Young One is celebrating Literature Week at her school, with author visits, book exchanges, a reading flash mob, and finally a party Friday to conclude the activities. This has me reflecting a bit on her reading experiences...
There are a series of questions that I receive over and again from people (mostly American) upon their discovery that my little American girl attends Italian elementary school when she could indeed attend an American school here. They've become fairly predictable by now, and while they are generally questions based in honest curiosty, I do occasionally feel a hint of judgment in some of them.
"What about her reading? Aren't you worried that she will fall behind?!" (Insert: How will she ever be admitted to college? Her opportunities will be limited! Her life will be ruined!)
Last week I had her take a reading assessment that is used in the American system, an assessment that I do not endorse wholeheartedly, but one of the many standardized tests that she would be subjected to if she were enrolled in the American school.
The kid performed surprisingly well.
She has not had a day of formal reading instruction in the English language. She scored on the high range of her grade level.
I know that one test cannot accurately assess reading ability! I know. I know. I know. I could write a thesis, but this is blog post...most people have likely already stopped reading it. And did I mention that I don't like this particular test? Actually, it's not the test I despise as much as the way the results are often interpreted and used. However...
In answer to "But what about her reading? Won't she fall behind? Aren't you worried?"
The child is thriving, in two languages. The possibilites are limitless. My biggest worry has been that up until early this school year she hadn't expressed a love of reading in any language.
Now I have the much-coveted test data to confirm what I've suspected all along: literacy is literacy. Everything's gonna be all right, y'all. (Sigh.) And, finally, a little girl who is crazy for books!
Let's not even get started about the math.
1.Yes, I know a bit about reading instruction and children's literature, and I have access to friends who are fabulous elementary school teachers. They've guided me. Yes, I have worked informally with her with reading in English since she was born. Letters, Words, Sounds, Books. Yes, my husband does it, too. No, I have not used a prescribed program of any sort. And finally, it's the poor writing (spelling, really) that causes a bit of concern.
2. Disclaimer: I hate generalizations. This is my limited experience at my third grader's tiny primary school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!