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How to implement a dual language program in an already established elementary school - Dissertation Example

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This research presents how to implement a dual language program in an already established elementary school. The report starts with the theory of first and second language acquisition. This essay also analyzes the Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and the Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)…
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How to implement a dual language program in an already established elementary school
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Download file to see previous pages From this research it is clear that language is one of the most important skills a person can have; it is a comprehensive and powerful human ability. It is a means of communication; a system through which people express themselves, think, act collaboratively and above all language is also a means to record events. In short, language is a skill that is as important and as natural as breathing. Pinker has aptly described language as “quintessentially human”. A person however is not born speaking a language; it is learned and the learning process starts at the time of birth. In light of the work done by linguist Noam Chomsky, Mason states language to be a “specific skill”. Elaborating on Chomsky’s description of language as an inherent faculty, Mason in his lecture “Learning Language” said that man was born with a set of rules related to language in his head and he called these set of rules “Universal Grammar”. Children show a natural tendency towards language acquisition. Language acquisition occurs through the numerous experiences of everyday life. Acquiring language without any systematic effort is called first language acquisition. Language acquisition takes place during conversation; when adults talk, children respond and thus grasp the basics of a language being spoken. The pattern of interaction between parents and children may differ with cultures but the rate at which the children develop as language users remains the same throughout the world. (Clark, 2000). Children learn the language they are exposed to (Linguistics 201: First language acquisition, undated). Every child learns the first language without the need of any formal lessons (Pinker, 1995). Clark has described language acquisition among children as a part of the overall physical, social and cognitive development of a child. In Clark’s opinion, children between ages 2 and 6 can rapidly acquire a language and mostly by the time they turn 6, they are proficient language users. Although a lot has been said and written about the development of language in a child, a great deal remains to be explored. The language of a child is a constantly developing process which undergoes many changes. The children seem to acquire the first language quickly, early and with few mistakes. A child’s experience with language and his interaction with others teach him the sound-meaning relationship and help him comprehend the purpose it represents. Although, the rate at which children acquire first language skills may differ, there is little difference in the pattern of development between the languages (August and Shanahan, 2011, p. 357). According to Clark children acquire communicative competency naturally and inherently, and then develop an understanding of the grammatical rules of the language. The structure of the language develops with thinking abilities and social interactions of the child. As the language skills develop, children become conscious of the social situations around them and learn to think and behave accordingly. Second Language Acquisition Stephen Krashen a well known linguist identified the difference between learning and acquisition (Luria et al, 2005, p. 8). In his theory of the second language acquisition, Krashen defined acquisition as a subconscious and instinctive process of constructing the structure of a language quite similar to the way a child picks up his first language (Macaro, 2010, p. 5). Learning on the other hand, is a conscious process based on formal instruction and involves conscious learning of a language. Krashen has described learning as “less important than acquisition” (Schutz, 2007). Second language acquisition is the learning of another language once the first language has been established. The concept of acquiring proficiency in another language is not new; for centuries, man has found the idea of bilingualism/ multilingualism quite fascinating ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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