Language Knowledge Article. Chapter 1 explains the attributes of language and the process of language acquisition in young children. Since this is such a crucial component to support language acquisition, it is important that we understand this fully. As teachers, we also serve as information resources for parents. Choose one of the following topics and write a 250- to 350-word article for a parent newsletter:
- Language Attributes
- Process of Language Acquisition
- Language and Communication
Your article should focus on helping parents understand the process of language acquisition in an informative, yet parent-friendly manner. Be sure to support your ideas with a reference to the textbook and at least one outside source cited in APA format. Construct your initial post for this discussion as if parents were your audience.
Language Structure Poster. In Chapter 2, you will explore the complete system of language as well as the various levels of language structure. Using your knowledge of the whole structure, as well as the individual levels, create a poster you can display in your classroom that explains the different levels. This poster can be created using Microsoft Word, Glogster, or it can be hand drawn and scanned to share for this discussion. The content of this poster should be a minimum of 150 words and it should be presented on one page. It can contain text and visuals such as pictures and/or graphics. At a minimum, please provide a brief summary of the three main levels and use your creativity as you break these down. Support the content of your poster with information from the textbook and at least one outside source. Citations must be properly formatted in APA style and be included on your poster.
Rapid Fire Reflection. Journals allow you to think about how the course content relates to your experiences, philosophies, and beliefs. There are no right or wrong answers; the value lies in your critical thinking. The questions below may spark some ideas regarding language and communication. You do not need to address all the questions; instead, write down your thoughts as they unfold.
You are surrounded by language and communication! Language and communication have become more expansive in our new digital world. While these changes do open many doors, there are also new areas to reflect on. Think about your day today.
- How did you communicate?
- Is this different than how you communicated 10 years ago?
- How about 20 years ago?
- Our language and our means of communication have changed over time.
- Have our rules and theories also changed?
- What about our interactions and expectations?
- How about the effectiveness of our communication?
- How do you think the new forms of language and abundance of diverse communication methods will affect our children and youth?
- What is the impact of this new communication on the “old” forms of communication?
- Do you think there will be a change in the language acquisition process?
- What might be the advantages and disadvantages of such a change?
Week 2 Complete
Theoretical Perspective Reflection
In Chapter 3, you were presented with four language acquisition theories: behaviorist, active construction of a grammar, connectionist, and social interaction theories. For this discussion, you will first select one of the theories and explain its main components in a graphic organizer. The recommended website, Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, offers digital graphic organizers to help you with the creation of your graphic organizer, or you can use the graphs/charts feature in Microsoft Word. You will then compare and contrast your chosen theory with the other theories listed above, highlighting the major similarities and differences. The graphic organizer you create for the theory you choose should include:
- The main theorist associated with the theory
- A summary of what the theory states
- Evidence supporting the theory
- Evidence against the theory
In your compare/contrast analysis of the theory, include the following:
- Similarities to other theories
- Differences from other theories
Refer to Chapter 3 of the text, additional resources, and your own insights. Remember that your graphic organizer needs to contain an APA citation for any source used, including the textbook. Your discussion post title should be the same as your chosen theory. The body of your post should consist of your compare/contrast analysis.
Supporting Second Language Learning. Our classrooms are filled with students who come from diverse backgrounds. When we get to know our students and their families, we strengthen the home-school connection, which research has reported leads to increased student achievement. Using information gained the textbook readings and the required article, Can Preschool Children be Taught a Second Language?, explain strategies that effectively support students who are learning a second language. You can use the textbook andthe recommended article, Responding to Linguistic and Cultural Diversity, to support your discussion. Your post should be formatted to include the following in order:
- Three ways to support children learning a second language in the classroom
- Two ways to support the families of children learning a second language
- One example of a resource you can use to help plan for children learning a second language, with a summary and justification of your choice
- One question you still have about learning a second language
Refer to Chapter 4 of the text and additional resources, and draw from your own insights. Citations must be properly formatted in APA style.
Language Rich Environment. All children learn language in a language-rich environment. In thinking about what you have learned about language so far, how will you design the physical space of your classroom to allow for language opportunities? You will need to think about the type of communication and interactions that you would like to see take place throughout your classroom.
