Language facts! Suppose teachers as well as students knew how similar English and Spanish languages are? How many Spanish and English letter sounds are actually shared? How many English letter sounds do Latino children already speak in their everyday home life? Ramon, Maria, David and other family names. Would it make an overall literacy difference if we acknowledged all these questions?

Suppose both teachers and students knew that ‘h’ and ‘w’ were the only major letters which are unknown to Latino kindergarteners? These are the two letters Latino beginning readers from Spanish speaking homes should be emphasizing their instruction on. Most of the remaining alphabet letters are already somewhat familiar.  Only ‘h’ and ‘w’ require extra efforts to learn how to pronounce and recognize their individual sounds.

Would it make a difference if teachers and Latino kindergarteners knew how few letters are unknown when they start their ABC journey? How would it make a difference? What type of positive changes would be seen as a result: increased self-confidence and enthusiasm for reading.



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