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3.3. Reading and Writing?


We are a bit unusual here. We distinguish between language learning in the narrow sense, and second language literacy and composition skills. Certainly the development of literacy and composition skills are closely tied to, and significantly effect, language learning in the narrower sense. Reading often feeds directly into speaking, provided you are at the point where you can figure out new words from context, and the writing system is fairly closely tied to the pronunciation system. And literacy and composition skills may be essential (eventually) for you as an educated member of your new speech community. For beginners, you may have difficulty finding any reading materials appropriate to your level of language ability. We see no need to rush into reading at this stage. Once you know more language you can develop reading fluency more quickly, primarily by just reading a lot. If the language has a complex writing system, then you might prefer to postpone reading and writing a few months anyway, until you know enough of the language to understand what your literacy teacher is saying. We don't recommend receiving your literacy instruction in English (or any other language except for the language you are learning). But these are topics for another day.

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

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