Children’s Oral Development
Children’s Oral Development
This report provides an evaluation of the oral development of a focus child, *Mike. Mike is a 3 year old boy, who speaks English at home. Mike is yet to begin attending school, but he goes to day care when his parents are not around home. He spends most of his days at the day-care, particularly during weekdays. Mike’s mother picks him at around 4.30. Mike then spends most of his time watching TV until having supper and eventually going to sleep at around 9.00 p.m. The exception is on weekends, when Mike spends his time at home. According to his parents, Mike is well conversant with the use of gadgets like smart phones and computers, and will usually talk over the phone when, say for example, his mum is talking to his dad over the phone.
The language samples were collected from Mike during a Saturday afternoon, when he was at home playing. As noted, Mike normally spends his Saturday’s at home. Consent had been sought from Mike’s parents before engaging with Mike. Mike had already had his lunch at the time that the samples were collected. He was playing with a friend just outside the house. As required, one of the samples was collected including Mike and his friend, while the other involved just Mike. The first sample was collected at the time that Mike was playing with his friend. The second language sample was collected from Mike after his friend had left. This time, Mike was in the house playing with his toys and watching TV. Mike’s father was not around, while his mother was in the kitchen cooking.
Observation of Focus Child, Other Child and Educator
Mike is three years old. At this age, he is at the 3 to 5 years of age developmental milestones. At this stage of language development, children usually have well established communication habits. They are able to communicate in complete sentences. They are also able to use communication gadgets for purposes such as information searching and the investigation of ideas (Flynn, 2011).
Transcription 1: Conversation between Mike and Dave (Other child)
Mike: Me want to play.
Dave: Me no play game with you.
Mike: Who you want play with?
Dave: Me want only toys.
Mike: No! Play game with me.
Dave: You bad. Don’t play game with you.
Mike: Play game!
Dave: No! Me want toys.
Mike (being more insistent): Play play play game with me. You my friend.
Dave: Me go home. Don’t want play with you.
Mike: Bye. Me no play with you no more.
Transcription 2: Conversation between Mike and educator
Educator: What’s your name little guy?
Mike: Me Mike. Who you?
Educator: I am (insert name) and I would like to play with you.
Mike: Okay. Me want puzzle now.
Educator (gets puzzle): We can start now. You like puzzles very much, don’t you?
Mike: Yes me do. Me no want play other game.
Educator: Okay. What is this puzzle about?
Mike: Car. Me fix car. Car red.
Educator: Okay. (Hands Mike some of the missing pieces).
Mike: Nooo! You ruin car. Me do it this way. See one piece go there and another go here.
Mike: What that mean?
Educator: It is when something is cool.
Mike: Okay. This very cool.
Educator. Very well Mike. You are handling this puzzle very well. I’ll let you finish it.
Development of oral language
Children between the ages of 3-5 have distinct characteristics. Their recognition of words is also profound and they can use them effectively in their sentences. The understanding that they have of the words that they speak as well as the words that are spoken to them enable them to answer questions effectively. In any case that they don’t understand the words spoken to them, they can ask for clarification from whoever asks the questions aimed at them. Their inquisitive nature also takes over their minds due to their curiosity of finding out new things within their environment. This enhances their learning process thus they become capable of telling stories from their experiences so far. Their story telling capabilities gives them the chance to talk constantly while searching for attention from those surrounding them. Their realization of new aspects of their surroundings also spurs them to talk constantly while highlighting the major features that they find intriguing from their environment (Dockrell, 2010). Their talking will eventually lead them to learning new words and their curiosity will be the major factor influencing their pursuit for learning new words. As they see elderly people talk, they also attempt to mimic the forms of speech that the adults indulge in.
The children at this age also enjoy talking to each other and other people surrounding them as well. Talking being a new experience, it is only natural that they would want to do it to their best. They use the new phrases they learn to take part in conversations whether they are meant for them or not. They may attempt to intrude in some of the conversations while looking for attention from other members of their surroundings. During their interaction with other people in their surroundings, they also develop a sense of humour through identifying the appropriate moments in which they are supposed to laugh or smile. Through the developed sense of humour, they are able to recognize and enjoy rhymes, stories, and jokes. Therefore, they show signs of asserting themselves in their surroundings by interacting with the appropriate company. They can also show whether they enjoy the company or not through the assertion of their words (Kieffer, 2012).
Functions for which the child is using language
In relation to Mike’s conception of the language he learnt, there are seven major functions that he should accomplish through the language that he has learnt up to 3 years. The first function is the instrumental function which is dictated by the child’s ability to use the language in fulfilling a need. Such needs include using objects such as Lego pieces to construct things such as puzzles or buildings. Some other actions may include getting a drink or eating food (Flynn, 2011).
The second function of language is to express the child’s personal opinions. This function is otherwise known as the personal function. This is seen through the child’s attempts to describe what he wants or what he thinks about a certain object such as a toy or food. Through using the language for the second function, the child is able to express his emotions, attitude and identity. This goes a long way in developing the child’s character (Dockrell, 2010).
The third function involves the child’s ability to influence the behaviour of others within his surroundings. Such actions of influence are shown through the child’s ability to request for something, persuade someone to do something or persuading another person to something. This is otherwise known as the regulatory function. Through this function, the child is also able to express his desires and is also able to manipulate the outcomes of certain situations (Neuman, 2010).
