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Oral Language Development of English as a Second Language (E
Transcript of Oral Language Development of English as a Second Language (E
Stages of ESL Development
Stage 1: New to English
Stage 2: Becoming familiar with English
Stage 3 :Becoming a confident user of English
Stage 4 :Demonstrated competency as a speaker of English
Children are more creative.
It refined children linguistic abilities.
Improves cognitive abilities.
Scores higher in visual problem solving and analytical test.
Social advantages - children are more tolerant and open minded towards other people, language and culture.
Stage 1: New to English
At this stage, children have little or no spoken English.
There are two period in this stage:
The silent period: children will mostly observing. Some will not want to interact at all because they might feel insecure in new environment. This period usually last for few months.
The non-verbal period: children will show reluctance in joining interaction. They will only respond with non-verbal language such as nodding, pointing, etc.
Stage 2: Becoming Familiar with English
Children started to get familiar with English.
Children use basis communication strategies to interact.
They show growing confidence in using English and use everyday speech phrases as a social strategy, such as "Hello", "Good morning", "I want..", "This one is mine", etc.
They also often mimic some words used by others.
Growing vocabulary related to objects and events.
Children might still feel more comfortable to communicate non-verbally.
However, they still depends on adult and peers supports to involved in interaction.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, base on 2001 census there are:
60 different language spoken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian
2.8 million people (16% of population) spoke a language other than English.
Increasing number of immigrants every year.
Stage 3: Becoming a confident user of English
Children show growing confidence in using English in different context.
It is still hard for children to comprehend discussion, especially when not supported with visual materials.
Children will start to initiate and respond to communication.
Children started to take some learning in English.
Children started to use grammatically correct sentences.
Children show growing vocabulary.
Stage 4: Demonstrated competency as a speaker of English
Children can now communicate in different learning context with English.
They are able to involve in discussion and engage in cognitively challenging task.
They are confident in switching their home language and English in different situation.
Children started to explore complex idea, such as math, role play, etc.
They can now demonstrate leadership in group situations.
Children show growing grammatical system of language.
They can understand introduction of new topic in English.
Over 70% of the world population speaks more than one language (Clarke, 2009).
So what's the problem then?
Many ESL children does not speak much language in kindergarten setting (Roskos, Tabors & Lenhart, 2004).
Some parents do not speak English at home.
There are language barrier between educators and ESL children, which will be a challenge to develop children's literacy development in early years.
‘Language is the most powerful tool in the development of any human being. It is undeniably the greatest asset we possess. A good grasp of language is synonymous with a sound ability to think. In other words language and thought are inseparable’
Why is language important?
Vygotsky, 1986, p. 120
Strategies at Stage 1
Model a good practices of talking and listening.
Provide a rich language environment for the children and variety of activities that encourage interaction.
Praise children effort in trying to communicate, including non-verbal communication.
Aware of the children's reluctance when involving in interaction.
Use simple language/song supported with visual materials.
Strategies at Stage 2
Great children with everyday using familiar phrases.
Use same and repetitive words or phrases in routines.
Give simple instructions.
Include children in group activities with simple discussion.
Use visual materials to supports language.
Read simple books with repetitive words.
Strategies at Stage 3
Provide discussion activity where children need to use descriptive language.
Plan an activity for children that aim in language development as well as other development.
Provide many opportunities for children to practice English.
Include pronunciation games.
Focus on reformulate, elaborate and expand children's speech.
Provide language game such as pronunciation games, make a sentences games, labeling object games, etc.
Bring new objects/images and read stories for children to expand vocabulary.
Strategies at Stage 4
Expand children's language with new different topic.
Include children in complex discussion, such as problem solving.
Have a show and tell activities where children can use descriptive language to express themselves.
Ask children to make up/draw a story and tell it in group settings.
'Early childhood professionals should be skilful in scaffolding children’s language development and provide opportunities for sustained shared thinking'.
(Siraj- Blatchford, 2009, as cited in Clarke, 2009, p. 20).
They do not feel secure in new environment.
They might feel different from anyone else.
It is difficult to participate in group activities.
Most of their 'voice' is not heard because they speak different language.
They are entering new culture; new routines; new practice.
Challenges ESL Children Face
Strategies to Overcome Challenges
Provide a safe and welcome environment to the children.
Build trusting relationship with children.
Balancing child-initiated and adult-scaffolded learning.
Engage children in different activities even they still communicating non-verbally.
Educator engage in children-initiated activities.
Listen to the children, wait them until finish even when they speak their language (Byrnes & Wasik, 2009).
Encourage children to speak English.
Gain knowledge of their culture and incorporate it with the new culture.
Incorporate families in children learning program.
In Cochrane's (2014) report, she stated that through visual
literacy, children are able to:
Relate it with what they know from background
knowledge and experience.
Use language and vocabulary that they have known.
Make meaning through from the picture.
She stated that pictures could provide context for words, which sometimes have multiple meanings.
To develop children's vocabulary through visualisation will help children to develop text comprehension and their ability to construct meaning in authentic and contextual way.
