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Linguistic and literacy development of children and adolescents


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Linguistic and literacy development of children and adolescents

  1. 1. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 1 LINGUISTIC AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS NATURAL HISTORY OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT There is no definite sequence on how a child can acquire language. But since the birth of child psychology many had developed theories or did researches that led to some relevant information on how we as children acquire language. As the studies were compiled and revised, it eventually formed a framework basis for the study of Language Development. History of Language Development 1. Traditionally, language development depends upon the principle of reinforcement. It means a psychological concept based on the idea that the consequences of an action will influence future behaviour. B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Also called “operant learning”, the general idea of learning is:  Rewarding a behaviour / reinforcement teaches the subject that the behaviour is desired, and encourages the subject to repeat it (increases behaviour), and  Punishing a behaviour / punishment teaches the subject that the behaviour is not desired, and should not be repeated (decreases behaviour). 2. Some learning theorists believed that language is acquired by imitation. It is an advanced behaviour whereby an individual observes and replicates another's behaviour. It is also a form of social learning that leads to the development of traditions and ultimately our culture (Wikipedia, 2013) 3. Noam Chomsky proposed that language is learned based on the Nativist Theory of Language Acquisition. The Nativist Explanation: “Children are born with a specific innate ability to discover for themselves the underlying rules of a language system on the basis of the samples of a natural language they are exposed to.” Chomsky believes that language development is primarily a matter of maturation and that that environment is of little significance. Language is innate, an aspects of children’s genetic foundation (Owens, 2006). 4. Modern theorists cling that language is learned through interaction. They say that children are biologically ready for language but they require extensive experience with spoken language for ample development. Acquiring language is always an active and interactive. This involves formulating, testing, and evaluating languages’ rule. Interactionist Theory explains that language development is both biological and social. They argue that language learning is influenced by the strong desire of children to communicate with others. According to this
  2. 2. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 2 theory, “children are born with a powerful brain that matures slowly and predisposes them to acquire new understandings that they are motivated to share with others”. One of the modern theorists is Jerome Bruner. He stresses that parents and other caregivers have critical role in the language acquisition process. He also proposes the use of Language Acquisition Support System (LASS). This refers to the importance of a child’s social support network, which works in conjunction with innate mechanisms to encourage or suppress language development (by interacting and encouraging the child to respond). Another modern theorist is Lev Vygotsky. He proposes collaborative learning. This learning explains that conversations with older people can help children both cognitively and linguistically. Antecedents of Language Development Here are the following devises that make up the antecedents. 1. PSUEDODIALOGUES is one of the early training devices characterized by the give and take of the conversation between the child and the mother or other person. Adults maintain the flow of conversation. 2. PROTODECLARATIVES is when the child uses gestures to make a description about the statement. 3. PROTOIMPERATIVES is when the child still uses gestures but these gestures are used to let someone do for him. Make statements about the things and let someone do it for him. BILINGUAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT “How does a bilingual child acquire language? And how do learning two languages affect the child’s language development?” Bilingualism is the person’s ability to speak or write fluently in two languages. Bilingualism is distinguished into two (Bialystok & Hakuta, 1994): 1. Productive Bilingualism- Speaker can produce and understand both languages. 2. Receptive Bilingualism- Speaker can understand both languages but have more limited production abilities. Developing Bilingualism According to Fierro-Cobas and Chan (Fierro-Cobas & Chan, 2001), language development is a complex, dynamic process influenced by the child’s age, language exposure, and social interaction. A bilingual child generally follows one of the two language acquisition patterns: simultaneous bilingualism, in which the child acquires two languages at the same time before the age 3 years, and sequential bilingualism, in which the child acquires a second language by age 3 having acquired the primary language.
