Language and Literacy for Early Childhood PDF

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1LANGUAGE AND LITERACY FOR EARLY CHILDHOODINTRODUCTIONLanguage is the basic and primary form of communication method in humancivilisation (Whitebread & Coltman, 2015). Language has developed since the earlyprehistoric ages, as man understood the need of an advanced communication method toremain in the competition for survival (Barrett, 2016). Language is imbibed in the humanbeing since his or her birth. The first acquisition of language occurs in the very early agewhen the parents start speaking to the child in the native language or primary language. Thenative or the primary language is also known as the L1. The child as he progresses towardshis age where he starts speaking well in the L1 or the “mother tongue” as it is called, there isendeavour from the parents to send him or her to school and learn more number of languages(Wang, 2014). The second language that a person learns after acquiring the first language, isalso known as the L2 or the secondary language (Saville-Troike & Barto, 2016).There are different views and theories about the language acquisition and learning.The behaviourist view states that it is a mechanical process to learn and imbibe languages,which can be proved by the Skinner box experiment where a rat is trained to mechanicallypress a bar in stimulus to a light, the pressing makes way for food to drop in (Skinner, 1990).The children similarly learn the process of crying and hence getting food, or uttering aparticular word and getting desired results. The Nativist theory on the other hand suggeststhat a child from the very beginning of is development of cognition a child has the inbuiltability to understand the laws of the language and start acquiring it (Saxton, 2017). TheCognitivist view states that the child goes through several stages to learn a language but thereis a difference of acquiring capability among different individuals.In this essay there will be a detailed literature review about the importance ofdevelopment of language in literature in early childhood, and an interview with an
2LANGUAGE AND LITERACY FOR EARLY CHILDHOODexperienced teacher about the same topic, which will throw light on different aspectsincluding reading activities in classroom, methods used to train students and the strategies.DISCUSSIONThe literature review of different related journals, articles and researches leadsto clear comprehension and understanding of the subject.In the article “Languagedevelopment in the early school years: The importance of close relationships withteachers” the authors have pointed out that an emotional bond between the teacher and thestudents is necessary for an effective development of language skills among the students(Spilt, Koomen, & Harrison, 2015). The students who receive an emotional support tend toreciprocate by learning quicker and in a better way. It is a fact that students who feel likehome in their schools are much more interested in going to the schools and participating inlearning activities. The students who feel secluded would naturally develop low interests inlearning.In the articleAdolescence as a sensitive period of brain developmentthe authorspoint out how learning is most effective in the early adolescence as this is the most crucialstage in the growth of brain, and the cognitive abilities of the children increase considerably(Fuhrmann, Knoll & Blakemore, 2015). The brain’s activity of acquiring new knowledge andmaking oneself compatible with the acquired knowledge starts from the very childhood,hence it is advisable for the parents and the teachers to imbibe language training into thechildren at an early age.Rodríguez (2017) in his article “Perception of Pragmalinguistic Knowledge inPrimary Spanish Teacher Training Students of English as a Foreign Language” has statedwhat is the role of reading activity in acquiring a second language. Literacy not onlycomprises of the native language of the person, but the other languages that a person learns
3LANGUAGE AND LITERACY FOR EARLY CHILDHOODconsecutively. Second language plays a very important role in a person’s literacy because thesecond language is acquired with a purpose of using it in the professional field. It is analysedthat how the pronunciation of the first language or the mother tongue has an effect on theacquiring and speaking of the second language. The English teachers in the schools of Spain,both primary and secondary, mostly gives importance on grammatical aspects of thelanguage, but it is seen how spoken aspects are equally important.In the article “Reading comprehension strategies in secondary content areaclassrooms: Teacher use of and attitudes towards reading comprehension instruction”theauthor has pointed out how frequency of reading activities and comprehension instruction inthe classrooms boost student’s cognition, the study has been done in social study and scienceclasses (Ness, 2016). It is seen that teachers often complain about how too much pressure ofcompleting the academic syllabuses makes it difficult for them to take up reading activitieswithin the class rooms. The research revealed how reading activities are helpful in developingcomprehensive literary understanding among the students. Literacy is the basic ability to readand understand written materials, and comprehensive reading activities help in boosting thestudent’s ability to understand written material.The article “Exploring the relationship between adolescent’s reading skills, readingmotivation and reading habits” by authors McGeown et al., (2015), has shown how theadolescent’s reading practices and choice of reading affect their literary position. Literacy isas mentioned above the ability to comprehend written materials or reproduce them. Thechoice of reading naturally affects the perception of literature in the child’s brain which thenshapes the literary standing of the child. The motivation a child has about reading is alsohelpful in the process of developing the speed and eloquence of reading. The authors statethat the “adolescents reading skills play a crucial role in their educational success.”
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