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Language Acquisition Midterm - Chapters 1-8


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Explain this statement: "Language is essential to society."
If forms the foundation of our perceptions, communications, and daily interactions. It is a system of symbols by which we categorize, organize, and clarify our thinking. Without language, a society & its culture will not exist.
Define phonetic knowledge and give an example.
Phonetic knowledge refers to knowledge about sound-symbol relations in a language. Such as the /m/ in mother.
Define semantic knowledge and give an example.
Semantic knowledge refers to the word labels that specify concepts and also to the semantic networks, or schemata, that represent the interrelations between concepts. Such as 'ball' when a child learns that small, round, and plastic object is called a ball. When he sees something similar he will refer to it as a ball.
Define syntactic knowledge and give an example.
Syntactic knowledge is a set of of rules or a grammar that each language has that prescribes how words are combined to create sentences or meaningful phrases or utterances. For instance, the knowledge of the importance of word order.
Define morphemic knowledge and give an example.
Morphemic knowledge refers to knowledge of word structure. There are different types of morphemes:free, bound (derivational, inflectional) For example, slow and slowly.
Define pragmatic knowledge and give an example.
Pragmatic knowledge refers to the knowledge or awarenessof the overall intentof the communication and how language is used to achieve that intent. For example, learning conversational rules.
Idetify & explain the three levels of language knowledge.
Linguistic level-usage level
Metalinguistic level-indicated when a child can respond to questions about words and other linguistic concepts.
Metalinguistic verbalization-children can verbalize their awareness of the rhyming that is present, requiring verbalization of their knowledge of a specific feature of language.
Hoe are oral language competencies related to the acquisition of literacy?
Oral & written language both have receptive & expressive modes. Oral language is acquired prior to written language knowledge; however, as written knowledge is acquired, oral language continues to develop further, refined and elaborated with experiences that involve written language.
What is the nativist perspective in terms of language acquisition?
The nativists perspective emphasizes inborn or innate human capabilities as being responsible for language acquisition. Noam Chomsky - contends that all people inherently have the capacity to acquire language due to cognitive structures that process language differently from other stimuli.
What is the cognitive-developmental perspective in terms of language acquisition?
This perspective emphasizes that language is acquired as maturation occurs and cognitive competencies develop. Sensorimotor stage: children are prelinguistic understanding of the environment comes only through their immediatedirect experiences & their motor activities. Preoperational stage: begin to represent the world with words, images, and drawings. Jean Piaget
What is the behaviorist perspective in terms of language acquisition?
This perspective emphasizes the role of "nurture" and considers learning to occur based on stimuli, responses, and reinforcements that occur in the environment.
What is the interactionist perspective in terms of language acquisition?
Contends that children acquire language through their attempts to communicate with the world around them. Vygotsky
What are the implications of the nativist perspective for early childhood classrooms?
A wide range of children's literature should be read to children so that they can develop and test hypotheses about how language is used to communicate. Opportunities to draw and write encourage children to communicate and create meaning based on their ideas of how language works.
What are the implications of the cognitive-developmental perspective for early childhood classrooms?
Teachers need to develop a curriculum that recognizes the importance of the development of specific cognitive mechanisms as precursors to the onset of language, such as object permanence and symbolic representation.
What are the implications of the behaviorist perspective for early childhood classrooms?
Activities should be developed that encourage children to communicate verbally through imitation & repetition
What are the implications of the interactionist perspective for early childhood classrooms?
Many "talking" opportunities need to be provided for children from infancy onward so that they can begin to understand the ways language functions.
Describe the zone of proximal development.
The difference between what a child can accomplish alone and what she can accomplish with an adult (or more capable peer's) mediation or assistance.
How does the zone of proximal development relate to language acquisition?
It emphasizes the the crucial role of adult's in children's acquisition of knowledge. Adults serve as mediators who introduce children to higher levels of functioning within a supportive scaffolded setting.
Describe child-directed speech.
The specific language that adults use with young children is also distinctive and serves to enhance language acquisition. Utterances are short and well formed. Pitch is higher and intonation is more eaggerated.
Define verbal-mapping.
Verbal mapping employs language that fits the situation, providing the symbols for a child's subsequent representation of that event. (Shared reference and eye contact are essential for the effectiveness)
Define questioning.
Questioning can focus on clarifying something the child said previously,. Sometimes questions are used to ask the child to repeat what was said earlier or to rephrase the utterance. Or used to determine the child's knowledge or awareness of a concept or action.
Define linguistic scaffolding.
Linguistic scaffolding refers to a supportive manner in which adults or older children interact with young children in a dialogue. Assists children in participating at a higher level than they could perform independently.
Define mediation.
Focuses on simplifying the learning stimulus or task to facilitate the language interaction with, and comprehension by, the child. Mediation appears to be influenced by an adult's awareness of a child's level of comprehension and ability to respond.
What are "critical periods" in language acquisition
The acquisition of knowledge of phonemes, syntax, and morphemes appear to have critical periods for development. Phonetic knowledge: birth-10 Syntactic & Morphrmic knowlege: birth to puberty(12-14)
Give an example of a communication loop.
Kellie: I wore my snowboots Teacher: Yes, those are bright pink snowboots. Kellie: I can walk in snow. Teacher: Yes, because your snowboots will keep your feet warm & dry. Kellie: Can we play outside. Teacher: Yes, we will go outside after snack. What would you like to do outside? Kellie: Make angels. Can you make angels?
Identify the 3 types of questioning.
Clarification questions, recitational questions, and informational questions.
Identify 4 distinguishing characteristics of a formal learning setting.
1. Aspects of language knowledge are isolated and directly taught. 2. Skills or competencies are isolated for the purposes of instruction and practice. 3. The child's participation is not only expected but in many cases, mandatory. 4. Children are expected to participate in the same activity, specifically directed by the teacher.
Identify 4 distinguishing characteristics of an informal learning setting.
1. When aspects of language knowledge are embedded within purposeful language use. 2. Sociodramatic play 3. Child's participation is invited not required 4. Activities are open-ended, allowing participants' responses to influence the direction of the activity.
In what ways might a school setting and a home setting differ with respect to interaction patters?
In a classroom setting shared reference and eye contact may require constant monitoring and verbal interaction to keep a child focused on the desired object or event.
Describe 3 specific issues involving linguistic diversity in early childhood education.
1. There are differences in dialects. Pidgins or create language may occur and teachers should be aware of how they are historically used in their communities because the current dialect of Englsih in use may have words, accents, or other linguistic features from those earlier languages. 2. There may also be syntactic differences in dialects which may require more negotiation during communication in the classroom. 3. There may also be cultural differences in how language is used in educational settings.
Explain the verbal-deficit perspective on linguistic diversity.
In terms of linguistic diversity verbal-deficit perspective was first defined as a view that anyone who did not use standard English did not have a valid language and thus was verbally deficient. However, through research it has been proven that there is a difference in how language is used among the classess. Concluding a cause-effect relation between language use and school success, supporting a "verbal deficit" perspective.
What was the significance of the Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School Children v. Ann Arbor School District Board court case?
For people to understand that there truly was a difference between Standard American English & AAE/BE.
What are the benefits of bilingualism?
-Children who are fluent in 2 languages have been reported to have higher levels of metalinguistic awareness, greater and earlier awareness, greater and earlier awareness of language structure, wider perspectives, and more social skills. -A greater awareness of the linguistic features of language & cultural ways the language is used.
What necessary distictions must Spanish speakers learning English make between the 2 languages?
-Distinguish between the 2 systems of sound-symbol correspondence. -Learn the English differs syntactically from Spanish.
How is acquisition of a second language related to first language acquisition?
The more similar the 2 languages are with respect to the 5 aspects of language knowledge, the easier an adult will learn the second language.
List & explain factors influencing second language acquisition.
-Linguistic input, exposure of the person to the language but in which it is comprehensible to him. -Other factors include individual attributes, as age, cognitive abilities, home language competencies, personality, motivation, & self-confidence. -Social setting, whether the learner is a listener or an active participant.
What are 2 aspects of language proficiency for L2 learners identified by Cummins (1999)?
Conversational and Academic Conversational proficiency enables children to engage in social conversation. Academic proficiency involves higher cognitive demands and is related to conceptual and academic development or academic register.
Distinguish between the following program approaches: transitional bilingual education, developmental bilingual education, ESL, submersion, immersion, and dual language.
-TBE: gradual transition from 1st language to English. -DBE: emphasizes both languages throughout education. -ESL: focuses on only learning English. -Submersion: placed in regular classroom. -Immersion: grouped according to 1st language . Teachers must know both languages , language arts is taught in the 1st language while all others are taught in the 2nd. -Dual language: Mixed groups & students learn from one another.
Distinguish between transitional & developmental bilingual education. What value is placed on the 1st language in each approach?
TBE gradually introduces English but then eliminates the 1st language while in developmental bilingual education both languages are developed and maintained.
Describe the Total Physical Response Method.
In this approach the target language is introduced through the performance of physical responses to commands.
What is the role of the teacher's perspective in a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom?
Teachers should ackowledge and value the linguistic diversity that children bring to classroom.
List several ways teachers can create a positive classroom environment.
1. Using books from the cultures & dialects in the classroom. 2. Bring in other language examples. 3. Focus on the pragmatics of knowledge. 4. Modeling your language & cultural curiosity. 5. Learning basic grettings & expressions in different dialects. 6. Encourage students in monological classrooms to explore & develop an awareness. 7. Incorporate a multicultural approach in the curriculum. 8. Avoid stereotypes in assignments. 9. Use materials that reflect diversity.
In what ways can teachers build on children's 1st language competencies?
1. Acknowledging & sharing positive attittude with the studetns 1 st language. 2. Learning of their home language. 3. Acknowledge the students need develop receptive knowledge of SE. 4. Providing opportunities for conservations/discussions. 5. Allowing students to respond in their home language first (then translate).
What are the long term affects of chronic otitis media?
Hearing loss, impairment in learning & language skills. Effect listening, comprehending, speaking, getting along with others, attending, concentrating, reading, writing, & following directions.
What is the order of acquisition of grammatical morphemes?
Present progressive, prepositions, plural, irregular past tense, possessive, copula uncontractile, articles, regular past tense, 3rd person present tense regular, 3rd person present tense irregular, auxiliary uncontractible, copula contractible, auxilary contractible
What are some syntactic-semantic patterns?
agent + action, action + object, agent + object, action + location, entity + location, possessor + possession, entity + attribute, demonstrative entity
What is needed for infants & toddlers to produce speech?
Coordination of the vocal tract, including the larynx, glottis, hard & soft palate, jaw, lips, & tongue. As well as coordination of breathing so that sufficient air is available for speech production. (In the 1st 4 months of infancy maturational changes in the curve of the vocal tract, going from a slant to a right-angle curve.
How may ear infections impact language acquisition of infants & toddlers?
It may impact a child's ability to recognize & distinguish between phonetic characteristics essential for learning to speak & understand language.
Describe an infant's auditory perceptual tendencies.
Intonation, stress, pitch, and juncture add to semantic development as meaning, attitude, and emotion are communicated through these elements before the words themeselves are comprehended.
What is the value in adult-toddler storybook sharing?
Children who have been included in storybook sharing events since early infancy, often show they are predicting the meaning of upcoming text by their verbal and nonverbal behavior.
When does language acquisition begin?
Toddler age when children are more mobile and use more expressive language, in the quest to identify things.
Why is the I-you distinction difficult for toddlers?
The use of the pronouns depends on the role of the listener(you) and speaker(I). Since the roles are constantly changing in a conversation it becomes confusing.
At what age do children typically begin to use single words?
Infancy, during the holophrasic stage in which one word is used to convey a whole thought.
What is telegraphic speech and how does its syntax work?
Telegraphic speech is the child's use of 2 or 3 content words in an utterance, with no function words such as conjugations, articles, prepositions, and inflections. There are different syntactic-semantic patters found in their speech.
How is adult-to-child speech adapted syntactically to the needs of the toddler?
It is shorter in length and less complex grammaticaly. It contains repetitions, uses fewer subordinate clauses,contains fewer modifiers and pronouns, and has more content words but fewer verbs.
What is the role of experience in the development of semantic knowledge?
Once children discover that everything has a name they eagerly seek names for everything else in their environment.
According to Halliday's categories of language function, explain how toddlers use language to serve different purposes.
Initially to satisfy a need, then to influence others, fo instance "no" used to influence others, interaction function, heuristic (What's this?), imaginative function(pretend & role play), and informative.
Describe the way in which a zone of proximal development can be created when sharing a story book with a toddler.
Mother's adjust their comments & questioning to reflect the linguistic and cognitive levels of their children.
What are 3 exploratory activities for an infant & how is language involved?
Crib-based activities (mobiles, crib activity centers, crib-appropriate objects), room-based exploratory activities (balls & push-pull toys, music) Labeling is used when new toys or activities are introduced.
Explain how routine activities in an infant classroom can enhance language acquisition.
Feeding times can be accompanied by talk about the foods and encouragement for the child's feeding. While diaper changing can be accompanied by singing or talking to the child.
Explain the value of object labeling and verbal mapping to toddlers' language acquisition.
It extends the child's attention & interest. By repeating words or phrases, infants' understanding is increased. Verbal mapping can enhance an infant's receptive language by stimulating attention to the caregiver's speech and the ongoing events or actions.
State 3 criteria for selecting books to place in a toddlers' book corner.
They should be made of durable material such as cardboard, plastic, or cloth. The illustrations should be simple and large. Caregivers can make books for infants (short about 4 pages and can be on a single subject).
Describe caregiver techniques for sharing books with infants and toddlers.
Talk slowly, enjoying each page of the book, monitor the infant's eye gaze, talk with expression, provide labels, and sound effects.
Explain why discovery centers enhance semantic development.
The child is given the opportunity to talk about what was experienced or what actions occurred.
Describe the way in which conversations during snack time or meal time enhance language acquisition.
The children and teacher can talk about the different characteristics of the food as well as using manners and cleaning up after themselves.
What are the some guidelines for effective adult listening skills?
Eye-contact & shared reference, communication loop, verbal mapping, and adult-to-child talk.
Describe 5 concepts about written language that preschool children can learn when storybooks are shared with them on a regular basis.
How it sounds, how language communicates meaning, how word sequence influences meaning, what significance word endings have, how language is used differently in different settings, and what the relations are between oral language & written language.
How is the preschool classroom classroom language & environment different from the home language environment?
Classroom environments vary in the amount of talking encourages at different times of the day, classroom goals, and specific classroom circumstances.
What specific sounds are more difficult for four-year olds to produce?
Consonant clusters such as /sh/, /ch/, or /tr/ are morecomplicated to produce.
Define and give an example of an overextension and an underextension.
An overextension occurs when children use the same label or word to apply to referents that may resemble the actual, appropriate referent in some way. For example, when a child learns candy and later begins to call cherries and things that are sweet candy he is overextending. Underextension occurs when the label or word is inappropriately restricted. For example, if the word cat is only used to refer the neighbor's cat and not any other cat.
In what way does storybook sharing enhance preschool children's semantic development?
Conceptual development & vocabulary are increased through book sharing and it exposes children to more precise and varied vocabulary than they may experience other wise.
Explain several specific ways preschool children's syntactic knowledge becomes more complex.
Grammatical complexity, increasing noun & verb phrase complexity, using negation(no, not), producing interrogative sentences(questions), and beginning to use passive forms of sentences.
Give 2 examples of evidence that preschoolers are experimenting with, and aquiring, morphemic knowledge.
Children's mistakes provide evidence that they are learning the general or regular patterns for using morphemes to communicate meaning using grammatical & semantic markers as well as learning the exceptions or irregular patterns. Can be observed as they tell stories in a conversations.
How did Heath's research(1983) increase understanding of the development of pragmatic language knowledge & competencies?
Her study increased our awareness of the ways language learning is shaped by the cultures in which it is used. Children learn not only what to say but when and how to say it.
What was being tested in Anderson's study?
That boys were just as aware of gender register differences as girls were, but boys consciously avoided them.
Explain the role of the questioning process in enhancing language acquisition among preschool children.
Questioning elicits a response from the listener. It can be used at the preschool level to encourage language development. The way a question is worded influences the comprehension and language used by a child to respond to the question.
Differentiate between recitation questions, information questions, and clarification questions.
Recitation questions are asked in order for teachers to indicate the child's level of knowledge on a topic. Clarification questions are used for a teacher to understand more clearly a child's message or meaning. An information question is info from the child that the teacher does not know.
What is linguistic scaffolding?
Creating a zone of proximal development in which a teacher's interaction supports a child's participation at a higher level. It provides support for children as they communicate, for effective communication.
How is language knowledge involved in conflict resolution?
When conflict resolution is employed to encourage children to use language to express themselves and to sove or ameliorate social disagreements.
State 3 goals for language acquisition at the preschool level.
Having children learn to desribe and label what they build & how they build it, and how it relates to life. (blocks) Helping children learn to use language to communicate or converse in their assumed roles and helping children negotiate the role they want to assume.(drama corner) Orally recreating stories through pictures & memory for story texts, increasing vocab development and learning to discuss or share a book with another child. (books)
Exaplin the value of themed dramatic play areas to enhancing language acquisition.
All 5 aspects of language knowledge are involved as children use receptive and expressive language to carry out their roles. Semantic: used to communicate concepts, Phonetic: articulation, Syntactic: grammar.
In what ways does a writing or drawing center enhance the acquisition of language knowledge at the preschool level?
Children explore ways of communicating through pictures & print.
Why is it important for preschool children to have oportunities for exploratory activities? How do these activities in general enhance language acquisition?
Allow children to decide how they will interact with the materials provided.
How can language development be enhaced during informal outside activities?
They can be encouraged to use language during their outdoor experiences to describe, to negotiate, and to question.
What criteria are used in selecting books to share with preschoolers?
The success & value of the activity. Book choices should reflect the developmental needs of children in the classroom and the ongoing criteria. 3 main criteria include: subject content, language complexity, and quality of illustrations.
What is the value in using predictable books to enhance language development?
They encourage children to focus on the language. Memory for the text and content is enhanced by the predictability of these books.
What is the value in using alphabet books to enhance language development?
Focuses on pairing each letter with a word or words that begin with the letter-sound.

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