  3. 3. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 3 Pre-schoolers may differ qualitatively from school-age children in their ability to develop a second language. For older children and adult, acquiring a second language is a conscious rather than subconscious process; more appropriately learned language learning rather than language acquisition. For example, Filipinos are not a native speaker of Spanish, and for them to learn the language, they enrol to one of the language institutions that offers courses for speaking and writing. Two Major Patterns in Bilingual Language Acquisition 1. Simultaneous Bilingualism Children go through two stages to simultaneously learn two languages. Stage 1: Children mix or blend words or part of words from both languages. Example: “Gusto ko hat.” Stage 2: Child can distinguish the two languages, and can use each language separately. Example. “I want hat.” and “Gusto ko ng sombrero.” 2. Sequential Bilingualism Fierro-Cobas and Chan (Fierro-Cobas & Chan, 2001) explained that the process of developing a second language before age 3 is slightly different from a process of developing the first language. The reasons are: 1. A sequential bilingual child can draw on knowledge and experience with the first language. 2. Whether and for how long a child passes through several phases in sequential language acquisition process depends on his temperament and motivation. 3. The relative exposure to second language compared with the first language can affect how a child develops the second language. EMERGENT AND EARLY LITERACY: READING DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE EMERGENT / EARLY LITERACY Emergent Literacy is the concept used to explain child’s reading and writing skills before he can actually read and write. It was first introduced by Marie Clay, a New Zealand researcher in 1966. Emergent literacy plays a vital role in early education as it prepares the child learning skills before formal introduction in school. It was said in many researches that the progress of child’s development can be influenced by social interactions with parents or adults (e.g. playing and talking), exposure to learning materials (e.g. books, crayons), and the use of engaged learning materials (reading alphabets and counting numbers using charts). FOUNDATIONS OF EMERGENT LITERACY These are the foundations that will help child’s literacy development (Wikipedia, 2013):
  4. 4. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 4 1. Letter Knowledge- understanding each letter is unique; it has name and sound, and recognizing letters everywhere. 2. Vocabulary Development- knowing the name of things 3. Narrative Skills- being able to describe things, events, and tell simple stories. 4. Print Motivation- being interested in and enjoying books. 5. Print Awareness- noticing various forms of prints, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing to follow words across page. 6. Phonological Awareness- being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. PROMOTING CHILD’S LITERACY DEVELOPMENT Parents can promote early literacy development for infants by (Dostal & Hanley, 2011): Introducing books or reading materials with eye-catching pictures. 1. Reading books that have rhymes, rhythm and repetition like those words found in nursery songs. 2. Pointing out words in child’s surrounding and explaining the meaning of the words (e.g. tree, it has green leaves on its branches and it has big trunk.) Parents can promote early literacy development for toddlers and pre- schoolers by (Dostal & Hanley, 2011): 1. Filling the child’s environment with books, magazines, toys, or things that are useful in his learning development. 2. Reading short stories that has one character and has basic plot. 3. Answering to child’s inquiry on things he senses on his environment. 4. Supporting child’s writing development by making sure that papers and crayons are available. Ensure these things will not harm the child. READING DEVELOPMENT and PERFORMANCE Many educations believe that both learning to read and learning to speak begins at the same time. Playing, talking to children, reading stories, and singing are some of the activities that will facilitate the development of reading and speaking. Reading development in early childhood can be divided into three stages: emergent, early, and accomplished. Each stage of development is identified by children’s growing knowledge and skills, and each stage requires different teaching strategies (University, n.d.). 1. Emergent Readers Children at this stage of development have these behaviors and knowledge:  Enjoy listening to books and enjoy repeated readings of favorite stories  Retell simple narratives
  5. 5. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 5  Begin to understand that it is the print that carries the message  Attempt to read independently, sometimes relying on their memories, the illustrations, and their background experiences to reread the story  Begin to understand directionality that is, the left-to-right and top-to- bottom orientation of print  Identify signs and labels in their environment (environmental print)  Begin to understand that words are made of sounds (phonemic awareness)  Identify some letters and know some letter-sound matches (phonetic awareness)  Begin to match spoken words and written ones  Recognizes some words by sight (sight words) Teachers working with children at this stage of reading development can:  Read and reread books to children, including big books  Talk about letters and their sounds in the context of the reading  Provide an environment rich with literacy materials and experiences  Play language games  Help children break spoken words into individual sounds  Blend individual sounds into whole words  Provide literacy experiences as part of children’s play activities  Provide, use, and point out environmental print within the classroom  Model one-to-one match by pointing to words while reading  Use language experience by taking children’s dictation and helping children read the resulting text 2. Early Reader Children at this stage of development have these behaviors and knowledge:  Use letter-sound correspondence knowledge to sound out unknown words when reading  Use a variety of strategies, such as rereading, predicting, and using context when comprehension breaks down  Recognizes common, irregularly spelled words by sight (have, said, where)  Identify and increasing number of sight words  Self-correct when an error does not fit with letter or context cues Teachers working with children at this stage of reading development can:  Read daily to children from a range of different types of texts (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)  Model a variety of strategies for identifying unknown words  Provide practice for identifying unknown words in meaningful texts  Give children opportunities for independent reading  Introduce new words in the context of meaningful reading  Demonstrate and model a variety of strategies to use when comprehension breaks down  Choose texts carefully to match children’s abilities, needs, and interests
