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Language Acquisition

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Christie Blackwell

on 13 May 2014

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Transcript of Language Acquisition

Language Acquisition
Guided Introduction
Why is the language acquisition important?
Personal Beliefs Regarding Language Acquisition
Language-Rich Environment
Stages of Language Development Analysis
Literacy Lesson Plan
Language Reflection
Support of Children’s Language Acquisition in the Profession
Language Resource File
Animals communicate but not through language. The complexity of human language is a primary factor from distinguishing communication systems of animals and that of the human language. (Piper, 2012, 1.1, para. 7).
Let's Talk About Language Acquisition
Social Interaction Theory
Language-Rich Environment
Stage of Language Development
Literacy Lesson Plan
Language Reflection
Future Support of Children's Language Acquisition
Language Resource File
Social Interaction Theory
Connectionist Theory
Active construction of a grammar theory
Through social interaction, humans acquire language and/or communication. This theory is practiced by all human in language acquistion.
The classroom design to the left incorporates all theories of language acquisition. “Teachers who want children to behave like readers and writers must create a classroom environment that coaxes young children into being readers and writers” (Vukelich & Christie, 2004, p. 24). This floor plan will provide an enriched language development classroom.
Children acquire language in stages, and different children reach the various stages at different times. The order in which these stages are reached, however, is virtually always the same.
One Word
Two Word
Simple Sentence Formation
Lesson Plan
Subject: Language and Literacy
Grade: Kindergarten
Topic: Nutrition
Duration: 4 weeks


•Understand what is read to them
•Develop their vocabulary in English and Spanish
•Learn literacy skills in meaningful contexts
•Share their thinking
•Cultural awareness

Standards Covered:

On June 2, 2010, North Carolina adopted the Common Core State K-12 English Language Arts released by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (Common Core, 2014).
•Oral language – both receptive and expressive
•Phonological awareness
•Alphabet knowledge
•Print awareness


•The book - Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z (Ehlert, 2013)
•Cut-up Vegetables: Apples, Broccoli, Carrots and Lettuce
•Printable alphabet and coloring worksheets and posters with English and Spanish letters
•safety scissors


First, teacher inquires if students know why it is important to eat healthy. The teacher then asks students to name some fruits and vegetables that they enjoy eating.

Lesson Development:

The teacher will read the book “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z” to the students as a group. After covering each fruit and vegetable, the teacher asks the color of the fruit or vegetable. As adults and children engage in interactive oral discussions about written language, children acquire important tools of the mind for literacy acquisition" (Bodrova & Leong, 1996, as cited in Dorn, French, & Jones, 1998, p. 3). The teacher repeats the fruit or vegetable and color associated with it in English and Spanish. The teacher then waits for the information to be repeated back by the students.

Practice/ Checking for

After hearing the book, students start with the first letter of the alphabet (i.e. A, apple, red) and try the fruit or vegetable, practice writing the letter on the printable worksheet, and then color the worksheet. To help guide the students, the poster for each fruit and vegetable covered will be placed on the wall for referral. "From this perspective, which places instruction at the heart of development, a child's potential for learning is revealed and indeed is often realized in interactions with more knowledgeable others" (Wood, 1988, p. 24).


The acquisition of language and literacy skills is social. It happens because young children want to interact and communicate with others. Literacy learning occurs during meaningful interactions, experiences, and activities. Differences in children's home language and culture can affect literacy development. Classroom literacy experiences should allow for and value these differences. By using actual materials (fruits and vegetables) children develop language and literacy cognitively, physically, and socially.
Personal Reflection: What letters and phonics need more focus? Should one letter be focused at a time? Which method best (worksheets, group discussion, physical interaction, etc.) helps students retain information? Can students explain why nutrition is important?

