Ask Dr. Marion: Do Dual Language Programs Pose Problems?

Amanda asked us on our Facebook page:

We are currently in the free, Reading Kingdom trial, and my very bright kindergarten daughter is in a dual language program at school (Spanish). We are an English only speaking family. She is speaking and reading in Spanish now, but not yet reading in English. The  teacher says this is normal, and that I shouldn’t try to teach her to read in English now because it will confuse her. English reading skills will be taught in 1st grade. What does Dr. Blank think?

It is always difficult to offer recommendations when there has been no opportunity to see your child.

However, based on your description, it seems likely that she will do well learning to read English via the Reading Kingdom. For a start, there is considerable research to indicate that when children do not have learning difficulties, then bi-lingual or tri-lingual environments serve to enhance their language development. Relatively little is known about how well this idea applies to teaching reading in two languages. However your daughter’s performance is the best guide. If she is doing well, that will be a clear sign that the program is useful to her. You’ll be able to know within 6 to 8 weeks of starting the program.

As we describe on the website, the program does not require any “sounding out.” In any event, your daughter’s performance on the program itself will tell you if it is suitable for her. If she is doing well, that will be a clear sign that the program is useful to her.  (You’ll be able to judge by observing her handling of the activities; in addition, we will be sending you regular reports.)

Please let me know if I’ve answered your question, and do let us know how your daughter is doing in school and with the Reading Kingdom program.

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Literacy and reading expert, Dr. Marion Blank



Dr. Marion Blank, creator and founder of The Reading Kingdom program is answering your questions about reading and learning. To leave a question for Dr. Marion, visit the Reading Kingdom Facebook Page and let us know how we can help.