Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Bilingual education

I'm hoping to take a class next fall on bilingual education - it's one of the electives that will count toward my degree. Perhaps something I learn in that class will shed more light on the fun stuff going on with Miriam's writing skills lately. Check it out:

Every once in a while, something like this happens - Miriam writes in English but from right to left. I think this kind of thing happens with a lot of kids.

But then there's this:
In the upper left corner of this lovely drawing, Miriam has written her name in Arabic. But she's written it from left to right. It should look like this: مريم.

I'm pretty sure this is par for the course when a five-year-old is learning how to read and write in two different languages at once - two languages that go in different directions, no less.

Honestly, I'm thrilled to see her writing enough to be making mistakes like this. I taught her how to read (in English) over the spring and summer of 2010. She did great. She begged for reading lessons every day, and sometimes wanted more than one a day.

Right around the time we moved here, though, something happened. She stopped reading. She refused reading lessons. I'd try to teach her, to pick up where we left off or even move back a few lessons, but she wailed and wailed, "I caaaaaaan't!" and there were many tears involved from both of us. It wasn't until about two months ago that we caught up to her August 2010 level of ability. It was frustrating and puzzling, and I am so glad she's got her groove back, for whatever reason. Because I love finding notes like this:

posted around the house.

And now she's got a little Arabic under her belt, too (they teach it at her school), so I suppose it's not so unusual that her English skills regressed when we moved here. For now, I'll take backwards Arabic - or backwards English - any day.

Death of a sandbox

May 6, outsourced