Oral and Visual Literacy
In Barclay's (2010) study of using song book to teach literacy, she stated that song book will help children to develop oral language:
By building children's vocabulary and awareness of everything has a name.
Most song books are repetitive, which will help children to feel familiar with some phrases and help them memorise it.
It helps young children to focus on sounds of language through rhyme and repetition.
Read-aloud experience help children develop expressive language and increase vocabulary (Hargrave & Senechal, 2000; Whitehurst et al., 1999, as cited in Barclay, 2010)
Using Song Picture Book to Develop Literacy
Gjems' (2013) study, which is conducted in 4 kindergarten classes settings, states that ECE educator has unconsciously asking children close ended question and do not invite children to develop their understanding.
Gjem then make a report on how educator can expand children's language learning using everyday conversation, which are:
Use open-ended question to share experience and point of view.
Invite children to share thoughts, ideas and beliefs.
Encourage children to listen and talk to each other.
Be a role model in making language a useful way to interact.
Interaction should be a process of "share sustainable thinking" where "two or more individuals ‘work together’ in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept, evaluate activities or extend a narrative”.
Promoting Children's Language Learning Using Everyday Conversation
(Siraj-Blatchford and Manni, 2008, p. 7, as cited in Gjems, 2013).
According to Mart's (2012) study, reading story books to children will
have many benefits, which are:
Storybooks promote language learning and culture awareness.
Storybooks expand children's world, challenge their imagination, and develop creative powers.
Storybook introduce topic in child oriented ways.
Text and illustration in storybooks help children interpret story.
Repetition in storybooks help children master language better. It also encourage awareness of vocabulary, sentence structure and comprehension.
Storybook can "help develop positive attitudes towards the foreign language, culture and language learning” (Ellis and Brewster, 2002, p. 1)
(Vardel, Hadaway, and Young, 2006, p. 735)
The most important aspect to choose a storybooks to ESL children is it should be "appropriate to age, interest and maturity".
Encouraging Learning English Through Storybooks
Outcome 1: Identity - Being bilingual and keep maintaining children's
home language help to shape children's identity, language
development and cognitive development.
Outcome 2: Community - It helps children to build their own
knowledge and competencies that they can contribute to their world.
Outcome 3: Wellbeing - Building trust and secure relationship with educator will help children valued and accepted in new environment.
Outcome 4: Learning - Educator need to aware of children' first and second language development.
Outcome 5: Communication - The awareness of the role of parents as educator is important.
Relation to Victorian Early Years Learning Framework (VEYLF)
Understand each child strength and weakness in learning.
Understand each child learning style, according to their interest.
Have different ways of learning, kinaesthetic, visual, auditorial, etc.
Use some body language and/or sign language to communicate.
Have a mix teaching strategies.
Teach children with different ESL games activity.
Teaching children in context, veggie name when having meal.
Keep children motivated to learn English as a positive learning experience.
Have a lesson plan according to their interest.
What educator need to be aware of when teaching ESL children
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013).
Net Overseas Migration
. Retrieved April 19, 2013, from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3412.0Chapter32011-12%20and%202012-13
Barclay, K. H. (2010). Using Song Picture Books To Support Early Literacy Development. Childhood Education, 86(3), 138-145.
Cochrane, V. (2014). Extending Children’s Vocabulary and Comprehension through Oral and Visual Literacy.
, 19(1), 22-24.
Collins, M. F. (2010). ELL preschoolers’ English vocabulary acquisition from storybook reading.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25
Clarke, P. (2009).
Supporting children learning English as a second laguage in the early years (birth to six years)
. Available from http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/earlyyears/supporting_children_learning_esl.pdf
Gjems, L. (2013). Teaching in ECE: Promoting children's language learning and cooperation on knowledge construction in everyday conversations in kindergarten.
Teaching and Teacher Education, 29,
Mart, C. T. (2012). Encouraging Young Learners to Learn English through Stories.
English Language Teaching, 5
Pang, S. (2014). Supporting the oral literacy development of young ESL children.
Pratically Primary, 19
Pesce, C. (n.d.) Teaching Kids English: 10 Things to Consider. In
. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://busyteacher.org/2831-teaching-kids-english-10-things-to-consider.html
Vygotsky, L. (1986).
Thought and Language.
Cambridge: MIT Press.
Why bilingual education is good for children (n.d.) Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://www.thelocal.ch/20110923/1276
The Local, n.d.
In Collins' (2010) study, she investigates the effect of rich explanation, baseline vocabulary and reading practice on eighty ESL preschoolers through storybook reading.
The research shows that when educator read storybook with rich explanation of target vocabulary will result in sophisticated word learning.
Rich explanation of target words include as much information as reasonably in the story context and conveyed in variety ways, such as:
using decontextualized statement
providing synonymous phrases
pointing to illustrations.
Another aspect that effect children's learning also includes rich quality of the definition alone or the combination of rich explanation with number of exposure to the vocabulary, the length of reading the book period and group size.
Vocabulary Acquisition from Storybook Reading