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Opening the Door

Steps to Facilitate Language Acquisition
by

Daniel Canaveral

on 23 July 2013

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Transcript of Opening the Door

Opening the Door:
Easier Than We Think
Learning strategies, the environment, and the affective filter all play important roles in a child's ability to acquire language. However, as research has found, the process of language acquisition is quite simple when we remember that:
Opening
the Door to
the Language Acquiring
Student's
Mind

While selecting appropriate language goals is the first step I take towards helping students in their language development, creating a
language-rich environment
is by far the most important.
Goals Set the Stage for Learning;
The Environment Brings It to Life
As a multilingual individual, I have experienced first hand the intricacies of learning a first, second, and even third language. These experiences have influenced my teaching philosophy which stresses setting
realistic
and
attainable
language goals for students.
Inside the Mind of a Multilingual
Stages of Language Development
Children demonstrate amazing cognitive and linguistic gains as they progress through the various developmental stages from birth to 5 years of age:
A Literacy Lesson Plan In Action
Build Confidence by Lowering the Affective Filter
The affective filter is defined by Syrja (2011) as "a screen of emotion that can block language acquisition or learning if it keeps the users from being too self-conscious or too embarrassed to take risks when they speak" (p. 73).
More Strategies to Support Language Learning and Acquisition
Modeled talk which involves the use of gestures, visuals, and demonstrations by adults as explanations are given (Herrell & Jordan, 2008, p. 161). It strives to contextualize concepts through linguistic/oral modeling (Piper, 2012, Sect. 3.2).
In short, I endeavor to help students learn and acquire language one goal--
one step
--at a time.
Research shows language acquisition and learning occur within a
social
setting that is both context as well as language rich (New Levine & McCloskey, 2009, p. 7).
As such, I strive to facilitate the acquisition of language in students by designating specific areas in the classroom such as reading corners, computer centers, and literacy centers to provide students with
valuable
,
meaningful
, and
interactive

experiences
with language.
In line with Principle I of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession, I am committed to helping students develop by stimulating the spirit of inquiry and learning within them via "thoughtful and worthy goals" (National Education Association, 1975; cited in Balderrama & Díaz-Rico, 2006, p. 26).
Literacy Center
Reading Corner
Computer Center
Subject: Literacy
Grade Level: Elementary – 1st Grade
Topic: Predicting with Storytelling
Duration: 20 – 30 minutes daily

“What Happens Next?”
The Tailor (An adaptation of the original folktale titled “The Tailor and His Coat”)

The tailor is a very poor man who is always busy making beautiful clothes for his customers. He never has time or money to makes clothes for himself, although he really wants to. One evening, he goes to the back of his shop and he finds just enough material to make himself a beautiful coat. He wears the coat proudly all over town.
One day, he realizes that the coat is getting old and worn. He is sad to part with the special gift he has given himself. So, he decides to make it into a fine jacket. So he cuts and sews and makes himself a beautiful little jacket. He wears his jacket proudly all over town.
But, one day the tailor realizes that his jacket, too, is getting old and worn. Again, he feels sad to get rid of his special gift. Only the sleeves are frayed, so he decides to make it into a vest. So he cuts and sews and makes himself a beautiful vest. He wears the vest proudly all over town. Every time he wears it, it reminds him of his coat and his jacket.
However, as time passes he realizes the vest, too, is getting old and worn. Once more, reluctant to part with the vest, the clever and creative tailor goes into his shop and cuts and sews. Soon he emerges with a hat made of the same material as the coat, the jacket, and the vest. Again, he wears the hat proudly all over town.
In time, the hat too gets old and worn. Now the tailor is really sad, but being the resourceful person that he is, and being reluctant to part with his gift, once more he returns to his shop. When he finally emerges for the last time, he is holding something very small in his hand. It is a button, but it is not just a button. It is a whole lot more. Whenever he looks at the button, he sees the hat, the vest, the jacket, and the coat, and he thinks of all the wonderful memories of that special gift he gave himself so long ago.

(Chamot et al., 1999, p. 226)
12 Months to 18 Months
18 Months to 24 Months
3 to 4 Years
Birth to Six Months
Within the first six months, children develop precursory language behaviors and early vocalizations which include crying, smiling, and cooing (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
12 Months to 18 Months
Between 12 and 18 months, "vocabulary expands dramatically" as "pronunciation matures to mimic adult pronunciations" (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).

Six Months to 1 Year
Between six months and 1 year, children exhibit babbling which lead to their first concrete words (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
18 Months to 24 Months
Between 18 and 24 months, children's utterances take the form of simple sentences (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
2 to 3 Years
2 to 3 Years
Between 2 to 3 years of age, children see "many new language developments occur phonologically, syntactically, and morphologically" as well as an increased sense of self-awareness (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
Six Months to 1 Year
3 to 4 Years
At this age, children "can follow simple rules, understand opposites, recognize colors and shapes, and categorize items in relationship to function" (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
Birth to Six Months
4 to 5 Years
4 to 5 Years
Children at this age begin "to use language more appropriately in particular settings and for a more diverse range of purposes" (Piper, 2012, Sect. 6).
Comprehension
Learning
By lowering this filter, educators can support children engaged in learning language--be it their first, second, or third.
One proven strategy to help establish a low affective filter in the classroom involves the use of objects, photographs, or illustrations that reinforce spoken or written words and make content comprehensible (Syrja, 2011, p. 74).
Story reenactments which involve the use of props and language scripts taken directly from books to facilitate comprehension of reading texts (Herrell & Jordan, 2008, p. 189).
Language acquisition is universal in all cultures of the world.
Language acquisition is natural, and does not require explicit instruction.
Language acquisition takes place in social settings.
(New Levine & McCloskey, 2009, pp. 3-7)
So talk, talk, and talk some more to children, and see their learning soar!
Opening the Door

Daniel Canaveral

ECE 315: Language Development in Young Children

Instructor Katherine Palichuk

July 22, 2013

For more info:
References
Balderrama, M.V., & Díaz-Rico, L.T. (2006). Teaching performance
expectations for educating English learners. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chamot, A. U., Barnhardt, S., El-Dinary, P. B., & Robbins, J. (1999). The learning
strategies handbook. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
Herrell, A. L., & Jordan, M. (2008). 50 Strategies for teaching English language
learners (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
New Levine, L., & McCloskey, M. L. (2009). Teaching learners of English in
mainstream classrooms. Pearson Education, Inc.
Piper, T. (2012). Making meaning, making sense: Children’s early language
learning. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.
Syrja, R. C. (2011). How to reach and teach English language learners: Practical
strategies to ensure success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Full transcript