For example, you might place drawing paper and clipboards in the block area to help foster communication so that children can draw their block creations on paper and share the with other children. Having a large open space in the block area invites cooperation so children can verbally communicate and work together on large building structures.
Week 3 Complete
Language and Cognitive Processes Questions. Review the Language Acquisition in Early Childhood Education interactive game, which focuses on language developmental stages and cognitive processes. Write three questions you can ask your classmates that would help to evaluate their knowledge of the developmental milestones and brain development stages, and how they influence on language development and acquisition. These questions should be focused on the main concepts in Chapters 5 and 6. You can see several examples of types of questions in the interactive Jeopardy game. The solutions to your questions should be able to be located within Chapters 5 or 6 in the course textbook. Post your three questions, but do not include the solutions to these in your original post.
Video Observation Discussion. We have learned in Chapters 5 and 6 that we are able to understand where children’s language development stages by observing their processes and interactions. Preview the three videos listed below from Chapter 6 of your text, which are focused on children’s language interactions. The children shown are in various stages of language development. Choose one of the three videos to conduct an observation and identify the child’s language development stage.
- Precursors to Language, retrieved from Section 6.1 of your text.
- Babbling, retrieved from Section 6.2 of your text.
- Assessing Cognitive and Language Development, retrieved from the Conclusion section in Chapter 6 of your text.
Write your observations of the child, which should support your conclusion of developmental stage. Support your responses with the evidence from the textbook
Current Issue Critical Thinking. Read the following excerpt from “Understanding Digital Kids (DKs): Technology & Learning in the New Digital Landscape,” an article regarding learning today:
Recently, there were two recent cover stories in Time Magazine: Their conclusion was that children today are different. In fact, based on what we now know from the neurosciences and psychological sciences, what we’re now beginning to understand is that children today are FUNDAMENTALLY different than we are in the way they think, in the way they access, absorb, interpret, process and use information, and in the way they view, interact, and communicate in the modern world because of their experiences with digital technologies. If this is the case, it holds profound implications for all of us personally and professionally (Jukes, 2008, p.14).
Reflect on this selection and respond to the following questions: § What are your thoughts on this statement? § Do you feel today’s learner has a different way of learning than in the past? Defend your position. § In your future role, how will you use this information? § What implications does this have for your future role?
Language Development Interview. Much of the knowledge we gain comes from our learning and personal experiences. For this assignment, you will spend time talking with an experienced preschool teacher or, if you are currently a preschool teacher, you can answer the questions yourself. Your assignment is to select five questions regarding the support of language acquisition and language developmental stages in the classroom. Please review these possible questions that could guide your interview or you can create your own questions.
For this project, choose one of the following methods of completion:
Week 4 Complete
Communication Disorders Team Activity. There are many specific communication disorders explained in Chapter 8, all of which fall under either Speech Disorder or Language Disorder.
Choose one of the many communication disorders from the chapter and explain the main components of this disorder under the correct broad heading: Speech Disorder or Language Disorder. Prepare a fact sheet that includes the following:
- Disorder name and summary of the main characteristics
§ Explanation of what children go through
- Strategies to help support children in the classroom
- Idea or best practice for supporting families,
- Include a resource that you could share with families that explains more about the disorder.
Language Interactions Experience Discussion. Plan to spend about 30 minutes to an hour in a preschool setting. A good time to observe would be during circle time, independent learning time, or during free choice time. If this is not an option, please view the video, Five Basic Functions of Language, found in Chapter 7 of your text.
Describe the interactions and the language experiences that are taking place in the social setting. Refer to Chapter 7 for various examples of ways this can be seen in the classroom. Record your observations in a professional manner, maintaining confidentiality of the site and the teachers’ and students’ real names. Use your observations to write an analysis of the language experiences that were observed.
In your discussion post, be sure to include your actual observation notes as well as a 150- to 250-word analysis that is supported by reference(s) to the textbook.
For your analysis, discuss:
- What experiences support language acquisition?
- What experiences/interactions need refinement?
You will rely on the information you have gained thus far, as well as your insights, to evaluate the above questions. Be sure to format all in-text citations and reference(s) in APA style.
