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

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How to implement A Dual Language Program in an Established Elementary Public School Name Name of Institution LITERATURE REVIEW Theory of learning First and Second Language Language is one of the most important skills a person can have; it is a comprehensive and powerful human ability (Gersten, 1999)…
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Download file to see previous pages However, a person is not born speaking a language, it is learned and through a learning process that starts at the time of birth (Fielding, 2009). In reference to the work done by linguist Noam Chomsky, Mason describes 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” (Learning Language, n.d.). Acquiring the First Language Children show a natural tendency towards language acquisition. Language acquisition occurs through the numerous experiences of everyday life (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, n.d). 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 (Moloney, 2007). 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, n.d). Children learn the language they are exposed to (Garcia, 2009). 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 (Linden, 2008). 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 (Clark, n.d) 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 (Pinker, 1995). Second Language Acquisition Stephen Krashen (2009), a well known linguist identified the difference between learning and acquisition. 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 (Krashen, 2009). Learning on the other hand is a conscious process based on formal instruction and involves conscious learning of a language (Schutz, 2007). Krashen (2009) has described learning as “less important than acquisition” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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