'm sure they'll enjoy listening to all this stuff abt themselves later :)

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...on the pronounciation of 'face' as the dreaded four letter word....kids are kids!

RS

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger visithra said...

oh shes gonna love books - not all kids go around fascinated about words ;)

 
At 12:16 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, yeah its a real joy watching them at each stage as they grow up :)

kumari, ram pretty much said it right. the post was online for maybe an hour last friday morning when blogger was fixing their screw-ups :)

munimma, i'm already seeing that 'reading to sibling' here. she loves to pick up some book and make up her own story as she 'reads' it to karthik :)

me too, even if they start reading, the reading to them part doesn't go away for a while :)

glad, thanx :)

anon, the 'curious george' review(and other reviews like 'madagascar', 'hanuman', etc.) were all written by me based on what kavya said about the movie. i assumed that was pretty clear since the readers knew that she was 4 1/2 yrs old. sorry if u r new and i misled u :)

deepa, surprised u brought that up since the 'b' and 'd' difference is something kavya hasn't gotten yet too!

RS, yes they are! and thats what makes life with them so interesting :)

visithra, hope what u said comes true :)

 
At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site »

 

Post a Comment

<< Home