Language & Literacy in Early Childhood


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A Child's Connection to the World
Jackman, Hilda L.
USA: Delmar Thomson Learning

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Language & Literacy in Early Childhood

  1. 1. LANGUAGE & LITERACY By: Johanna Iris T. Baldeo
  2. 2. As human beings, we have the desire to communicate with others. We do this in many ways. A simple smile communicates a friendly feeling; a clenched fist transmits anger; tears show happiness or sorrow. From the first day of life, a baby expresses pain or hunger by cries or actions. Gradually, the infant adds expressions of pleasure and smiles when a familiar person comes near. Then, little one begins to reach out to be picked up.
  3. 3. The process of learning a language is important. It is one of the most important skills a child develops. The development of oral language is a natural accomplishment. Usually, a child learns the rules of language at an early age without formal instruction. A child learns language by listening and speaking. He learns language by using it. Learning to talk, like learning to walk, requires time for development and practice in everyday situations. During the first few years of life, listening and speaking
  4. 4. EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY DVELOPMENT  Language can be defined as human speech, the written symbols for speech, or any means of communicating. Language development follows a predictable sequence. It is related, but tied to, chronologically age. This development process includes both sending and receiving information.  It is important to remember that language is learned through use.
  5. 5.  Literacy, the ability to read and write, gives one the command of a native language for the purpose of communicating. The involves skills in learning, speaking, reading, and writing. The excitement of learning to read and write, hopefully, will be as rewarding as a child’s first words and first steps.
  6. 6. Language Development of Young Children  Baby’s Cry- this form of communication varies in pitch and intensity and relates to stimuli such as hunger, discomfort, or fear.  Cooing- these are the sounds made when an infant’s basic needs are met and she is relaxed, content, or stimulated by what is seen or heard. A baby derives a great deal of pleasure from practicing and listening to her own gurgling and cooing.
  7. 7.  Babbling- these early random sounds made by an infant are a repetition of sequence of clear, alternating consonant and vowel sounds. This vocalization will eventually be combined into words, such as baba for bottle and wawa for water.  Association- a baby begins to get some idea of the meaning of a few words about six to nine months. An association between the sounds an infant makes and the meaning of the sounds starts to become clear.
  8. 8.  Fields and Spangler (1995): Before the first year is over, babies have narrowed their utterances from all possible sounds to those significant in their environment. Before long, they all begin to make the sounds of their language in combinations that mean something specific. As soon they acquire this ability to communicate with words, they begin to string them together for even greater results.
  9. 9.  One-word usage: Many first words are completely original, private words of the child. They may be sequences or intonations used on a consistent basis. In the early stages of language development, a word, such as hot or no, often stands for a whole object or an experience. The one-word stage also uses a word to get something or some action from others, such as go, down, or mine. Getting the appropriate response, approval, and smiles from adults encourages the child to make the sounds again and again.
  10. 10.  Recall: A child’s ability to remember an object named even when the object is not visible is helped by the touching, grasping, and tasting of the object. Responding to her name; identifying family members, and watching, pointing to, and naming an object usually occurs toward the end of first year. This is some called “sign-language” communication, such as when a child holds up her arms to be picked up.
  11. 11.  Telegraphic Speech: the two-word sentence is the next step in the development of language of the young child. This speech helps a child express wishes and feelings, and ask questions. The child repeats over and over, such as all gone, drink milk, or throw ball. It is important to talk and listen to a toddler. This is a critical language-growth period, as the young child is processing, testing and remembering language.
  12. 12.  Multiword speech: The child can express feelings and tell others what he wants. At the same time, the child can understand the words of other people and absorb new knowledge. The child’s vocabulary increases and the repetition of songs, stories, and poems comes more easily. Words become important tools of learning, and they help a young child grow socially. Children talk together, and friendships grow.
  13. 13. Literacy Development of Young Children Literacy Development- a lifelong process that begins at birth, includes listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Learning is prerequisite to learning.  Learning to speak is an important step toward learning to read.
  14. 14.  Researchers believe children learn about reading and writing through play. As a teacher of young children, you see this happening everyday.  Because literacy is a continuous process, children are working on all aspects of oral and written language at the same time.
  15. 15.  Fields & Spangler, 1995 Learning to read and learning to write are inseparable. Reading exposes child to models for writing; and writing requires reading as part of the composition process. Knowledge about one enhances understanding of the others, and both are learned simultaneously.
  16. 16.  IRA & NAEYC, 1998: Although reading and writing abilities continue to develop throughout the life span, the early childhood years- from birth through age eight- are the most important period for literacy development. Children take their first critical steps towards learning to read and write very early in life. Long before they can exhibit reading and writing production skills, they begin to acquire some basic understandings of the concepts about literacy and its functions. Children learn to use symbols, combing their oral language, pictures, print and play into a coherent mixed medium and creating and communicating meanings in a
  17. 17. ENCOURAGING FAMILY SUPPORT  Family members are a child’s primary teachers of language. They are the first people a child hears speak, the first adults spoken to, and the most important people a child will communicate with throughout her life.  Awareness of the importance of parents and other significant family members to a child’s language and literacy development is one of the first steps in working with parents.
  18. 18. Respecting Language of Home & School  It is important to understand that accepting a child’s language is part of accepting a child.  Children will feel more successful if you involve their parents in activities and understand the different learning styles each child may have.  Parents can help identify some basic words used in the child’s language, especially those that are important to the child.  If possible, have a family member or someone who speaks the child’s native language available to help the child learn the routines and expectations, as well the new language
  19. 19. ORGANIZING & PLANNING FOR INTEGRATED LANGUAGE & LITERACY EXPERIENCES  As the significant adults in a child’s life, we should ensure that the environment surrounding each child be the very best can be- developmentally, individually, and creatively.  As you plan the physical space for the language and literacy activities, you should keep in mind that how you design this area will affect the choices children make in their selection activities.
  20. 20.  Language arts center, should be arranged so children can use this area independently or in small groups.  Organization and focus is on creating a child- centered space.  Language arts center should be an environment that is soft.  The center should have good lighting and easy access to child-size tables, chairs and bookcases that are arranged for group or individual use.
  21. 21. SETTING UP A LANGUAGE AND LITERACY ENVIRONMENT  Materials should be available at all times for children to use for writing. They should be separated into appropriate, brightly colored containers to make it easy for children to choose what they need.  The use and care of the materials should be discussed each time something new is added to the learning center.
  22. 22.  The classroom should also be print-rich. A print- rich literacy environment includes:  All types of books that are displayed attractively and within easy access of the children  Books made and written by individual children  Books made and written by the class of children  Magazine and newspapers appropriate for young children  Recorded stories  Message boards  Calendars
  23. 23. TIPS & ACTIVITIES  Flannelboard Activities  Group Time Activities  Language Activity
  24. 24. Flannelboard Activities  One of the ways to tell or extend a story effectively.  Children can help the teacher tell the story by placing the pieces on the board at the appropriate time in the story  After the teacher tells the story, the flannelboard and character pieces can be placed in any activity center curriculum area.
  25. 25. Characteristic:  It attracts attention.  It stimulates interest.  It is flexible in use.  It frees a teacher’s hands.  It adds texture to the activity.  It improves communication.  It dramatizes concepts.  It is easily and stored.
  26. 26. Group Time Activities  Presents the opportunity for listening, speaking, vocabulary development, and cognitive and social activities.  Appropriate group time activities are finger plays, poetry, songs, stories, flannelboard activities, and sensory activities.  These should be developmentally appropriate and reflect multicultural/antibias content.