Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New life for old books

I suppose homeschoolers who teach Polish as a second language are few and far between, but it's always been our choice for language study, for obvious reasons! Some years ago, when J. and E. were quite small, I bought half-a-dozen of these fairy tale books which were intended for use in studying English. I thought they would work just as well to study Polish.

Each story is divided into six two-page spreads. On one page, the text is in Polish, and on the other, the same text is in English. Each text is only about one good paragraph long. I remember working through these with J. and E. I would read the text slowly (I didn't know all the Polish words myself). We would go over each sentence in Polish multiple times, and I would encourage them to tell me what it meant. There were a lot of vocabulary words we didn't know, so we'd take the time to check each unfamiliar word, then read the sentences again. After we'd gone painstakingly through the whole paragraph, I'd read the whole text at one time, hoping we'd grasp the sense of it. I'd always read the English translation at some point, so they did know what was supposed to be going on. I'm sure we always spent two to three teaching sessions on each page, reviewing older pages as we added new ones.

I have no idea how much Polish the kids learned by doing this, either.

I'm using the same books right now with K., but in a completely different way. She already knows much more Polish than they did, and has even had enough instruction in reading to be able to manage on her own, with a little help from me. When she and I sit down for a Polish lesson, she reads through a full paragraph. Then I reread the paragraph to her, sentence by sentence, and she translates for me. Neither of us needs to look up words, at least not more than one or two per book, and we usually work through two pages per session. We'll soon be finished with all the fairy tales I have, and I've already purchased a book about a dog who rides a train (O Psie, Który Jeździł Koleją by Roman Pisarski) which has very short chapters. I think she'll be able to manage it quite nicely, and I may just have J. and E. give it a try, too!


At 4:32 PM , Blogger Mama Squirrel said...

This is similar to what Ponytails and I are doing for French this year. I have two books of one-or-two page stories that were originally written in English but translated into French. They're not great literature by any means, but they do cover a lot of basic vocabulary. We read the stories and act them out with toys; I print out words from the stories and we make new sentences with them; and I have Ponytails copy out some of her new sentences and illustrate them. We keep all the old word printouts and mix them with the new words.


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