Language & Literacy for Young Children

Topics: Early childhood education, Linguistics, Developmentally Appropriate Practice Pages: 10 (3037 words) Published: July 20, 2011
Language & Literacy 1

Language & Literacy: for Young Children

Beverly Gray
ECE 315: Language Development in Young Children (CNE1124A)
Instructor Jason Pieratt
July 11,2011

Language & Literacy 2
This paper will discuss developmentally appropriate methodologies in teaching language and literacy to young children across a developmental curriculum. Also to be discussed will be the aspects/knowledge’s of language, language diversity and Theoretical Perspectives.

In the Beginning
There is now evidence that it is never too early to teach a child.Through research it has been discovered that the infant even before he/she is born can hear sound and as we know that is how we acquire language, by hearing spoken words. According to Otto (2010), language development begins when language speakers assume that an infant is a participating partner in conversational settings, even though it is months before the child is able to begin using conventional words.In an article written by Dr. Carmelita Lomeo-Smrtic,Ph.D, she wrote that “Teaching children to become literate members of society is a daunting task, often relegated to the elementary teacher. However, research on teaching children to become literate suggests that this process must begin well before kindergarten. Research suggests that children are primed for learning language in utero. Also from the Otto text, “research on children’s perception of speech and the development of the auditory system in utero has determined that the fetus can perceive sounds beginning with the 25th week of gestation and at the 35th week a fetus’s hearing acuity is at a level similar to an adult’s(2010). Knowing all of this has prompted mother’s and some father’s to read to their unborn infant and even “talk” to him/her. Documented research suggests that infants can distinguish their mother’s voice from the voice of others-including other female voices a first few days after birth (Otto,2010).

Aspects of Language
It has been established that children begin learning at a very early age, even though they do not begin speaking words for many months. Now we will move on to speak about how they learn. There are five aspects or knowledge’s of language.-Phonetic, Semantic, Syntactic, Morphemic, and Pragmatic. Phonetic language is the ability to understand sound/symbol

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relations and sound patterns represented in language, for example the /p/makes the sound “pa”, as in “p-ie” A child that possesses semantic knowledge understands word meanings and vocabulary.There are not many toddlers that do not know what the McDonald’s logo means-even if it is not on the McDonald’s restaurant! Syntactic knowledge is the understanding of how words can be combined in...

References: 1) Dodge, D. (2004) Early childhood curriculum models (from Childcare Information Exchange) retrieved from

2) Lomeo-Smrtic,C. (April 21,2008) An early childhood practitioners guide: developmentally appropriate literacy practices for preschool-age children Taken from Educator’s Voice Retrieved from: on July 6,2011

3) Morrison,G (2009) Early childhood education today (11th Edition) Pearson Education Upper Saddle River, NJ

4) Otto, B. (2010) Language development in early childhood (3rd Edition) Pearson Education Upper Saddle River, NJ

5) York,S. (1991) Roots & wings affirming culture in early childhood programs Redleaf Press St.Paul, Mn.
7) (n.g.) (1998) Learning to read and write: developmentally appropriate practices for young children Retrieved from:
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