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ANALYSIS OF CHILD-ADULT LANGUAGE INTERACTION Name of institution: Name of student: Course name: Date due: Introduction Research indicates the way adults interact with children leads to the development of a significant role in children’s learning and development…
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ANALYSIS OF CHILD-ADULT LANGUAGE INTERACTION of due: Introduction Research indicates the way adults interact with children leads to the development of a significant role in children’s learning and development. These studies reveal that in classrooms where teachers are responsible for guiding and nurturing children; the children tend to take more initiative and are usually more likely to be actively involved and determined in their work applied in specific learning areas (Hillman, 2013). There are many strategies that the educators use to analyze child-adult language interaction. For example, when adults participate in the games that children play, for instance, adults identify natural openings in the children’s game and join in at the child/children’s physical level. Or when adults converse with children as partners, for example, an adult should identify an opportunity and approach the child for a conversation on the activities that the child/children are engaging. Another strategy might be the use of encouragement, as opposed to praise i.e. the adult should make use of specific comments and objectives that encourage children to develop their descriptive language by thinking about what they are doing. Context Archer is a preschool age child with nice and gentle manners. Usually he does not talk much to teachers, but he is popular among his peers. He often plays in the home corner, and likes to dress up as a fire fighter. He does not communicate with his teachers much, even if he needs anything, he waits until teachers ask him if he needs anything. At the craft table, the children were drawing. Archer, who is 3.4 years old, drew a big oval shape on his paper. He drew little square shapes on the oval then folded the paper and put it in his bag. He went to play with the toys on the other side of the room. I sat next to him and asked him questions about the artwork that he had just done. My conversation with Archer Me – Archer, I was watching you when you did your drawing. What did you draw? Archer – I draw a rocket. Me – Can you tell me more about your rocket? Archer – Because I have a giant rocket at home. I have to drive it properly because I have to look at the instruction, because I don’t want to bump anyone. Me – So you are going to be an astronaut and fly in your rocket all by yourself. Archer – No, mummy and daddy and my blue sheep, they are going with me. Me – Where are you going to go on your rocket? Archer – To Fiji. Me – How long is it going to take you to get to Fiji in your rocket? Archer – 3 minutes, cause I am very fast. Me – Only you are going to drive? Not your daddy? Archer – No, I am going to drive, daddy don’t have the instructions. Me – So only you know how to drive? Archer – Yes, cause I beeped the horn and the people go out of my way and I can drive through and I can get out of gate with special key. Me – Do you have a special the key for the gate? Archer – Mama and pa (grandparents) have the special key. They gave me a special sticker. Me – Why did they give you a special sticker? Archer – Because they put it on my hand. Mama and pa coming with me. Me – Is your rocket big enough to take so many people? Archer – My rocket is huge. It’s like a dinosaur, cause it’s got spiky bits at the back like a dinosaur. Me – Where did you get such a big rocket? Archer – Cause I got the money to go on holiday Me – Where do you keep your rocket? Archer – My rocket is from the garage. Me – Is the garage big enough to keep you rocket in there? Archer – Yes, my garage is huge. I can put car and rocket in there. Me – What color is your rocket? Archer – It’s orange. Me – Do you think rockets are usually orange color? Archer – No, but mine is orange, I painted it orange. Me – Did you paint it by yourself, or did someone help you? Archer - Mummy and daddy help me. Me – Now tell me, when are you flying to Fiji? Archer – I fly tomorrow. I am going to take some sausages and this toy (Archer was holding small handmade soft toy. Me – How long are you going to stay in Fiji? Archer – Tomorrow after Fiji I go home. Me – Why do you want go home so soon? Archer – Next time I am going to make a rainbow rocket. Analysis of the child’s language Theories of language development are generally divided into six perspectives namely: behaviorists, atavists, maturational, cognitive developmental, interactions, neurobiologist (Fellows & Oakley, 2010). The examinations of several theories that are used to explain language progression among children remain of great significance not only to teachers, but also to parents and caretakers. Oral language is the foundation of future learning and writing. There is a correlation between vocabulary and reading comprehension. It is vital for teachers to create teachable moments when children are interested in something (video, YouTube). When the teacher sees these moments she should take the opportunity to help the