Course: Early Years Education
Word Count: 2,010 words
Assessment Title: How important is language in concept formation? Critically evaluate the role of language in relation to learning.
This essay shall explore the importance of language spoken in relation to forming concepts. The role of significance of language through social interactions in different environments will be looked upon. Plus how children attain language and how this supports them to learn and develop. Various key theorists like Vygotsky, Piaget and many more will be explored to see how they discuss the importance of language in forming concepts. Language is very important in children’s development and essential for social interactions to take place. Mercer (2000) says it is difficult to imagine how the social life of humans could exist without some kind of language. As from birth adults are scaffolding children’s learning through using words and language. Goswami (2008, p. 399) says “Language, by its very nature, provides an amodal symbolic system for cognitive development, a means for organising the child’s inner and mental life, and (as Vygotsky put it) a “time field for action” extending both backwards and forwards”. The main function of language is to allow us to communicate and interact and share thoughts about new experiences. Also language is very important as it supports the development of knowledge and concept formation, which can be attained through several forms of language. All children begin to speak from different ages depending on a number of different factors like the environment, the social interactions with others, and the involvement from the care giver. Also several interaction factors can contribute to gaining language can change with development, Hoff and Shatz (2007). Children learn to respond to adults and communicate their individual needs, this allows adults to understand them. Kozulin (1986) Chomsky suggested that children develop language quickly and it is essential in their development. Plenty of social interactions and encouragement from carers can develop children’s communication skills and increase their vocabulary very quickly, (DCSF, 2008). Children attain their language through living and growing up in their community through their interactions; this enables them obtaining the language of the community. Children’s development is determined by biological and socio cultural experiences and early interactions helps children with the ability to form relationships in their development. In the early months of children’s lives children form their own identity and form a sense of themselves. Hoff and Shatz (2007, p. 3) say “Any relatively normal child born into a relatively normal language-using community will, even without formal education, develop the ability to use that community’s language”. Plus the language used is continuously used to imitate and reflect about the world socially and physically. Therefore children that have none or limited social interactions, can a have set backs when attaining language which then affects children’s learning. Adults and practitioners have a very important role in supporting children’s language through communication. Both parents and practitioners from birth need to communicate, using language with babies and young children. Hoff and Shatz (2007, p. 259) “A popular belief is that word learning is one of the easiest aspects of language acquisition. Because, presumably, all that children have to do is imitate adults.” As children are already communicating through physical interactions for example listening and touching parents and practitioners until they verbally gain the means to do so. Through significant and continuous interactions, this helps children to build their capability of interacting. Children need to be constantly supported through their play by naming objects and items; this then helps them to build up their vocabulary and memory of names to different objects and...
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