An Effective Literacy Lesson Plan for Kindergarten

Language Interactions Experience Discussion
Christie Blackwell
5/1/2014 12:44:43 PM

Classroom Ages: 4 years old – 5 years old
Observation Time: Individual play time


Two girls pulled out a box of foam letters and the mat that the letters are to be placed into. As the girls placed the letters to their corresponding spaces, a boy walked over and picked up a letter. When you attempted to place the letter on the mat, one girl pushed his hand away and said “NO! Go away. You not play with us. This for girls.” After trying again, the boy laid the foam letter down, dropped his head, and walked away. The teacher approached the girls and explained that everyone could play, not just the girls. She expressed the importance of sharing and ask the girls to go to the boy and ask him to play with them. When the boy sat down, the teacher placed a letter on the mat and ask the kids what the letter was and the color. The boy responded “That’s a blue, H.” The girls gave the same response, showing social interaction.


The environment observed seemed to use Halliday’s functional analysis of language. Halliday identified seven functions, which later researchers refined into categories that were more useful to educators because they were developed specifically to assist teachers in working with children to develop and expand their uses of language (Shafer, Staab, & Smith, 1983; Painter, 2005; Piper, 2007; as cited in Piper, 2012, Sec. 7.1). The girl attempted to regulate the boy’s behavior, the teacher stressed interactional, and representational was used to identify the letter and color to the children.

The interactions seemed to be handled very well by the teacher. When the children demonstrated egocentrism, the teacher brought reinforcement to the situation. To help with interactions, the teacher might incorporate more group play.

Interacting with children is the best experience in learning how language is acquired. Observing a preschool classroom showed the various ways, children during different developmental stages, acquire language and communicate.
Fillmore and Snow identify five teacher roles that are relevant to working with young children: communicator, evaluator, educator, educated human being, and agent of socialization.
. Young children develop their language skills through interactions with more accomplished speakers of the language, such as parents, family members, and teachers, as well as other children.
. This has always been a difficult role, because it involves attempting to identify children who may have developmental delays or disabilities. When young children are in the early stages of acquiring language, it is especially difficult to obtain valid and reliable data on their capabilities.
Educator and educated human being
. Teachers of young children need to be generalists in their knowledge of the world, because children are interested in just about everything that goes on around them.
Agent of socialization.
By school entrance, the processes of socialization and language development are well under way. When children are served in programs outside of the home beginning as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, socialization occurs simultaneously in two environments. It is especially important to respect students' home languages and cultures.
My Speech Problem, Your Listening Problem, and My Frustration: The Experience of Living with Childhood Speech Impairment
is an article that helps others to see and gain an understanding of the daily experiences of children who have speech impairments (McCormack et al., 2010). It looks into their interactions and communication between them and their parents and teachers.

McCormack, J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & Harrison, L. J. (2010). My speech problem, your listening problem, and my frustration: The experience of living with childhood speech impairment.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41
(4), 379-392.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is a website that provides up-to-date information to parents teachers on communication disorders. Learn more at


Interested in acquiring or teaching a second language? Visit Brain POP ESL. This webpage provides teachers with tools and activities to help engage and help students learn a second language. Check it out at


Bodrova, E. & Leong, D. J. (1996). T
ools of the mind: The Vygotskian approach to early childhood education
. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.

Common Core State Standards Initiative (2014).
English language arts standards » Language » Kindergarten
. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/K/

Dorn, L. J., French, C. & Jones, T. (1998).
Apprenticeship in literacy
. York, ME: Stenhouse.

Ehlert, L. (2013).
Eating the alphabet: fruits & vegetables from A to Z
. Boston: MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Fillmore, L. W., & Snow, C.E. (2000).
What teachers need to know about language

Painter, C. (2005).
Researching first language development in children. In L. Unsworth (Ed.), Researching language in schools and communities
(pp. 65–87). London & Washington: Cassell.

Piper, T. (2007).
Language and learning: The home and school years
. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Piper, T. (2012).
Making meaning, making sense: Children’s early language learning
. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

Shafer, R. E., Staab, C., & Smith, K. (1983).
Language functions and school success
. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.

Wood, D. (1988).
How children think and learn
. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Vukelich, C., & Christie, J. (2004).
Building a foundation for preschool literacy: Effective instruction for children’s reading and writing development
. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Language Acquisition
Christie Blackwell
ECE 315
Milagros Marchese
May 12, 2014
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