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I teach someone who is a native speaker of Arabic and who is fluent in spoken English but who struggles with reading and writing. He knows the 26 letters of the alphabet of course but using them to compose words is a real challenge. I don't know how to help him.

Any of you had to learn English later in life and struggled with writing? What helped you?

Thanks :)
 

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I know that when I learned to write Greek, the most important part was 1) associating letters with their phonetic sound, not their English equivalent, and 2) learning the whole concept of the "value" of a vowel (omegas are long omicrons, etas are long episilons, certain situations dictate whether the sound that I hear as simple "o" or "e" is long or short).

For learning how to write the letters, I just kept writing down the sample sentences I was given in my book. After a few weeks or so I could write them easily.

I don't know if this'll help you, but I figured I'd chance a reply since I've had to learn a different alphabet before.
 

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Well english spelling is pretty illogical. Silent letters, c sounds like s or k, vowels make multiple sounds, etc. I'd say he just needs to read and write as much as possible.

I've been learning Japanese kana lately, just writing them out several times a day, and it's pretty cool that I'm getting to be able to read it now.
 

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My supervisor at work is Persian and I can tell when he gets tired because his letters start to resemble Arabic ones, and he has been living in this country for 31 years. He says he has to think in english. So when he gets tired it is hard for him to maintain thinking in english. He also says sometimes he will be watching a movie and start thinking in Farsi and then he can't enjoy the movie.
 
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