  6. 6. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 6  Provide opportunities and real reasons for children to read orally 3. Accomplished Reader Children at this stage of development have these behaviors and knowledge: Read with greater fluency  Use strategies (rereading, questioning) when comprehension breaks down  Use word-identification strategies with greater efficiency to identify unknown words  Accurately read many irregularly spelled words  Uses roots, prefixes, and suffixes to infer meaning  Spend time reading daily  Use reading to research topics of interest  Interpret information from graphs and charts Teachers working with children at this stage of reading development can:  Read daily to children from a wide range of different types of texts  Provide experiences for children to notice patterns in roots, prefixes, and suffixes  Provide opportunities for independent reading from a range of different types of texts Child’s reading development varies from one another. It is important for parents and teachers to determine the child’s capacity and provide the necessary and appropriate learning methods to properly facilitate their development. CHALL’S STAGE OF READING DEVELOPMENT Dr. Jeanne Chall developed model of the stages of reading development. According to his model, a learner should acquire the characteristics and should master the skills required in each stage, and the lack of these can halt the progress of a learner beyond that level. Table 1: Chall’s Stages of Reading Development Stage Age / Grade Characteristics and Masteries by End of Stage How are these Acquired? Stage 0- Pre-reading “pseudo reading” 6 months – 6 years / Preschool Child “pretends” to read, retell story when looking at pages of book previously read to him, names letters of alphabet; recognizes some signs; prints own name; plays with books, pencils and paper. Being read to by an adult (or older child) who responds to and warmly appreciates the child’s interest in books and reading; being provided with books, paper, blocks, and letters. Dialogic reading. Stage 1: Initial 6-7 years old / 1st grade Child learns relation Direct instruction in letter-sound
  7. 7. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 7 Reading and Decoding and beginning 2nd between letters and sounds and between printed and spoken words; child is able to read simple text containing high frequency words and phonically regular words; uses skill and insight to “sound out” new one syllable words. relations (phonics) and practice in their use. Reading of simple stories using words with phonic elements taught and words of high frequency. Being read to on a level above what a child can read independently to develop more advanced language patters, vocabulary and concepts. Stage 2: Confirmation and Fluency 7-8 years old / 2nd and 3rd grade Child reads simple, familiar stories and selections with increasing fluency. This is done by consolidating the basic decoding elements context in the reading of familiar stories and selections. Direct instruction in advanced decoding skills; wide reading (instruction and independent levels) of familiar, interesting materials that help promote fluent Reading. Being read to at levels above their own independent reading level to develop language, vocabulary and concepts. Stage 3: Reading for Learning the New Phase A Phase B 9-13 years old / 4th – 8th grade Intermediate 4th – 6th Junior High School 7th – 9th Reading is used to learn new ideas, to gain new knowledge, to experience new feelings, to learn new attitudes, generally from one viewpoint. Reading and study of textbooks, reference works, trade books, newspapers, and magazines that contain new ideas and values, unfamiliar vocabulary and syntax; systematic study of words and reacting to the text through discussion, answering questions, writing, etc. Reading of increasingly more complex text. Stage 4: Multiple Viewpoints 15-17 years old / 10th – 12th grade Reading widely from a broad range of complex materials, both expository and narrative, with a variety of viewpoints. Wide reading and study of the physical, biological and social science and the humanities, high quality and popular literature, newspaper, and magazines; systematic study words and word parts. Stage 5: Construction and Reconstruction 18+ years old / College and beyond Reading is used for one’s own needs and purposes (professional and personal); reading serves integrate one’s knowledge with that of the others, to synthesize it and to create new knowledge. It is rapid and efficient. Wide reading of ever more difficult materials, reading beyond one’s immediate needs; writing papers, tests, essays, and other forms that call for integration of varied knowledge and points of voice. Source: Chall, J. S., 1983. Stages of Reading Development. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 1. Early Language Stimulation