Literacy Lesson Plan. Create a developmentally appropriate literacy lesson plan that supports language and literacy experiences.
Include the following in your lesson plan, using the template in the online course:
Describe the alignment with language and literacy standards.
Describe the lesson procedure. This should be detailed so that another teacher could use this to implement the lesson.
Explain strategies to support children learning a second language.
Explain modifications for students with special needs.
Identify appropriate materials. Use the textbook and at least one outside resource, with citations in APA format .
Create an assessment plan. How will you measure improvement?
Your one- to two-page lesson plan (in addition to the title and reference pages) should utilize the template found in the online course and be in-depth so another reader would know exactly what to do it they were teaching the lesson. It must be formatted according to APA style, citing two to three scholarly resources (including the course text). Since you will be using a template, it is not necessary to include a title and cover page.
Week 5 Complete
Language Acquisition Resource Discussion. Many resources are available to help us continue to develop our knowledge of language acquisition. As professionals, you will need to identify and evaluate the resources available to you. Please spend sometime evaluating professional resources linked to language acquisition.
For this discussion, choose a specific language acquisition topic to explore further. Several examples include our previous topics of bilingualism, communication disorders, language developmental stages, brain research, supportive language acquisition practices, family support of language acquisition, etc. Write the topic you explored in the subject line of your discussion post. Then, provide three sources that can be used to learn more about this topic. Your sources may include a journal article, webpage, video, research, podcast, etc. Include links where appropriate, and be sure to cite all sources in APA format.
For each selected source include:
- Summary of the source
- How it supports language acquisition in children
Journal Practice and Reflection. As an educator, a large portion of learning and growth comes from reflection and refinement.
For this week’s journal, use the self-reflection rubric found in Week Five of your online course to evaluate the effectiveness of your lesson plan from Week Four. Elaborate on the areas of strength in your lesson plan, as well as those areas in need of improvement.
In addition, provide an evaluation of at least three of your classmates’ lesson plans that were uploaded to the Doc Sharing Tab last week. Using the rubric, provide a justification and explanation of how you scored their areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.
As you advance in your studies, you will continue to build your knowledge base in hopes of reaching your professional goals. This assignment is a culmination of the learning gained throughout this course, with hopes for you to build upon this as you grow in your academic journey. As a professional, you will want to showcase the knowledge you have gained, as well as demonstrate who you are as a unique, reflective practitioner entering the professional world. This project will allow you to develop a language-focused component that you would be able to add to your personal ePortfolio for future professional use. An ePortfolio is an organized collection of your work that is able to be accessed electronically. An ePortfolio may contain examples of some of your best work that you are able to share with others electronically, including potential employers. As you complete more courses, you are able to add more to your ePortfolio resulting in a reflective collection of who you are as an educator. The goal is for you to be able to use this as you enter the professional world. You can learn more about the creation of an ePortfolio at Virtual Educators.
For the Final Project, you will organize a language acquisition section that could later be added to your professional ePortfolio.
Choose one of the following ePortfolio methods to showcase your language acquisition learning.
- Power Point Presentation
- Prezi §
Google Appse Portfolio: This is an actual working website that you can enable for others to view.
Summarize each of the following components, created earlier in the course and revised using the feedback received. Be sure to explain the purpose of each. For example, you can summarize why you included your design of a language-rich environment for children as it relates to the support of language acquisition.
Guided Introduction (Week One)
A summary of your beliefs regarding language acquisition
Language-Rich Environment (Week Two)
Stages of Language Development Analysis (Week Three)
Literacy Lesson Plan (Week Four)
Language Reflection (You will choose another project complete within this course that you feel is a valuable reflection of your learning.)
A summary of how you will support children’s language acquisition in your professional role
Language Resource File in APA format (Week Five)
Youre Portfolio should be creative, but also professional and demonstrate the knowledge you have obtained. It is helpful to be thoughtful with your content and creative with your delivery.
Your Final Project should be submitted as one project with multiple file attachments. The ePortfolio should address the material using college-level writing and critical thought. In addition, it should include graphics, visuals, and media, as appropriate.