I began to feel a little bit of scare because Mita couldn’t read, no matter how much I tried, she is an extraordinary writer, but their pronunciation and reading were still poor, I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing to help her, and I began to feel a little afraid for her future.
I decided to seek some help from my guru and after class I went to her house. I found her working in her garden, taking pictures of bees.
-I think you screwed up your area of knowledge, you should study biology, I told her.
-I see biology as a tool that helps me to understand learning.
-I think that one day you will have to explain to me your complete idea of the relationship between bugs and learning.
-I promise that one day we will have a Jamba Juice and I will explain all my ideas quietly.
-I think I need it, because I don't know what to do with Mita, she can write correctly, but she has many problems with reading and I do not know what to do.
-Well, I think that I can help you, but you need to know what part of the process is causing her problem.
-Mmmm, I don’t know how else explain that she can not read properly.
-The reading process is complex, first of all, it is important to understand that language requires to recognice every sound of the language, this is particularly difficult for foreigners because sometimes the sounds are not shared in their languages.
This is done through the ear and the ability to differentiate sounds separately and then when those sounds are combined.
Once you are sure that children can understand and differentiate the sounds of each letter, the next part of the process is a visual differentiation of written signs, which we call alphabet and remember that there are many letters in each alphabet and there are uppercase and lowercase letters that although they are called equal, visually does not resemble, at this sense children should recognize and differentiate between them all, separating between printed and written alphabet at the same time.
-Then we're talking about the ability to differentiate 26 letters in the for each form, i.e. capital letters, lowercase letters, printed and script... it means… do they need the ability to make differences between 104 signs?.
-You got it!, every shape of letter with its respective sounds and the combination among them.
-Wow!, and I suppose that this is complicated if you're studying another language.
- Exactly! Mita is hindu, but different languages are spoken in his country so if I speak on her behalf, She can read, but I think that she confuses the sounds. It is easier to differentiate the graphic signs (letters) that differentiate sounds, as it requires more care.
Now, when you can achieved all the difference, you will have another process that is to be able to pronounce them correctly. I may never speak without my latin accent, but I module my words good enough and make people to understand me.
- why some people can speak better foreign languages than others?.
-Depends on the time of interaction with the foreigner language and how much young they began. People who born listening to one or more languages, will be able to reproduce it and differentiate sounds than those who do it later.
-I understand. I already said that Mita has a great capacity. I was so confused that she could write as well but not read, but I understand, are not joint process... How can I help her?.
- You can do a lot of for her pronouncing slowly each word and if other children read, while she listens to them reading she tries without pressure, you should see fast results. In this case her family can not help her too much, because she will always hear that accent that causes her so much confusion, but if they can support her allowing her to listen to the English-language television, and you can have reading sessions with her, reading carefully and clear each words, she certainly can make it, she has the potential, just need a little help from their friends.
Two weeks later with 2 sessions of 15 minutes of reading per day and with her parents putting all of their effort in the process, Mita began to read more confident and fluently.
Yes, I admit that I was willing to say she was not capable and let her lose the year, but fortunately I could understand the process of the reading... children are worth for a question... and wow, reading t is more complex than it seems!.
I think that I will look forward that jamba juice... no doubt there will be much to learn from the bugology.