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Language and Literacy in Children - Assignment Example

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Literacy in traditional way is considered as a means to possess the ability to read and write, however this is not always the case as it is an individual process perceived by each child according to his/her mental capability to develop psychological and linguistic elements critical to the acts of reading and writing, such as constructing meaning and developing sound-to-letter correspondence…
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Language and Literacy in Children
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Language and Literacy in Children

Children use different literate behaviours in different contexts based on the grounds of language. (2006a)
Language is partitioned into syntax, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics, each with distinctive characteristics. The semantic system bears little resemblance to the structure of phonology or the rules of communication. The mapping of words onto representations of the world appears very different from the mapping of articulatory movements onto sounds or sounds onto written letters (Bialystok, 2001, p. 24). Moreover the systems appear at different times, starting with detection of the phonological and prosodic features of language and moving to adept, persuasive prose. Vocabulary and communicative skills change throughout the child life span, whereas command of the phonological and grammatical structure of one's native tongue rarely changes radically after middle childhood. (Amsel, 2002, p. 6)
Language along with the context of learning is not purely a matter of speech. Gestures of the arms, hands and face also contribute meaningfully towards essential properties of learning. Language unfolds in predictable stages from infancy through early childhood, with production lagging behind perception and comprehension. The most important aspects of language and syntax emerge between the ages of two and four and seem to be governed by a sensitive period of growth.

For many years, the development of theories about the way children learn to read and write was dominated by studies of English-speaking populations. As we have learned more about the way that children learn to read and write other scripts whether they have less regularity in their grapheme phoneme correspondences or do not make use of alphabetic symbols in all it has become clear that many of the difficulties that confront children learning to read and write English specifically are less evident, or even non-existent, in other populations. At the same time, some aspects of learning to read and write are very similar across scripts. When learning to read and write is examined from a unique cross-linguistic perspective, it is found that there are several ways to develop a child's skill towards learning reading and writing. (Light et al, 2000,p. 55) In this respect Japanese, Greek and the Scandinavian languages as well as English, demonstrates several ways showing how the processes of learning to read and spell are affected by the characteristics of the writing system that children are learning to master.




Language and literacy starts just after the birth of a child, as this is the time when they start hearing and recognizing sounds. Very young infants cannot speak, but they are capable of perceiving aspects of speech long before they can produce them. One way to show this in a baby is to connect an artificial nipple to a tape recorder, so that every time the baby sucks a speech sound is played. The experiment shows the infants seem to enjoy sucking for sound almost as much as they enjoy sucking for milk. After hearing the same sound for a while, however the baby loses interest and the sucking rate drops. Thus he has actually learned the phenomenon of habituation, which ... Read More
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