  8. 8. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 8 Parent and caregiver can help the development of child's communication through natural and everyday activities. These activities are playing and talking to the child. In fact, most of the messages we convey are done through non-verbal means such as body gestures, facial expressions, body language, eye-contact and touch. Early Language Stimulation Activities:  Playing with sounds or take turns making sounds with your infant or toddler.  Make the same sound your infant or toddler or a sound that is like your infant or toddler’s sound.  Make sounds of familiar animals and objects.  Talk about food or things in the environment to stimulate the child’s senses  Read books or any reading material together with your child.  Playing helps to develop the overall development of the child. Factors affecting Early Language Stimulation:  Inadequate stimulation receives by the child like parents are seldom talking to their child, or lack of opportunity for the parents to play with their child.  Insufficient learning materials that will help enhance child’s reading and writing ability.  Child’s exposure to too many languages (both parents can talk using two different languages).  Factors like anxiety, pressure and behavioural problems. 2. Literate Communities and Environment The literacy-rich environment emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing in learning development. This involves the selection of materials that will facilitate language and literacy opportunities; reflection and thought regarding classroom design, and intentional instruction and facilitation by teachers and staff. The Purpose of Literacy-Rich Environments 1. Allow learners with disabilities explore the elements of literacy. 2. The literacy-rich environment emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing in the learning of all students. 3. It able to create both independent and direct activities to enhance understanding of concept of print and word, linguistic and phonemic awareness, and vocabulary development. Factors affecting Literacy-Rich Communities or Environment:
  9. 9. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 9  Lack of written materials like books, newspapers, and magazines.  No access to information and communication technology like phones and computers.  No access to broadcast media like TVs and radios.  Poor quality teaching and curriculum provided in school.  Lacks of social interaction and communication.  Language development can also be affected by socio-economic condition of the family. 3. Story Reading Story reading plays a vital role child’s literacy and language development. The books he reads, and the characters he gets to know can become like their companion. It is good for children to understand that books are a useful source of knowledge. Reading also builds child’s self-confidence, helps to cope with his feelings and stimulate the development of language and learning. EXCEPTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: APHASIA AND DYSLEXIA APHASIA Aphasia is a communication disorder that can make a person hard to read, write, or say what he wants to say, and this is caused by dysfunction in a specific region of the brain that controls language. Causes of Aphasia (WebMD, n.d.) 1. Stroke or brain injury that damage a part of the brain region that deals with language 2. Brain tumor or brain infection 3. Dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease 4. Epilepsy or other neurological disorder Types of Aphasia (WebMD, n.d.) 1. Expressive Aphasia- the person knows what he wants to says but he has a hard time expressing it to others. 2. Receptive Aphasia- the person can read the book or can hear a voice but may not get meaning of the message. 3. Anomic Aphasia- the person is struggling to find the right word in expressing his ideas through speaking and writing. 4. Global Aphasia- the person is unable to read and write, or he has difficulty in speaking and comprehending. 5. Primary Progressive Aphasia- the person slowly loses his ability to talk, to read, to write, or to understand what he hears in a conversation during a period of time.
  10. 10. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 10 Main Symptoms of Aphasia (WebMD, n.d.) 1. Trouble speaking 2. Struggling with finding the appropriate word 3. Using strange and inappropriate words in conversation DYSLEXIA Dyslexia is a learning problem that makes a person hard to read, write, and spell. It occurs because brain jumbles or mixes up letters or words. Children with this condition often have poor memory of spoken and written words. (WebMD, n.d.) Causes of Dyslexia (WebMD, n.d.) 1. Genetic Disorder that is transmitted from parents to children. Symptoms of Dyslexia (WebMD, n.d.) Signs of dyslexia in children who are too young for school: 1. Talking later than expected 2. Being slow to learn new words 3. Problem rhyming 4. Problems following directions that have many steps Signs of dyslexia in children who are studying: 1. Problems reading single words, such as a word on a flash card 2. Problems linking letters with sounds 3. Confusing small words, such as “at” and “to” 4. Reversing the shapes of written letters such as “d” for “b” and “p” for “q” 5. Writing words backward, such as “tip” for pit” and “pot” for top”. Works Cited Bialystok, E. & Hakuta, K., 1994. In Other Words: the Science and Psychology of Second Language Acquisition. New York: Harper Collins. Chall, J. S., 1983. Stages of Reading Development. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. Dostal, J. & Hanley, S., 2011. Learning About Literary. [Online] Available at: Wide/Literacy/EmergentLiteracy.htm [Accessed 14 August 2013]. Fierro-Cobas, V. & Chan, E., 2001. Language Development in Bilingual Children: A Primer for Pediatricians. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2013].
  11. 11. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 11 Gines, A. C. et al., 1998. Developmental Psychology: A Textbook for College Students in Pschology and Teacher Education. Manila: Rex Bookstore, Inc.. Owens, K. B., 2006. Child and Adolescent Development: An Integrated Approach. Singapore: Thomson - Wadsworth. University, S. I., n.d. Literacy Development. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 August 2013]. WebMD, n.d. Aphasia and Dyslexia. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 2013 August 15 2013]. Wikipedia, 2013. Emergent Literacies. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 August 2013]. Wikipedia, 2013. Imitation. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 2 August 2013]. Zulueta, F. M. & Malaya, E. M., 2012. Historical, Anthropological, Philosophical, Legal, Psychological, Sociological Foundations of Education. Mandaluyong City: National Bookstore.