Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Learning English in Cyprus for children

Our family have always had a big love of reading and a house full of books, my Mum taught me to read before I stared school and Leo has also caught the reading bug.  He has had his own books and been read to from a very early age - in fact I often read out loud to him from whatever I was reading at the time when he was only few weeks old (it was the only time I got to read and he used to sit happily on my lap and listen)

I'd heard many English parents here in Cyprus worry about their child's English and end up getting private tuition for them as they progress through school to keep them up to speed in case they have to go back to England to study at any point.  It concerned  me that there was going to be an extra thing to worry about, but I thought with the wealth of information and resources available surely we'd be able to do it ourselves?

I know that it's often said parents should leave teaching to the teachers, in case we teach them 'wrong'. (In fact my Mum was told off by my first teacher as she had taught me the 'proper' alphabet and not phonics.)  but Leo is not at an English school so who knows how (and when) he will be taught the language anyway.

Image credit: Reading Eggs.
Then I found the exact kind of thing I'd been thinking of.....

Reading Eggs is an online world where children learn to read.  Aimed at 3 to 7 year olds.

The program has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers. The Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help improve your child's results at school

Leo loves to use the laptop and has been playing on the Thomas & Friends website for a while now so I wondered what he would make of this.  I told him I had a new game to show him which could teach him how to read. He was very excited and dived right in.

He already knows his alphabet well, upper and lower case (I didn't make any point of specifically teaching him, it just kind of happened) and he was a bit annoyed at first as to why the letters were not coming in the right order (they focus on the sounds and high frequency words to get them reading their first simple words and sentences) and why they were saying 'mmm' rather than 'M' but after I explained that each letter has a sound as well he was quite happy to continue!

The first time he used to program he was frustrated at how repetitive it was and was more interested in the additional games and nursery rhyme videos to play and then asked to do something else after a very short time. The following day though he came home from school and immediately asked to play the 'new reading game'

Since then he's asked to play almost every day and is now loving it.  We have reached lesson 26 and he's enjoying every second. I've noticed how it's improving his reading skills and am highly impressed at how well he's doing.



At first he was getting lots of things wrong but I quickly realised he liked to see what happened when he clicked a wrong answer! Every 10 lessons there is a reading quiz, and you have to get enough right to be able to progress to the next level. He looked quite hurt when it said he hadn't got enough right and wouldn't let him go any further, I explained he needed to listen to the questions and try his best get them right (I had a feeling he hadn't been listening to the questions) and asked him if he wanted to try again.... he did and promptly got every question correct and earned himself a gold certificate.

I think the appeal lies in the colourful characters, and the way it progresses, Leo enjoys working his way across the map and unlocking new lessons and games.  I asked him what he liked about it - his reply 'Because it's fun'

I'm very impressed with the program, and at £29.95 for 6 months or just £39.95 for one year subscription I think it's a really good price, especially for those outside the UK like myself looking for some extra help.


Reading Eggs are offering an extended free trial
Just visit the website www.readingeggs.co,uk and 
sign up using code  UKB24MBT 
this will give you a 5 week free trial instead of the 
usual 2 weeks that new registrations usually receive.


I received a trial of the Reading Eggs program but the views and opinions are my own (and Leo's) 

3 comments:

  1. MidlifeSinglemum17 October 2012 at 03:01

    You and/or your mum should think about opening an after school English club or give private lessons to English speaking children in Cyprus. I have taught many English speaking children in Israel to read and write in English - it's a much sought after service.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't even know how to begin!

    ReplyDelete

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