Friday, August 26, 2011

Ho.Ly.Crap. He can read Korean.

Okay, let me clarify.  We have a whole series of books with titles like Count Your Way Through Greece.  I think we have about a dozen of these.  Each one features the first ten counting numbers in some language, with little related cultural details.  Each one is inscribed on the cover "E. Wilson."  A lot of Ben's books have "E. Wilson" on the cover.  This is because my mother retired from teaching a few years ago, and proceeded to pass along much of her extensive (and that is the understatement of the century) library of educational children's literature to Ben.  Since she was teaching second grade for the last couple of decades of her career, most of the books are geared toward that age range.  Ben loves 'em.

On the last page of each of these Count Your Way books is a pronunciation guide for the numbers.  I submit, for your consideration, the following:

So Ben's sitting on my lap looking at books before bedtime.  No hearing equipment.  He's spending some quality time on this last page.  He points to the numeral 1 and says "One."  He points to the phonetic translation and says, "Huh nuh."  I start to pay attention.  He goes to the next line and says, "Two ... tuh."  Next line:  "Three ... suh."  "Four ... nuh.  Five ... Tuh suh."  Etc.  You're getting the picture.  Now, here's the really amazing bit:  We've never read this book before.  We've read others in the series, so he gets the general pattern, but not this one.  Just hadn't gotten around to it until tonight.  He has never heard me or any other human being read those words on the page.  He's reading those words himself.  Okay, he's not getting past the first letter in each syllable -- he pronounces that, follows up with a generic soft vowel sound, and moves on.  He read the entire list this way.

My almost-four-year-old deaf child is sounding out phonetic translations of Korean number names.


Neil said...

I LOVE it!

leah said...

Holy smokes! That is seriously impressive - he is going to rock kindergarten (they might have to send him up a grade or three for reading)!

rouchi said...

That's really cool,good going :)

Elsie Hickey Wilson said...

Ok, I'll take the full blame!
I am "MOM" to Julia, "Grammy" to Ben and for years, my books said "E. Wilson". But, this takes the cake!
Ben: You are the best reader of Korean numbers I've ever encountered!
Grammy is very proud of him!

krlr said...

This is seriously awesome. Reading anything is awesome - reading phonetically? WOW.

Does this make up for the 'skipping over the math' bit? Sorry, but I had to laugh about that. Someone was telling me their son hated meat & refused to eat even a McD's hamburger... the kid's granddad was a cattle farmer. Under this theory, my son will be able to sing & be an olypmic athlete so... yeah.