child language development, child language, child development, child development guidance
Parents need to be aware of the concepts and processes involved so that they can better facilitate language learning in their children. Linguists and psychologists have proposed many different theories for the mechanics of language learning in early childhood. Although these theories appear to vary in their approach, they all seem to be providing complementary perspectives to the same issue. Some key points that arise from these theories are as follows:
1. Language is more caught than taught. Language learning takes place in natural social settings where the language is used in communication.
Grammar, syntax, vocabulary and other nuances of the language are caught when a child listens and imitates others in the manner in which the language is used. A child growing up in an environment where language stimulation abounds and is varied will certainly be at an advantage.
2. Every child is born with an innate capacity for language learning. This capacity is referred to as the Language Acquisition Device (or LAD, first proposed by Noam Chomsky). The theory holds that children are born with a natural and innate inclination for language acquisition, and that this ability makes the task of learning a first language easier than it would otherwise be. The device also enables them to figure out the grammar and other nuances of the language. Children learn their first language as naturally and normally as dolphins learn to swim or songbirds learn to sing. A strong case for this theory is the development of a sign language amongst deaf children in Nicaragua, documented by MlI researcher Judy Kegl in the 198Os.child language development, child language, child development, child development guidance
3. There appears' to be a 'critical period' for language learning. Both research and experience seem to support this theory. Children are most adept at learning languages between the ages of about 18 months and five years. Beyond that age the ability to learn a first language seems to slowly diminish. An example is the case of Genie described at the beginning of this chapter. Additional evidence was provided by Judy Kegl in her research in Nicaragua. Besides the deaf children mentioned earlier, she also discovered some 300 adults who, despite being raised in otherwise healthy environments, had never acquired a language, and turned out to be incapable of learning language in any meaningful sense. While it was possible to teach vocabulary, these individuals were unable to learn syntax.
4. Children are capable of learning two or more language simultaneously.
Children seem capable of mastering two or more languages simultaneously when constantly exposed to these languages at the early childhood development. It is as though they ‘mop up’ the languages when their LADs are most active. Many Malaysian children are known to be at least trilingual.
Their family background and neighborhood facilitates multilingualism.
They may not master all the languages to the same level of proficiency (usually one language is dominant) but they are comfortable in any one of them, having acquired the nuances and ‘feels’ of each language. Some have argued that children get confused switching from one language code to another but experience teaches us that the confusion does not last long; they learn very quickly to be adept at switching codes.
Child Language Acquisition
Helping your child read better child language development, child language, child development, child development guidance
Parents can help their children in many ways to become better readers - and remember that reading is important. However, there are some who inquire: Hasn't reading given way to TV and the movies ? Isn't wide reading a thing of the past?
Effective reading is a necessity. Skill in reading is a practical asset and speed is a reading skill.
Certainly TV, movies, and radio are of value. And they are unmistakably attractive to children and youth. But thoughtful people agree that reading is, and will continue to be the most valuable source for obtaining certain types of information. It is, therefore, of great value throughout a skill a child's educational career. Later on the student will discover that effective reading is almost a necessity in earning living. These practical services are worthwhile and important. But there is another outstanding value of reading, for reading can become an almost unequalled source of enjoyment for the individual. Children need help to learn to enjoy the act of reading. They also need guidance to learn to enjoy the results of reading. Yes, reading is important - the person who reads rapidly and well has a key to the world’s storehouse of information and pleasure in books. As Thomas Carlyle stated :child language development, child language, child development, child development guidance
“All that mankind has done thought ,gained or been, it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books”
Many children are lured away from books by TV and movies
Because effective reading is so important , children's failure to learn to read is serious concern of parents and teachers. Although schools today are probably achieving better average results than ever before, it is a fact that many children do not like to read and turn instead to TV.
Schools are attempting to help all these children to read better. But they cannot succeed without the help of parents and there are way's that you as a parent, can help. You lead children to want and to enjoy reading and must believe that books are children's friends.