child extend the interest. Showing genuine interest, and paying attention to what children are doing, and saying is an important way to model oral language. When I started the conversation with Archer about his artwork, he seemed very pleased to inform me about his rocket. He never stopped to think about his answers, as he knew in his head what he was going to do with his rocket and how he was going to “drive” his rocket. His pronunciation of words was clear, and the use of English intonation patterns, pitch, and stress were demonstrated in his answers. Towards the end of the conversation (7 minutes), he became distracted; his answers became more abrupt, and he seemed disconnected from the topic. There are a number of frameworks that can assist with the design of questions that contributes to thinking and the learning outcomes of children (Fellowes & Oakley, 2010). I used the questioning model developed by Marion Blank (1978). In his answers Archer demonstrated excellent use of sentence structure and vocabulary, although when answering to my questions he was extending his answers beyond my questions. Throughout the conversation Archer showed excellent receptive skills. Hill, S. (2012) states that children combine all aspects of language – phonology, semantics, grammar, pragmatics and vocabulary to communicate meanings. Hill, S. (2012) emphasizes the importance of acquisition of each of aspect of language necessary in the mastery of the other aspects of language. Archer showed the use of all aspects of language with a few grammatical mistakes. For example, when he was answering a question where the verb was in past tense, in his answer he used present tense of the verb. For instance, I asked “What did you draw?” Archer responded “I draw a rocket”. This shows that he understood the meaning of the term ‘draw’, but not its application in tenses. According to the chart of phases of language development, Archer’s receptive skills are right for his age. Three to four years old can understand a range of sentence structures, including questions that start with “who”, “What” and “where” (Fellow & Oakley, 2010, p. 121). His expressive language fits in his age category, for at his age, children talk about their friends, families, and places they have been. For example, Archer talks about his parents, grandparents, and Fiji where he went with his parents for holiday. As stated in our module Halliday (1985), in the book ‘Developing early literacy’2nd edition by Susan Hill suggests that there are seven functions of speech: instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, Heuristic, imaginative and informative. In his answers, Archer used informative function in the examples. During our conversation, interpersonal function of language was used, for instance, Archer answered my questions, by making statements such as “My rocket is from the garage”. These interpersonal skills develop more with the ability to communicate with their peers, teachers, solve problems, taking stance, making judgment etc. (Derewinaka & Jones, 2012). The ideational function was used by Archer to reflect on and reason about the garage i.e. “my garage is huge. I can put car and rocket in there” , about the speed of his rocket ‘three minutes, cause I am very fast’.Textual function of language was used by Archer to shape his sentences, so as to give grammatically correct answers; for example “Yes, my garage is huge. I can put car and rocket in there”. As we see in this dialogue Archer, has used the three functions of the language. As at Archer’s age (3.4 years), the three functions of language operate together. The main language function that Archer used is that of imagination where he pretends to have a rocket that only he can fly. This function enables him to visualize and express perspective. The child at this stage has an unlimited linguistic potential for learning about the world in interactions with others (Derewianka & Jones, 2012). Communication is crucial to belonging, being and becoming (DEEWR, 2009). The learning outcome 5 is about communication, literacy and numeracy. This is evident when children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes. This is evident when children engage in enjoyable interactions using verbal and non-verbal language. During my conversation with Archer, I tried to engage him in meaningful conversation about his painting. I corrected some of the words that Archer used without realizing that he was making mistakes, for example, when he says, “I have to drive it”. In the next question, I asked him, “are going to be an astronaut and fly in your rocket” with the intention of correcting his vocabulary. By restating and restating I can model correct grammar, clarify ideas, and show Archer that I am engaged in active learning. Thus, by providing unstructured time for talking and sharing of experiences, educators learn more about the whole child (Csak, 2000) (module). Adults have a tendency to adapt their language to the child’s linguistic abilities when speaking to young children. They speak in shorter sentences and make syntactic simplifications, for example, when I asked Archer: “Do you have a special the key for the gate?” Throughout the whole conversation my questions were short and