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...