Essay on The Language Acquisition Process

Essay on The Language Acquisition Process

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Language is a form of behaviour, used by people every day as a tool for communication and making meaning (Green, 2006). Children learn language when its use is functional, purposeful, and meaningful (Green, 2006), so teachers must recognise this and be explicit in both the purpose and context in their teaching. How teachers talk with children also matters (National Institute for Literacy, 2010). From a behaviourist point of view, children will imitate language heard as a means of learning (Campbell & Baker, 2006). It’s therefore important that teachers be mindful to make their interactions with children of high quality.
It has been said (Vygotsky, 1978) that a teacher will have most success when working within a child’s Zone of Proximal Development – that is, the area of understanding just beyond what the student understands but not too far away as to be unreachable. Teachers must understand this and opt for lessons that have no predetermined direction, but rather must remain conscious of the individual needs of each child and adapt their methods and resources to suit these diverse learners. Without this language development process knowledge, learning will not be optimised and some children are at risk of being left behind.
Talk serves many purposes in classrooms and teachers need to be aware of this if they wish to optimise oracy development. It’s paramount that they plan their communications more deliberately than other adults in order to provide the required supportive learning environment. This means considering their own cultural context and adapting to suit the needs of the child (Cazden, 2001). Comprehension of the language acquisition process will allow the teacher to make more conscious and deliberate decision...


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...e language of teaching and learning (2nd ed.).
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Ewing, R. (2001). What is a functional model of language? Primary English Teaching
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Green, D. (2006). Understanding language and language learning. In R. Campbell & D. Green
(Eds.), Literacies and learners: Current perspectives 3rd ed. (p. 1-23). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.
National Institute for Literacy. (2010). Learning to talk and listen: An oral language resource
for early childhood caregivers. Washington, DC: Author.
Stevenson, J. (2007). Making meaning in workplace settings. In M. Osborne, M. Houston, & N.
Toman (Eds.), The pedagogy of lifelong learning: Understanding effective teaching and learning in diverse contexts (p. 77). New York, NY: Routledge.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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Essay on The Language Acquisition Process

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