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Oral Language and Reading Comprehension Essay

This paper is intentionally made to show the comparison between oral language and reading comprehension. Oral language and reading comprehension are both essential to every individual. All of us had undergone oral language when we are still young and as it develops and as we grow and mature, it enables us to be more knowledgeable and prepares us to a more needed comprehension in reading. This two are significant and are interrelated to each other. As a parent, talking to the child helps expands vocabulary, develop background knowledge, and inspire a curiosity about the world.

The more a child engages into certain experiences and more learning that starts from parents and then to teachers, it will widen their minds and permits them into a more broad understanding of different things. Oral language is the very learning that each of us has gone through and we still have it up to now. This paper will broaden your knowledge with regards to the comparison between oral language and reading comprehension. Background of the Study: Oral language means communicating with other people. On the other hand, reading comprehension is the act of understanding what you are reading.

The definition can be simply stated the act is not simple to teach, learn or practice. Reading comprehension is an intentional, active, interactive process that occurs before, during and after a person reads a particular piece of writing. Oral language and reading comprehension are both essential because in oral language we are trained on how to communicate well with other people. Reading comprehension, on the other hand, is also a way of understanding the book that we read; it could be just a simple magazine, newspaper, or even the books we used in school.

A person must be able to understand what he or she is reading. It is necessary that we know how to talk or communicate but one thing that is very useful as well in our everyday lives is the ability to read and understand what we read. There is a complete difference between “reading” and “reading with comprehension”. Now, as you go and read this paper, you will be fed with more ideas with the comparison between spoken language and reading comprehension and how these two work together for a more fluent practice of communication.

It will develop your communication and reading skills; that it is not enough to know how to speak and read but being able to speak and at the same time realize what you are reading and even apply these in real life situations. Related Study: Oral language A great deal of research has been done in the field of oral language acquisition. As a means of attempting to negotiate their environment children actively construct language (Dyson, 1983; Halliday, 1994; Sulzby,1985).

From a child’s earliest experience with personal narrative development, oral language acquisition must be continually fostered. (IRA and NAEYC, 1998). This becomes the building block for establishing success in all areas of literacy. Oral language begins to develop at a very young age as children and parents interact with one another in the natural surroundings of the home environment (Teale, 1978; Yaden, 1988). A child’s home environment greatly impacts the rate, quality and ability to communicate with others (MacLean, Bryant and Bradley, 1987; Martinez, 1983; National Research Council 1999).

Factors related to language growth in the home environment include parent interaction, books, being read to, modeling; home language and literacy routines all closely parallel those of the classroom and school. The development of oral language is an ongoing natural learning process. Children observe oral communication in many contexts – home, preschool, prekindergarten, and begin to develop concepts about its purposes (Dyson, 1983; Halliday,1994;Martinez, 1983). Target skill areas such as sequencing, classification, and letter sounds oral language skills are all components of early childhood educational programs (Kelley and Zamar, 1994).

Meaning is a social and cultural phenomenon and all construction of meaning is a social process. Developmental stages of child language development: Phase I – Protolinguistic or “Protolanguage”, Phase II – Transition, Phase III – Language. The Protolanguage Stage (which is associated with the crawling stage) includes noises and intonation, physical movement, adult/infant interaction – this exchange of attention is the beginning of language. During the Transition Stage (which is associated with the developmental stage of walking) there is a transition from child tongue to mother tongue.

During this stage the “pragmatic” mode develops; a demand for goods and services that seeks a response in the form of an action. In Phase III – Language Stage, the child moves from talking about shared experience to sharing information with a third person. The child realizes that reality is beyond their own experience; they invite confirmation, enjoy shared experience. From the ontogenesis of conversation we are able to gain insight into human learning and human understanding.

Meaning is created at the intersection of two contradictions – the experiential one, between the material and the conscious modes of experience, and the interpersonal one, between different personal histories of the interacting taking part (Halliday,1994). Properly developed oral language enables a child to effectively communicate their thoughts and viewpoints with others. It is also important for young children to have developed listening skills as they begin to experience the power of communication. The environment influences ones desire to communicate as well as the frequency of communication.

Oral language develops through authentic experiences (Harste, Burke and Woodward, 1994). Kindergarten classroom environments that are alive with social interaction are ideal environments for nourishing speaking and listening skills. As children participate in communicative events, they slowly acquire an understanding of the relevance of these forms. Students need to be provided and encouraged to participate in environmental literacy activities, as those experiences are indispensable to language development (Brown and Briggs, 1987).

Development of oral language skills must be addressed in Kindergarten as an integral part of the daily curriculum in order for students to be able to succeed throughout schooling and in today’s society (Goodman, 1992; IRI and NAEYC,1998). Kindergarten programs need to be structured but not formal. Classrooms that are carefully structured allow for maximum oral language acquisition through authentic literacy activities that take place in natural ways during a school day (Ellermeyer, 1988). Education is inquiry based, and as such the focus with education becomes learning, and the task of teaching becomes the inquiry process.

The learner is central, in the process of the learning-inquiry cycle (Harste, Burke and Woodward,1994). Students need to be provided and encouraged to participate in environmental literacy activities, as these experiences are indispensable to language development. Dyson (1983) conducted a study of the role early language plays in early writing. Through observations of children at a Kindergarten writing center she concluded that oral language is an integral part of the early writing process. Talk provided both meaning and for some children the systematic means for getting that meaning on paper.

The child as a language learner progresses along a developmental continuum. Language acquisition is fundamentally a social process in which language is used to make and share meaning of experience (Corter and Park, 1993). Children require opportunities to interact with both peers and adults in a wide variety of settings as they learning and practice language and literacy knowledge, skills, and strategies (Brown and Briggs 1987; Coohn, 1981; Dyson, 1983; Ellermeyer, 1988). Children like to talk about themselves, their friends, their families, their pets, their hobbies, etc.

Engaging young children in conversation about things with which they are familiar affords them a comfort level to experiment with ways to express themselves. Opportunities to increase oral language abilities and applications are embedded within the literacy program. Conversation, collaboration, and learning through others are integral to learning. A child’s oral language ability is the basis for beginning literacy instruction, and as such initial informal assessments as well as ongoing assessment during the school year would provide key information regarding a child’s oral language abilities.


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