Saturday, 14 May 2011

Language and Association of Knowledge Concepts in Early Childhood

In the early stage of knowledge development, children do not only acquire inputs from adults but actively develop their own interpretations of their surroundings.

What are the relationships between play and learning development?
  • reflect development with prior learning
  • reinforce development with current learning
  • result in development with future learning
The three branches; namely prior, current and future learning somehow have strong connections with children's cognition on stages that they develop throughout childhood. 'Circular effect' is a term that explains how children learn and associate knowledge in a more advanced stage of learning once they established a grasp of concepts in an earlier stage.

Concepts are any one of the knowledge disciplines children learn about through formal and non-formal inputs. Jean Piaget proposed three branches of concepts learned during childhood that are:
  • physical knowledge
  • logico-mathematical knowledge
  • social knowledge
But wait, what have these concepts to do with language? Well language is one essential matter that makes learning possible.

How is language utilised in embedding concepts?

Physical knowledge:
Describing objects in the surrounding with its attributes.

Logico-mathematical knowledge:
Counting and using numerical figures to measure dimensions of objects.

Social knowledge:
The notion of self-identity and others', interacting with encounters, addressing people of different hierarchy (for example parents from siblings, teachers from friends).

In childhood learning, language is not restricted to verbal or written texts. Language can be extended to a limitless of means, namely body language and voice expressions that are meaningful. In this sense, teaching must be as dynamic as possible to meet pupils' diverse needs of literacy acquisition through language use. While body language is another matter of which I am not an expert to discuss, here I place great focus on how language learning is important and that teaching language is not only in school but at home. It is the first ever learned concept in a person's life.

Teaching language in early childhood must be endorsed with visual, aural, verbal and sensory aids, for language is used in expressive sense of a child's cognition. Without aids, teaching language is just another raw input that would take a long while to be recognised by a developing mind.

Language evolves with mankind, and as such, is unbound to any limit of use. It provides man with multitudes of ways to communicate, serves multitudes of purposes, and therefore needs multitudes of effort and support in teaching and learning.

If you're a parent or a teacher teaching young children language, all you need to do is let them out to do whatever they love to do-let them tell stories, draw on sand, play pretend, just anything-while you support with some aids or props and watch the magic as they learn to communicate in many adorable ways! :)

No comments: