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Language Developmental Curriculum for Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is the background for preparing young children for primary school education. During this stage, the children are equipped with strategies of reading, writing, and doing some other works. The education given to children at early childhood is meant to encourage them to interact with the environment, play roles in-group activities, promote their creativity, and their problem-solving techniques. Language is very important to anyone, especially when learned during early childhood. Understanding of language opens various doors of other studies in the education life of a child (Otto, 2010). Through the language, a child is able to learn other studies, to communicate, and to express himself to others as a way of communication.

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Several methods and strategies can be applied to assist a child in developing a language. One of the commonly used methods is by making use of books to let the child learn language and communication. Picture and storybooks provide stories that are read loudly to the child, and pictures pointed out help small children to associate those pictures and language. This develops a strong desire for a child to read and write for himself.

The level 3 development of the language, also known as intermediate is the level discussed in this development curriculum. The students at this level have an increasing demand for acquiring communication and learning skills in a more accurate manner. At this level of learning language, students are in a position to identify and understand more actual details contained in the language (Guasi, 2004). When interacted in communication, they can respond without many difficulties making slight errors here and there.

The students at this level can construct sentences, come up with paragraphs that are making sense apart from grammatical errors that may end up complicating communication. This level is marked by features like the ability to make simple sentences, expanding the usage of vocabularies, describing or explaining something in a way that the listener can understand. Dialogue can take place between the learner and the instructor as the learner is already aware of the language basics.

Language acquisition development has a theoretical perspective, such as the behaviorist perspective that emphasizes mainly the nurture. This is whereby learning is stimulated in the minds of the learner through the events found during the responsive behavior. The things that are found to reinforce this behavior are rewarding systems. This perspective avoids punishing behaviors very much. The other perspective is the nativist perspective, which is based on nature (Guasi, 2004). According to this perspective, the acquisition of language is more of a natural thing in the mind of the learner than the way people think of it as a cultural aspect.

The third perspective is the cognitive-developmental perspective that emphasizes on the fact that language is acquired as one matures. This perspective says that language can not be learned at once, but it is a process that one has to undergo. According to this perspective, there are four major stages that one has to undergo in acquiring a language such as sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and the final one is formal (Foster, 2009). Another important perspective is the interactionist perspective that insists that, when the children are making their efforts to communicate, they get an opportunity to learn the language that people use.

This perspective focuses on the language as a process through which someone passes through. The learner is supposed to attain, but the learner does not know. For the early childhood level, the available languages are existing, and any other possible language that they are hearing people speak in the community (Foster, 2009). The environment is another aspect of theoretical perspectives, which includes the information contained in the world in which the learner is in a while acquiring the language. In the case of the children, this includes the words and the sentences that their parents utter and the circumstances that are leading them to utter such words.

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The response that the child is receiving after making a speech and the way the parents utter some words or make sentences is a great factor to the child who is learning, as the tone of the speech explains much to the meaning of the words. Learning strategy is another theoretical perspective, whereby the learner incorporates the information presented within the environment and tries out about what he or she has achieved on the target language. The development of a language is a process that comes up with a hypothesis to determine what the learner has attained, is matching with what he is receiving as input from his environment (Kirkwood, 2006). After learning for a while, the learner is tested to see whether whatever is being injected to him or her is being reflected in the results.

For any learner to understand a certain language, he or she should first know the contents of the language. Firstly, the learner who is ready to learn should be assisted to characterize the facts of the target language. For the case of children who are learning the new language, the people surrounding that child should assist the child by making use of the target language as much as possible. During early childhood, children require some linguistic input for them to practice what they hear others saying.

In several cases, there are modern children who have been brought up silently in dark rooms, and such children end up becoming wild (Foster, 2009). Children do not require to be given a full-fledged language by the adults, as long as those children are interacting with other children in the community, and hearing them talk, they, in turn, develop some capability of making their individual words.

For the process of language acquisition to become effective, there must be a curriculum content that should be followed by the instructor and the learner. Without some guidelines, it would be hard for the instructor to know what the best to be delivered to the learner. When the curriculum content is followed accurately, the learner has a high probability of covering the set target within the stipulated time. Having a thematic focus is the initial step of the curriculum, whereby the instructor comes up with a theme to act as an initiative of the discussion to follow; this is always followed by the general plan of how points should follow each other to unfold the main theme (Otto, 2010).

The next step is activation and use of ground and relevant information; this is whereby the instructor gives the learners the necessary basic knowledge and the relevant paths through which to follow to understand the given text. The basic knowledge and the provided path to be followed are directly related to the discussion that would follow between the instructor and the learner. The third and the most important step are of the instructor conducting the direct teaching, a stage whereby the learners are given direct instruction of the intended concept.

Still, in the language acquisition curriculum, there is eliciting the bases for statements, the time when the teacher promotes the student’s ability to make use of text and pictures, especially when they are supporting a theoretical concept (Guasi, 2004). The major part of the discussion between the instructor and the learner concerns the open-ended questions that have more than one answer. The learners are given the opportunity to give as many answers as possible to encourage the interaction of the instructor and the learner. Another crucial content of the curriculum is the instructor’s response to learners’ contributions.

During the discussion, the instructor should have a focus on the discussion, especially the responses of the learner to discover his or her strengths or weaknesses. The learner’s responses are very important as they indicate how far the learner has gone, and how better he or she has turned in the language acquisition process (Kirkwood, 2006). For the learner to discover that the discussion between him and the learner is successful is marked by multiple, interactive talks that are related to the topics in question. Through extending the previous discussions that the learner and the instructor had discussed as a sign that can gauge the understanding level of the learner.

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The instructor, as well, is supposed to create a challenging atmosphere for the learners that are not threatening. The instructor is supposed to be working closely with the learner more than he evaluates their work. The challenging atmosphere that the instructor is supposed to create to the learners should be meant to provide an opportunity for the learners to negotiate and come up with the meaning of the issue in question. The final and most important content of the language acquisition curriculum is allowing general participation as well as self-selected turns. At this stage, the instructor encourages the learners to participate generally (Guasi, 2004).

If the learners are volunteering to contribute to the discussion, it is a positive sign of their understanding. If the learners are not volunteering to participate in the discussion, the instructor does not have another option apart from introducing the selection of speaking turns. This exercise is meant for the learners to gain the confidence of what they are learning, and for the instructor to determine and point out the learners who have some difficulties and require special attention.

For the students who are learning a second language, there are some instruction modifications, such as in vocabulary. The instructor is supposed to select keenly and teach in advance the specialized vocabulary. The learners are advised to have a personal glossary full of definitions where they can refer time to time. The instructor’s guidance should be meant to simplify the vocabulary (Kirkwood, 2006). Another modification for these students is the use of visuals and supports such as posters, graphics, and videos that would help in demonstrating instead of the instructor explaining all the time. Demonstrations are well understood by the learners more than explaining in words.

A modification in instructions given to the learners is also important as they are supposed to be clear, in order and with illustrations. Whatever the instructor is giving, the learners should be reinforced orally by providing the students with clear and simple guidelines. As part of the instructions, students should be given enough time to ask questions and some allowance for discussion. In terms of note-taking, the keywords should be defined, and their concepts followed closely, for the main and most important concepts learned in class a chart might be used for constant review (Foster, 2009).

The instructor as well should take a step in making summary notes for students where they can be referring the most important notes. The students who are learning a second language are supposed to be taught by the use of a simple language without applying complex sentences while teaching. Often, the instructor is advised to pause, and whenever he needs to emphasize a certain point, the instructor should raise his voice to ensure that the students get the point well.

As a way of modifying the instructions to these students, the use of non-verbal cues is very important. Mostly, the instructors are advised to make use of body language, facial expressions, as they can pass the message very clearly. The instructor is supposed to be aware that some expressions have a positive expression, while others have a negative one (Guasi, 2004). Every idea delivered to the learner should be accompanied by an example as the instructor tries to relate one thing to another, in a way that it would be easy for the students to remember.

Another aspect that may result in a positive outcome for the learners is time management. Learners are given enough time to give their responses as a way of encouraging them to think big. The main sensitive areas that require more time are projects and complex exercises that require more research to be done by the students. As much as the students are given tests and assessments to prove their level of understanding, enough support should also be made available through the provision of relevant materials such as books, parental help, dictionaries, etc.

For the students who have special needs, their instructions also require to be modified to address these specific needs of these students. For these students to excel in their learning process, they require appropriate intervention to avoid the continued struggle that may result in the widening of the gap between their achievements and that of their peers (Otto, 2010).

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There are those students who require advanced instruction from their tutors due to specific learning disabilities that put limitations on their level of understanding. To a certain point, it becomes hard for the instructors to distinguish learners who are failing in class due to certain disabilities and those who are failing due to other reasons. The students who require special attention are further disadvantaged due to a shortage of special instructors who are trained to handle such issues related to disabilities.

Another way to handle the special needs of the students is to understand the source of the problem of such students. If the learner has a natural problem, then special attention is required to be handled by a specialized instructor. Every disability is handled differently from the other. The only thing that is required is for the teachers to have a common philosophy and knowledge concerning the requirements of these students. Some of the common aspects that all the language instructors should know are the basics of second language acquisition, how the native language of the learner is related to the language being developed (Foster, 2009).

Moreover, the important strategies to assess the progress of the learner also need to be considered. Most learning challenges can be avoided if students are enrolled in a positive school and a classroom set up that is accommodating individual differences and weaknesses. The problem comes where the learner is very sensitive to have trouble even in such positive environments (Foster, 2009). Once their problems are noted, some intervention strategies are supposed to be put in place as early as possible to avoid the problem becoming worse.

The lesson Plan

Teacher: Date/Period: July 16 (period 3)
Subject: Education Class: Development Level 3
Topic: Developmental Curriculum Time:
Context: Language Acquisition
Learning Objectives: The pupils will develop an understanding of the basics and importance of acquiring a new language
They will learn to pronounce and carefully spell some basic words
The importance of accuracy will be discussed
Resources: Internet materials
Demonstrating charts and graphs
Dictionaries
Computer projector
Activities: The pupils will be shown how to pronounce some basic words
The pupils will be shown the easiest ways of spelling the keywords
The charts of important concepts will be placed on the walls.
Differentiation: The pupils will be given the opportunity to give some examples concerning the topic covered.

Construction of sentences by use of selected vocabularies

Contribution to Core Skills: Writing sensible paragraphs
Demonstration through charts
Notes on Class:
Homework: The pupils will do their classwork at home. An extension will be a presentation of their work in class individually
Confidential Pupil Information:

Reference list

Foster, S. (2009). Language acquisition. Michigan: Palgrave Macmillan.

Guasi, T. (2004). Language acquisition: the growth of grammar. New York: MIT Press.

Kirkwood, M. (2006). The language of early childhood. New York: International Publishing Group.

Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood. Upper Saddle River: Merrill.

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