Language Development & Diversity: An examination of its foundations and how teaching & learning affect two diverse populations Education 6655 Personal Interest Project Summer 2008 Heather Frazier Carly Schwarmann Jeanne Suleiman Introductions Each member of our group chose this topic for a very specific reason. Heather Frazier is an occupational therapist and an assistive technology practitioner in Lake Washington School District who is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership. Carly Schwarmann is a Spanish teacher at Kamiak High School and is working on her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Jeanne Suleiman is in administration at an elementary school in the Seattle School District and is working on her Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages.) In choosing Language Development and Diversity, we each brought our own specialties to this topic. We hope that by the end of this presentation, we have given you something to think about and/or use in your own classrooms. As collaborative learning is one of the best possible methods, we collectively
welcome your input: your thoughts, ideas and comments. Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand. Language Learning: Nature or Nurture? How much of human learning is derived from innate predisposition and how much is derived from sociocultural experiences? Foster-Cohen (1999) states that complimentary mechanisms, including active involvement in language use, are equally essential for the development of communicative competence. 3 Reflection:
Think about the use of language in your own classroom. What if youre not a language teacher? Do you consciously recognize the ways that you are modeling language? What communication style(s) do you use between yourself and your students? What communication style(s) do you observe among your students? 4 Jeanne begins with the Basics: Language Development I have always loved grammar. My mother was an English teacher and I can remember reading tons of books together each summer. In the seventh grade, I won a contest in the Seattle P-I for diagramming sentences. (How nerdy is that?) People have always told me that I am good with words, although it took me a long time to truly appreciate and develop this talent. Language development (and specifically second language development) interests me as a natural outcome of my education will be to teach adult ESL learners. The struggle to learn a second language is complicated if the foundation for a first language is not in place. I will examine some of the factors that affect language development. 5
Biological Factors Both the left and the right hemispheres are involved in language learning left hemisphere: specialized for processing sequential & temporal content; more logical; analytical; rational right hemisphere: better than the left in processing simultaneous, spatial & analogical information; intuition differences in hemispheric functioning are associated with particular talents English majors: more blood flow to the left Architecture majors: more blood flow to the right (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) 6 more biological factors Everyone is born with a Language Acquisition Device,
an innate mental structure capable of handling both first and second language acquisition (Krashen, 1985) Some aspects of language learning involve innateness that is we are all born with the ability to produce some sort of grammar. This is known as Universal Grammar, and it is applicable across all languages. UG is the guiding force of child language acquisition (Chomsky, 1997) Individual differences in language ability can be due to both intrinsic factors (genetics) and extrinsic factors (environment) 7 and even more biological factors Critical or sensitive periods: the period in which different linguistic abilities will be successful, and after which these abilities may be irregular and incomplete
However, while some may argue that there is an optimal period for second language acquisition (i.e: becoming bilingual), we all know of adults who can successfully learn another language. Likewise, there are people who just seem to have a gift for learning (and being proficient in) languages. Maybe one of them is you! 8 Behavioral Factors Behaviorists view language learning as a formation of habits (Mitchell and Myles, 2004). Through a repeated process of stimulus/response/reinforcement, the habit of language becomes part of our routine Banduras Social Learning Theory states that other people serve as behavioral models and that children learn many things just by watching (Pressley & McCormick, 2007)
9 and a few more behavioral factors Language is a tool for thought. It is the primary, but not sole, tool: also included in the human toolkit are numbers and arithmetic systems, music and art (Lantolf,2000) However, it is only with language that we can talk about ourselves, others, and our environment. Information both useful and not so useful can be learned, memorized, and articulated in a variety of methods. Ever get a stupid song stuck in your head? Without language, that wouldnt happen! Do you know someone that like, peppers their speech with like, annoying little words? That is like, a behavioral habit that can like, totally be corrected. (Thankfully!) 10
Environmental Factors for Infants The speech surrounding a baby has profound effect on a childs ability to perceive sound (Pressley and McCormick, 2007) studies show that babies preferred the high-pitched, sing-song rhythm of their mothers voice. This is known as motherese when parents converse with their babies, they provide a rich language environment that encourages the baby to keep talking. LOTS of exposure to language talking with (and not at) and reading to children help to build a solid language foundation 11 Environmental Factors for Young Students The classroom A rich classroom environment especially in the elementary classroom has a dramatic effect on
language development by the end of 1st grade, children know 6000 words by the end of 5th grade, children know 20,000 words a non-motivated middle school student may read 100,000 words per year. An average middle school student might read 1 million words per year, and a high-achieving, highly motivated middle school student may read 10 50 million words per year (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) Metalinguistics: children begin the process of thinking about language. Their awareness and understanding of how language works increases. This is because of you! 12 Motivational Factors Extrinsic Input Input can be a cultural factor and teachers need to
recognize this about their students. Children may be raised in an environment that has an input that is dramatically different from that of the classroom. The teacher may have to perform a form of input code-switching (supported by scaffolding) in order to further targeted language development (Nieto, 1999) Social learning Language development is affected not just by the teacher but also by peers especially at the intermediate level. Students talk in the vernacular of their generation, with each generation having its own lingo. 13 more motivational factors Intrinsic Reading
Some students may be very motivated to further their own language development, especially through reading Identity Language and identity have a symbiotic relationship. Just as some students love to lose themselves in a good book, identifying with the main character or the story line, other students have the opposite view. Language development may stagnate due to the students association of his/her self with language. This is true not only for ESL students but also for students from other socio-cultural and economic groups 14 Language Acquisition v. Language Learning Acquisition: the result of natural interaction with the language via meaningful communication, setting in motion developmental processes (Krashen, 1985)
Learning: the result of classroom experience in which the learner is made to focus on form and linguistic rules (Krashen, 1985) Up until this point, we have talked about language development through acquisition. Lets take a look at language learning 15 Language Learning in the Classroom Phonological awareness that words are composed of separable sounds (phonemes)
one of the best predictors of success in early reading (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) Grammatical awareness of the different forms of a single word that can occur, depending upon the syntactic context (i.e: I run fast; she runs fast as well.) Semantic vocabulary; the production and understanding of meanings expressed in combinations of words correlated with academic achievement 16 Language Learning in the Classroom, continued Lexical & Syntactical the categorization of a word into a particular category (i.e: noun, verb, preposition, etc.) and their placement into the formation of a sentence. here are two fun riddles:
1. The man killed the king with the knife. Who had the knife? 2. Can you name a 4-syllable word that contains all bound morphemes? (Hint: there is more than one! Submit your guess with your feedback!) Pragmatic the ability to use speech and language in a variety of different situations 17 Language Development Conclusions Language is the main tool for human communication.
While we may be predisposed to use this tool, we also must learn how to use it. A number of factors play an important role into how well a language-learning foundation is built: biological, behavioral, environmental, and motivational Acquisition including competence and/or proficiency in a language depend upon the synthesis of the abovementioned factors. It is also a life-long process, with new learning possible far beyond the first twenty years Language is never stagnant: just as it develops differently in each person, it also changes throughout time. Just think of the difference between Shakespearean English and present-day text messaging. Those are both part of the English language but they are hardly the same! 18 Heather Examines Autism & Deafness I work closely with a speech language pathologist, addressing the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder. I am also responsible for evaluating students for augmentative communication devices. For some students, a device which speaks aloud, a VOCA, can significantly improve their ability to communicate. However, having a voice doesnt address the true nature of the language deficit in these children.
With roughly 1:200 children diagnosed with autism, it is likely that you will have a student with ASD in your classroom. I will examine some of the precursors for language development and identify current, research based interventions. This is a personal photo (a discrete view) of one of my dear students with autism. 19 Reflection: What interferes with language development for children with autism spectrum disorder? How can we enhance language acquisition? What pedagogical strategies prove effective for children with autism? Does use of a VOCA (voice output communication aid) enhance language skills for children with autism? 20
Early Abilities associated with Typical Language Acquisition Early language learning correlates with later reading and language ability imitation present in typical newborns beginning of language development joint attention present at 18 months, prerequisite for language development share, follow, direct attention symbolic play beginnings of combinational language (i.e., early syntax) evident by age two
21 Characteristics of Autism Autism is characterized by impairments in: social interaction communication repertoire of activity and interests initiating proto-declarative (for social purposes) joint attention and immediate imitation 22 Findings 75% of children with autism will develop speech during
preschool years, given multidisciplinary supports Speech by 5 years of age is a predictor of better global outcomes Initiating proto-declarative joint attention and immediate imitation are strongly associated with language ability at 3-4 years of age Toy play and deferred imitation were best predictors of rate of communication development from age 4-6 years of age 23 What Works for Students with Autism? Early intervention Language rich environments paired with explicit instruction Symbolic play
Repeated Storybook Reading Denver Model: emphasis on developing social-affective development, motor imitation, receptive language, development of nonverbal communicative behaviors, shaping speech from vocalizations, and object representations PROMPT: naturalistic communicative framework based on joint activity routines with toys, and relies on therapists use of manual facilitation of speech motor movements to assist the child approximate speech sounds during communicative temptations in these routines 24 What Works in the Classroom?
Reading peers point out details in picture books and ask W questions peers prepare a storybook in PowerPoint, narrating the text Social language invite children to be partners on the playground encourage play during centers Video modeling peers participate as actors in scripted, social videos builds on visual skills, allowing repetition with a consistent model for reference 25 Augmentative & Alternative Communication May supplement communication or serve as a primary
method of communication sign language + portable - limited communication partners; requires intact fine motor skills 26 Augmentative & Alternative Communication, continued picture symbols + consistent for ease of learning, paired with text for improved partner understanding - poor representation of many language concepts, limited to provided pictures voice output devices
+ increases the number of communication partners, larger vocabulary, may facilitate imitation of speech - must carry it, must learn the symbols 27 When to Consider a VOCA Little research exists to guide decision making Decisions should be specific to the individual
needs contexts Review intervention for effectiveness does the communication system result in functional, unprompted communication across environments and people? 28 Features of Language Disorder Phonological Impairment
difficulty with pronunciation predicts difficulty in learning to read, spelling and vocabulary Semantic Impairment difficulty with word retrieval/vocabulary interventions do not translate to improved educational outcomes Grammatical difficulty developing syntactical rules interventions do not translate to improved educational outcomes Pragmatic difficulty with conversation, reduced responses to questions improves with early access to a language rich environment 29 Deafness
Result of genetics, diseases, or middle ear infections Poverty increases the risk factors Deaf children parented by deaf parents develop early language normally because the parents replace speaking with the use of signing Deaf children parented by hearing parents generally have less developed language due to the disconnect in approach to language presentation 30 What Works for Students who are Deaf? Oral communication often poor intelligibility Sign language
limited communication partners Cochlear Implant improved understanding of oral language Best outcomes combine oral communication and sign language 31 Educational Outcomes for Students who are Deaf Deaf children perform less well than hearing children in general intelligence and measures of conservation Lack of knowledge and vocabulary and language syntax contribute to difficulties in reading, writing, and other
school skills Best strategies for reading and writing are consistent with those for hearing children 32 Autism & Deafness Conclusions Children with autism have significant deficits in the early precursor skills of language development Identified strategies have proven effective for both typical and atypical language learners
Growth in language results in growth in reading skills Both nature and nurture contribute to language development Critical periods for language acquisition occur in the first 3 years of life For some students, communication is augmented effectively through the use of sign language, picture symbols, or voice output communication aids 33 Carly Concludes with Bilingualism and Learning a Second Language Hablas espaol? As a Spanish teacher and bilingual speaker, I tend to be in tune with multicultural students. I find it easy to empathize with students learning a new language, whether it is Spanish in high school or English in elementary school. It is always interesting to work with students who know or are learning a second, third, or even fourth language. We can learn so much from them. Being bilingual opens doors for communication, travel and job opportunities. I have worked on cruise ships, led studies abroad and got my first teaching job because I can speak a second language. The minority and immigration population is rapidly increasing in the United States, and academic achievement of English language learners is a growing concern. It is important to be informed about these issues and know how to best support the students.
34 The Facts At least as many people in the world are bilingual as are monolingual (Garcia, 1993) 10% of Americans speak Spanish (US census 2000) The majority of second language learners in the United States are Hispanic (Colorn colorato 2008) Socio-economic status has a powerful effect on
school performance (Colorn colorato 2008) The majority of Hispanic students come from a low SES (Alatis, Straehle, Ronkin, & Gallenberger, 1996). Many Asian students have more success than other English language learners (Alatis et al., 1996) Common Acronyms: LEP - Limited English Proficient ELL - English Language Learners ESL - English as a Second Language 35 Reflection:
Consider the multicultural students in your classes and how their environment might affect their learning and abilities Are we offering our bilingual students the optimal learning experience? Can you easily identify the students in your class that speak more than one language? 36 Types of Family & Community Configurations that Result in a Child Being Bilingual
Type 1: Each parent speaks a different language to the child. The language of one of the parents is dominant in the community Type 2: Each parent has a different native language, which is different from the language of the community. One parent can speak the language of the community Type 3: Parents share the same language, but it is not the language used in the community Type 4: Same as type 2 except neither parent speaks the language of the community Type 5: One of the parents speaks a nonnative language to the child Type 6: Both Parents are bilingual and use both languages (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) 37 Bilingual Language Development Bilingual development is very similar to monolingual development. There is little evidence that learning and using two languages interferes with development
of either language Semantic (vocabulary) development correlates with academic achievement for English language learners. The mixing of vocabulary sometimes occurs up until about the age of two (Pressley and McCormick, 2007). 38 Language Acquisition in Children vs. Adults Babies are born with the ability to discriminate more phonemes than the ones used in their language. If the sounds do not occur in the language surrounding them, they lose their ability to discriminate them. This is why many Asians confuse r and l (Werker, 1995)
Young bilinguals develop the sound systems for the languages they are learning in parallel. Evidence is consistent that the younger children are when they learn a second language, the greater the likelihood that they will not have an accent (McLaughlin, 1984) 39 Language Acquisition in Children vs. Adults, continued Bilingual children are more aware of language than monolingual children. In the first 6 years of life, a child experiences 9,000 or more hours of language exposure and experience If immersed into a culture, adults can learn a new language in less time than children. It takes 1300 hours to attain native-level speaker competence
A child has a better chance of eventually attaining native language competence, including a native accent (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) 40 Bilingual Students and Reading Since we learn to read by reading, it is much easier to learn to read in a language we already understand, then the ability will transfer across languages (Alatis et al., 1996) ELL Students do not engage in fundamentally different processes than English-first-language learners. However, the use of processes (asking questions, imagining, using a dictionary, sounding out, summarizing, etc.) are used less extensively and less quickly. Bilingual students typically read more slowly. But, the processes are the same between the two groups. In short, excellent reading in a language other than English predicts excellent reading in English.
Reading skills transfer from one language to another. (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) A good supply of books in both languages assists in language learning 41 Bilingualism and Cognitive Development Bilingualism is associated with more flexible cognitive intelligence than monolingualism. Bilingual children outperformed monolingual children on intelligence tests (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) However, non-native English speaking students perform more poorly on tests in school than native speakers. This is becoming a pressing issue as the number of nonnative speakers grows (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) 42
Bilingual Programs: Social Consequences & Alternatives Additive programs: the goal of adding a second language without eliminating the first language. It recognizes the value of the native language and culture. The longer the instruction is provided in the native language, the greater the achievement benefits in the second language. Longterm transition makes sense since it takes several years to become fluent (Pressley & McCormick, 2007). A good additive bilingual program includes:
Comprehensible input in English and sheltered subject matter teaching Subject matter teaching in the primary language Literacy development in the primary language which transfers to the second. A gradual exit from the program (Alatis et al. 1996) 43 Immersion Programs Subtractive programs: Have an explicit goal of replacing the students native language with the majority language. They are often referred to as submersion or immersion programs or sink or swim.
As the student gains proficiency in English, they are likely to use it at home and tend to lose some of their skills in the native language. This has profound implications for relationships with parents. Families express concern about being able to pass on their cultural and ethical values (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) Structural immersion programs include: Comprehensible subject matter instruction
Minimal use of first language for explanation Direct instruction of grammar Pre-teaching of vocabulary (Alatis et al., 1996). 44 Effective Classroom Practices with Bilingual Students
Teachers and students communicate well, checking for understanding Work in small, collaborative groups Instruction around thematic units Home culture is incorporated into instruction Student engagement is high, teacher modeling and intervening as necessary Students are allowed to converse in their native language and the teacher uses their native language when appropriate Teachers believe in the student and hold high expectations Parents are involved at school (Pressley & McCormick, 2007) 45 Bilingual and Second Language Learning Conclusions
Everyone can help bilingual students succeed academically and socially Survey your students to learn about where they are from and the languages they speak Communicate with parents. Use an interpreter if necessary Give students opportunities to read and speak in both languages Invite their culture into your classroom Learn a few words in the native language of your ELL students Genuine interest and compassion can make a world of a difference. Remember: additive and subtractive bilingual programs both have advantages and disadvantages anyone can learn a second language at any age
* Colorn colorato This phrase is often used in Spanish-speaking countries when they finish a story. It loosely translates to thats the end of the story or they lived happily ever after. Use it the next time you read a story aloud. The Spanish-speaking students will get a kick out of it! 46 References Language Development and Acquisition Aronoff, M. and Fudeman, K. (2005) What is Morphology? Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. Bransford, J., Brown, A., and Cocking, R. (2000) How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press. Gass, S. and Selniker, L. (2001) Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mitchell, R. and Myles, F. (2004) Second Language Learning Theories. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.
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Outcome in Autism: Randomized Comparison of Joint Attention and Play Interventions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(1), 125. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ784055) Retrieved July 23, 2008, from ERIC database. Katz, J., Mirenda, P., & Auerbach, S. (2002, Winter 2002) Instructional Strategies and Educational Outcomes for Students with Developmental Disabilities in Inclusive Multiple Intelligences and Typical Inclusive Classrooms. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 7(4), 227. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Maione, L., & Mirenda, P. (2006, Spring 2006) Effects of Video Modeling and Video Feedback on Peer-Directed Social Language Skills of a Child With Autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 8(2), 106-118. Retrieved July 28, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. 48 References, continued
Autism and Deafness, continued Mirenda, P. (2003, July) Toward Functional Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Students With Autism: Manual Signs, Graphic Symbols, and Voice Output Communication Aids. Language, Speech, & Hearing Services in Schools, 34(3), 203216. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Pressley, M. and McCormick, C. (2007) Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. New York, New York: The Guilford Press. Rogers, S., Hayden, D., Hepburn, S., Charlifue-Smith, R., Hall, T., & Hayes, A. (2006, December 15) Teaching Young Nonverbal Children with Autism Useful Speech: A Pilot Study of the Denver Model and PROMPT Interventions. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 36(8), 1007-1024. Retrieved July 25, 2008, doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0142-x. Smith, V., Mirenda, P., & Zaidman-Zait, A. (2007, February) Predictors of Expressive Vocabulary Growth in Children With Autism. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 50(1), 149-160. Retrieved July 25, 2008, doi:10.1044/10924388(2007/013).
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Colorn Colorado! (2008) A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners. Retrieved August 1, 2008, from http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators. Garcia, E. E. (1993) Curriculum and instruction: Revision for constant relevancy. Education and Irban Society, 25, 270-284. McLaughlin, B. (1984) Second-language acquisition in childhood: Vol. 1. Preschool children (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Pressley, M. and McCormick, C. (2007) Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. New York, New York: The Guilford Press. Shin, H. B., & Bruno, R. (2003, October) Language use and English speaking ability 2000. Retrieved August 1, 2008, from United Sates Census Bureau. Werker, J. F. (1995) Exploring developmental changes in cross-language speech perception. In L. R. Gleitman & M. Liberman (Eds.), Language: An invitation to cognitive science (pp. 87-106). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.