All children deserve an early childhood program or education that recognizes and respects their family, community, and linguistic diversity. In this nation, there are children of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. “For young children to develop and learn optimally, the early childhood professional must be prepared to meet their diverse developmental, cultural, linguistic, and educational needs. Early childhood educators face the challenge of how best to respond to these needs.
” (NAEYC, 1991) With that conveyed, I of course, believe that providing a child with quality linguistic diverse classrooms will allow them to grow and learn in a more successful way. Therefore, in this thesis, I will discuss the importance of having family and cultural involvement in language acquisition, formal English in the early childhood classroom and last but not least immersion programs. Let us first define what linguistic miscellany is.
“Linguistically and culturally diverse is an educational term used by the U. S. Department of Education to define children enrolled in educational programs who are either non-English-proficient (NEP) or limited-English-proficient (LEP). Educators use this phrase, linguistically and culturally diverse, to identify children from homes and communities where English is not the primary language of communication. ” (Garcia 1991). First learning the families and cultural involvement in language acquisition is essential.
In this day and time, one must respect the issue of language in the child’s home. I have come to find in my experience with home visits and conferences that different cultures have different ways of communicating. Research has shown that the substance of family framework in verbal communication achievement is significant as to the “talkativeness in families in influencing language acquisition rather than the family’s socioeconomic status or ethnic group identity.
Differences in language use were attributed to the complex family culture—not simply due to socioeconomic status or ethnic group identity. ” (Otto, 2010)Just as your families, have rules for the household as to when children talk and when adults talk, so do other cultures. In some cultures or ethnic background, children are not allowed to talk unless they are spoken too. They are pretty
much seen and not heard to an extend. Other cultures I have found that the child is allowed to say no matter how respectful or disrespectful it may be. However, the research has showed that children who are allowed to talk more have been found to score higher in language skills such as vocabulary growth and use. Therefore, these children tend to be more social and successful in all areas of development.
Our text states there are five quality features in parents’ language interaction with their children that we can look at to help access them: • Language diversity: the variation and amount of nouns and modifiers used by the parents, • Feedback tone: the positive feedback given to children’s participation in the interaction, • Symbolic emphasis: the emphasis placed on focusing on names and associated relations of the concepts and the recall of those symbols, • Guidance style: parental interaction that used asking rather than demanding in eliciting specific behavior from the child and, • Responsiveness: parental responsiveness to requests or questions initiated by children.
(Otto, 2010) All these qualities can help you find the best way to build with the families and child’s language skills. In looking at the qualities of communication with children, we also need to look at the educational activities in the classroom.
Instruction activities in the classroom should involve specific types of communication and relations. When teachers are looking at formal English, “they must remember that the second language must first target language in oral conversational form prior to being able to effectively acquire the academic register and written form used educational setting. ” (Otto, 2010) Three approaches that involve precise language competencies related to formal English and academic register. They are: • Cognitive includes written and hands on resources. The strategy must include the procedure that uses the cognitive processes. • Metacognitive includes resources that evaluate their success.
Once a child begins to reflect on their own learning, they can then begin to notice how they learn, how others learn and how they might amend how they learn to become more successful. This process may include organizing or planning, managing, monitoring, and then evaluating their learning process. • Social-affective would be a teamwork activity with peers. It can include asking questions to simplify information or self-talking with positive statements.
Formal English in the classroom becomes essential in learning especially when moving into higher grades in both verbal and written communication. Finally yet importantly, we need to look at immersion programs. In immersion programs, the intended language is used to instruct regular educational topics such as math and science.
Students are then expected to achieve the same standards in these subjects as students learning through the medium of their first language. Immersion programs have goals that include: • “advanced levels of functional proficiency in second language reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension; • age-appropriate levels of home language competence; • grade-appropriate levels of academic achievement in non-language subjects, such as mathematics; and • an understanding and appreciation of the culture of the target language group. ” (LIC, 2008) Teachers in positions that include immersion programs should be fluent in both the language being taught and their first language.
Success rates are immense in the United States and continue to sore in the classrooms. Providing opportunities to build language skills is essential in today’s society. We have so many different ethnical and cultural backgrounds. Each language brings a unique and imperative characteristic. We must continue to improve our language skills in ourselves and in the classroom.
We do want all students to be victorious and achieve their goals at the highest level possible. I believe it would be a mind-numbing world if we did not have the diversity in this great country of ours. In review, this thesis looked at how family and cultural involvement in language acquisition is important.
Formal English in the classroom is essential for a student to reach their highest goal to the fullest and with immersion programs; students can still be unique and successful at the same time. References Hakuta, K. , & E. Garcia. 1989. Bilingualism and education. American Psychologist 44 (2): 374–79. Language Immersion Centre (LIC) 2008 Retrieved from:
http://www. kke. ee/index. php? lang=eng&menus_ID=1&pages_ID=1&mark=0 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE). 1991. Retrieved from: http://www. naeyc. org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSDIV98. PDF Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
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