Do you want to answer the unanswered questions?
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My daughter is a big fan of books. She can spend one hour in a row looking at her books, and often asks my wife and me to read her a story.

We are a french family.

For 2 weeks, she's been looking at words written in the books and mimics the act to read with her finger. Then, she says she wants to learn to read.

So, my question is : how to teach a young child to read? Is it possible? I learned to read with the "methode boscher" (french book), where each letter is decomposed into a sound, then concatenated (P + A gives "PA"), but I'm not sure she could understand that.

Finally, I tried to make her guess words beginning with a particular sound, an exercise I already saw in prelearning reading. But she didn't understand the exercise.

2 Answers

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From personal experience: I started reading at 3. I was 4 when I read a book on my own for the first time (Winnie the Pooh - the original, not some dumbed down Disney version).

So to the "is it feasible" question - yes, it is.

But something you need to consider: there will be plateaus. This is usual for any human learning curve for any skill, but they were very noticeable when I was learning to read. I certainly remember that there was a single "aha" moment when I switched from reading aloud to reading silently. My father describes a similar earlier moment when I switched from recognizing each letter on its own to recognizing a word at once, of which I have no memory.

The point is: be prepared for these plateaus. They will happen. When they do, don't despair, don't think that your child "is never going to learn it" or similar. Don't try to push her through them too hard. Don't leave her stay on the plateau forever either. When she reaches a level at which she's comfortable but progress stalls, let her exercise on this level a lot, but every now and then, ask her to try a slightly harder task. If it doesn't work yet, wait a few more days or weeks with exercises on the same level.

Note that at this age, language acquisition is not only a matter of intelligence, it is also a matter of physically developing the needed brain nuclei. You might want to read "The Language Instinct" by Stephen Pinker. It's not only a fascinating popular science book on its own right, it also describes lots of linguistic research done on children. This will give you a better understanding of how humans acquire language, and help you ease her into acquiring a written language at an early age.

As for a suggestion for a method to follow, I'm afraid my dad would be qualified to answer it, but not
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It's definitely possible.

I myself learned reading at 4 or 5 pretty much on my own. According to my mother, I just started pointing out words and letters in my books asking for the pronounciation, and so gradually learned to read without any active participation from her.

I'm not sure whether that's the best way, and 2.5 may be a bit early, but it indicates that her expressing the wish to learn reading is a very encouraging factor.
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