directly related to his answers. The more language children hear, the more words they will learn and use. When adults participate with children in their experiences, the adults verbally pass on a message, convey information and guide children’s mental process (Fellows & Oakley, 2010). Adult’s role is very important to facilitate children’s learning. Adults scaffold children’s learning by getting involved in meaningful conversations and dialogues with children. Conversations and verbal interventions such as questions, prompts, redirecting statements and suggestions are effective scaffolding practices. Language development is shaped by life experiences and provisions to which children are exposed. I would not know about Archer’s interest in rockets, if I did not have the conversation with him concerning his drawing. I noticed the grammatical mistakes that Archer made during his conversation, for example, “daddy don’t have the instructions”. Archer was so much engaged in this conversation about his rocket that I thought if I interrupted him he would not say much about his rocket. However, I made some notes for myself to make more attentions on his sentence structures and articulation of some of the words he does not pronounce correct. I also learnt so much about his imaginary rocket and his love to fly on a rocket. I need to talk to his parents, ask them about Archer’s interest in rocket and discuss how we can together improve his language.When families and childcare professionals work in partnership, their combined knowledge of the child leads to decision making that genuinely reflects the needs and interests of the child (Bickley, 2008). Early childhood professionals have to keep in mind that it is in the social context in which educators and parents do things together, to establish a language learned by a child (Emmitt et al, 2010). Conclusion A study carried out by revealed that 75% of adults surveyed believe it is important for adults to have conversations with children; in that it promotes better understanding and a regular language progress where adults can follow and know if a child is developing their language abilities . Language functions are simply the purposes in which we use language to communicate through the use of specific grammatical structures and vocabulary. Through my interaction with Archer, I learned a lot about how children use language depending on age and cognitive development. For example, we can help a child learn a language by involving them in conversations based on their activities as this gives us a good opportunity to start a conversation. By doing so, I am able to know a child’s language level and their interest. Through this information, I can devise strategies that will enable me to handle the individual needs of the child. Future interactions can be improved for example, by making the interactions shorter so that a child does not get distracted or lose interest in the topic of conversation. I could also approach children during the early hours of the day when their minds are still fresh. I could also make the conversation better by showing interest in what the child says and asking more interesting questions that will stimulate the child’s imagination and help the child come up with more creating responses. It is important for adults to interact with children because it benefits a child to practice their language better than when they interact with their peers. References Bickley, M. (2008). Building a partnership with your child care service - A factsheet for families. National Childcare Accreditation Council. Retrieved from http://va.gapitc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/partnerships-1.pdf Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR]. (2009a). Belonging, being and becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. ACT: Council of Australian Governments. Derewinaka B, &Jones P. (2012) Teaching language in context. Oxford University Press, Melbourn, ch.2 page 35 Elliott, A. (2010). Play and literacy pedagogies for preschool and early year’s settings. In M. Ebbeck & M. Waniganayake, Play in early childhood education (pp.67-88). Melbourne: Oxford University Press Emmitt, M., Zbaracki, M., Komersaroff, L. & Pollock, J. (2010). Language and learning: An introduction for teaching (5th ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press Fellowes, J. & Oakley, G. (2010). Language, literacy and early childhood education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press Hill, S. (2009). Developing early literacy: Assessment and teaching (2nd ed.). South Yarra: Eleanor Curtain Publishing Hill, S. (2012). Oral language In Developing early literacy: assessment and teaching (pp. 21-24). South Yarra Eleanor Curtain Publishing Hillman, C. (2013). Investigation: Literacy [EML302 Modules]. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from Charles Sturt University Website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EML302_201390_B_D/page/8aa98c4f-3688-41fb-00ac-22dbeea4af0e Janet Fellowes & grace Oakley) Learning experiences and activities for speaking and Listening (page 160). You tube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqImgAd3vyg Read More
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