perjantai 4. toukokuuta 2012

Blogathon, Day 4: Finns, those lucky bastards

My dear son, 4 years old, has just learned to read.

First of all - it is huge to follow the process. How amazing it must be when the whole world of funny symbols opens up to you.

I was six years old when I learned this great skill. I remember the moment sitting on the living room couch when I suddenly noticed that the subtitles of Dallas (yep, Bobby, Sue Ellen et al.) made sense to me. "Pamela, we need to talk. But first I need a drink."

Secondly: when I watch my son reading I feel enormous gratefulness. Thank God we are Finns!

Finnish is a language that is basically always pronounced the same way as it is written. A is always pronounced as a in the English word car. It won't suddenly change to something else like in the words cake or watch. It there are two aa's, it is just pronounced longer. Simple as that. 

I mean gosh, how do kids learning other languages make it? Finns don't for example need those silly spelling contests what they have in anglo-saxon countries. When you learn the letters and you learn to read you automatically are able to spell. 

I was talking about this with a lady I know. She suggested that maybe Finns' great success in PISA studies is just because reading, the basic skill, is learned so fast. You have plenty of time and energy for other things when you learn to read easily. Who knows. It certainly doesn't hurt. 

But to be honest - to learn the technique of reading is one thing. You also need to understand what you read and little by little get to know the vast amount of discourses in written (and spoken) language. That learning process won't end on your day of graduation. It is something you need to rehearse through your whole life. 

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Sano sananen! Ole samaa mieltä, eri mieltä, haasta, korjaa virhe, ihmettele, anna lisätietoa, mitä tahansa, omalla nimelläsi tai nimimerkillä, mutta pysy asiallisuuksissa.