The fourth function is the imaginative function. Through this function, the child is capable of telling stories and using his imagination to fabricate imaginary scenarios. This function is most revealed when the child is playing or involved in activities done in leisure. It also enhances their social skills and their relations with others.
The interactional function is one that the children use to develop their relationships with others. This function is what prompts them to use phrases such as “Thank you” or “I love you” in their appreciation of the interaction that they have with other people in their surroundings.
The children use the heuristic function to explore certain things, discover and explore. The function itself is exhibited mainly in the child’s tendencies to ask questions about various phenomenon in their surroundings. They may be indicative of a child’s commentary running actions (Kieffer, 2012).
The final function is the informative function. It is through this function that the child is able to use the language to request for information on a subject. Apart from requesting for information, the child can also relay information given to him. The relaying of information may be in the form of delivering it to another party.
Critique of adult participation in the language exchange
Some children are different from others. This is evident through one child’s ability to surpass another in understanding a particular concept. Areas in which adult participation is needed include the explanation of complex ideas such as those presented in numeracy and literacy. These are also important areas in the child’s life thus they need to be attended to appropriately. The involvement of adults in the learning process is fundamental to the learning process if the child is to be able to make connections of their learnt subjects and transfer knowledge to each other (Schack, 2013).
Some of the adult activities involved in facilitating the child’s learning are providing the resources the children need, making their environment conducive for learning and stimulating the learning process through teaching for example. Additionally, the adult participators are also required to provoke the children intentionally to challenge their minds and the way they think. They should also support the children in their efforts to learn by suggesting to them exercises that they can undertake to facilitate their learning. Such actions may include engaging them in frequent reading activities and using language to describe what is happening in their environment. Increasing the frequency of these actions helps the children to comprehend and unfold the meaning of what they are taught. It facilitates the development of their brains as well. All these actions are constitute intentional teaching since they deliberately enforce authentic learning processes to the children’s minds (Neuman, 2010).
The intentional teaching process is majorly emphasized on learning literacy and numeracy concepts. It is through these two concepts that the teachers can explain to the children all the things that they need to learn. The teachers should plan for activities which have been intended to familiarise the children with various concepts necessary for their learning. They should also have a deep understanding of whatever they teach as well. To achieve this, the educators need to be rich in numeracy and literacy vocabulary to support the children in their learning process (Schack, 2013). Without such teachings, the children will be unable to effectively present themselves when using any of these concepts. The educators also need to keep in mind that small amounts of knowledge should be dissipated on the children so that they grasp the concepts well over time. This can be achieved by teaching the children the concepts step by step and helping them know how to apply the learnt concepts in their daily experiences.
The importance of parent-educator partnerships
The collaboration between the parents and
the educators is instrumental in the children’s development from the earliest
stages of their learning process. The parents need to make sure that the
educators are sufficiently equipped to teach their children. Ways I which they
can achieve this is making sure that their children have the necessary
requirements needed for learning and that the educators are treating them well.
They should also receive frequent reports from the educators regarding the
progress of their children. This helps identify where there may be any problems
in the child’s learning process. Once the problem has been realised,
rectifications or adjustments can be made to enhance the child’s learning. The
parents need to help the children in doing their assignments while they are
still at the early stages of their oral development. Information on how to do
this can be got from the parent-teacher conferences that they have at the
school. The parents should also be able to create conducive atmosphere at their
residents to support their children’s learning process. This will give them a
chance to interact with their children as well and promote a good relationship
with them. The healthy relationship facilitates the children’s ability to learn
at school as well. Each of the two parties therefore have important roles to
play in the children’s oral development. Without one of them in the children’s
oral development process, the system becomes disrupted through the incompetent
implementation of the learning process.
Dockrell, J. E. (2010). Supporting early oral language skills for English language learners in inner city preschool provision. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(4), 497-515.
Flynn, K. S. (2011). Developing children’s oral language skills through dialogic reading: Guidelines for implementation. Teaching exceptional children, 44(2), 8-16.
Kieffer, M. J. (2012). Early oral language and later reading development in Spanish-speaking English language learners: Evidence from a nine-year longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 33(3), 146-157.
Neuman, S. B. (2010). Promoting language and literacy development for early childhood educators: A mixed-methods study of coursework and coaching. The Elementary School Journal, 111(1), 63-86.
Schack, E. O. (2013). Prospective elementary school teachers’ professional noticing of children’s early numeracy. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 16(5), 379-397.
Oral language development
Oral skills are some of the most important abilities that any child should grasp from a young age. They are quite useful in how the children express themselves and intake the knowledge that they receive in their schools. It is fundamental that parents be greatly involved in their children’s learning process so that their oral development proceeds in accordance to their ages. Ways in which the parents can get involved in the learning process is through ensuring that their children accomplish the exercises given to them by their teachers. By helping their children finish their assignments, they help the children learn as well. They can also involve their children in some creative activities of their own to enhance the children’s oral skills. Such creative activities include engaging the children in a game of scrabble or charades. The parents’ involvement in their children’s school activities therefore go a long way in boosting the children’s oral skills development.