The creating new ways that facilitate language

The process of language acquisition is created by the
human being’s mind, and has many secrets yet to be discovered, but when the
child starts to learn the language? He starts earlier than most of us think, in
the mother womb, where he gets acquainted and be familiarized with the sounds
surrounding them, and it ends much later in life. There is an end for learning
sound and grammar but vocabulary learning never ends, therefore there is always
something new to learn. Many studies were conducted, and theories were made,
which include the study of sound, grammar, discourse…etc, to give perspectives
to this interesting puzzling phenomenon. All the Languages developed through
centuries so did the English language, the change was a result of political,
economic, and social reasons. The English language has its orthography system
which has its upsides that help the child to learn the language more easily,
and it’s downsides that delay the learning process. Knowing the advantages and
the disadvantages of the English orthography helped in creating new ways that
facilitate language acquisition for children instead of relying on the obsolete
methods of rote learning, one of the ways that are used both in schools and at
homes is to socialize and interact with children in literacy practices as
singing songs, reading stories, and trying to figure out what are the best ways
that helped the children to acquire language more easily even at the individual
level.

Language acquisition is not confined to monolingual
children of any language, nonetheless, monolingual English children. Today
three-quarter of the children around the world are born in a bilingual environment
and a half-third of world’s children are born in a trilingual environment, in
consequence, languages and dialects interaction would be omnipresent affecting
language coexistence, development, and the way it is taught

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Now, literacy has no limitations of its existence in schools,
universities or at work, but it becomes part of our everyday life at grocery
stores, in the streets, in interacting with people…etc. Children need to
express themselves not just to convey their persona or to prove their individuality,
but also to share feelings, emotions, and opinion which integrates them as a
part of the society and fulfill their needs to blend in and pursue what they
want in life

 

Language is a mean of communicating and expressing
thoughts and ideas. The need of a spoken language emerged first by making
sounds that represent letters, syllables, words, sentences that address the
auditory system, then letters and words address the ophthalmic system of the
human being. The necessity of a writing system arose from a need to record
events and communicates it with different people across the different period of
times. Writing began as pictures associated with words syllables sounds, then
more complex writing systems were developed through the world. (Webster, 1806)
.Learning to speak and write are intertwined, the child starts the process of
learning to speak by imitating other people around him, so Speech is important
in developing language skills, improving vocabulary, receiving and producing
language, furthermore, understanding the connection between spoken and written
language is essential to organize and deliver the meaning of the message in a
more efficient and coherent way. (www.lob.ca.).

Orthography is “the accepted way of spelling and writing.”(www.cambridgedictionary.org) or “The art of writing words with the proper
letter according to standard use “(www.meriam-webster.com).

In
a perfect language, letters correspond with sounds, but the English language is
a syllabic language and has its characteristics, it consists of twenty-six
letters written from right to left in a sideways top to bottom. In a perfect
language every letter corresponds to a sound, however, some of them correspond
with more than one sound. (Webster, 1806).The inconsistencies in the English
orthography made English a challenging language to acquire even for children
who are mono-lingual English native speakers, because many inconsistencies were
not just at the level of the letter and their presentation of more than one
sound, but also at the level of words. Historically the English language is a dialect;
its position was elevated and became an international language spoken by many
tongues as a mother language or second or foreign language, it came into
contact with English like Latin, German, French, Danish which brought many
words into the language and changing other words meaning pronunciation and use,
For example: the word colonel has its French and Italian origin, In French, it
is coronel, but in Italian it is colonello, now it is written in the Italian
way and spelled in the French way. Building on what is previously written the
grapheme-morpheme relationship in English is opaque due to the loan words,
which were largely absorbed by the English language causing frozen spelling for
a massive amount of word which makes the prediction of its pronunciation and
writing very hard.(www,youtube.com)

There
are other difficulties that face not just children but adult too, for example
some  sounds stayed or disappeared ,the
/f/ sound in words like: cough, enough, through or thought, other sounds were
lost at the beginning of the words in words like: wrong and knee, some letters
become silent when pronounced for e.g. Psychology, Island. Daughter, furthermore
words have swallowed syllables e.g. Vegetable is pronounced vegtable (www.thought.com), and some English letters give many different
pronunciations for the same letter for e.g. the words bear, ear, and heart.

The English orthography stabilized through the
centuries mostly because of the printing invention by Guttenberg, which helped
in the dissemination of English and the role lexicographer who document the
pronunciation and writing of millions of word albeit the difference between
different standard English like standard American, standard British …Etc.(www.youtube.com)
The English orthography has its positive sides, the spelling system help to
differentiate homophones in words, for example: alter and altar ,morphemes like
inflections stay the same with different words e.g. sides,derived.(allington,mayor,2012).

By studying language new methods were developed to
facilitate learning and teaching English according to many perspectives that
were adopted, one of those perspectives is social perspective, which depends on
the need and the necessity of the child to express his emotions, needs, and his
social identity in the society. How children acquire language is contentious
between the anthropologist, sociolinguists, psychologists…etc, and there are
many perspectives of their studies one of them is the social perspective toward
how a child acquires literacy and what they do with literacy in their everyday
life, and since spoken and written language are closely related literacy is a
part of a wider communicative
practice, and using literacy in this sense involves
exchanging knowledge with a social-network, parents or caregivers who have
their essential role the way the children acquire language, and how they get
involved in practices that will help the children to gain literacy in a more
effective way like storybook reading which studies shown that it supports the
child language development, and literacy practice later in life.(www.2.sfasu.edu)

There are many other reasons that affect
how child literacy evolved, which involve the culture of his parents, the
society that he is surrounded by and the economic status of his parents, the
level of their education, the school’s environment, the quality of learning,
and social class, religion, the position of the child in the family, and how he
deals with the difficulties that he faces which is part of the child
psychology.

The literacy of the child at an early age
is strongly connected to learning the alphabet it is the first predictor to his
or her reading and writing accomplishments in his first formal schooling process that is
intertwined with the parent’s role in involving their children in practices on
a frequent basis with multiple genres of literacy like children’s fiction or
adventurous stories, newspapers adds…etc, another key role in acquiring the
language in children is their relationship with their parents and their parent
beliefs about literacy.Many activities are used by parents at home or in school
that facilitate literacy practice as a social activity like engaging children
in songs, hymen’s books, spelling contests, flash cards and interacting with
children in conversation to see how they understand literacy and literary
texts, furthermore the need to encourage children emotionally and physically to
learn written and spoken language alter the child perspective toward learning
and make it more appealing to him(www.2.sfasu.edu).The literacy practice of English has also existed in
bilingual communities that are affected by religion, social class, schools
parent’s educational level, and the bilingual children may have some
impediments in learning English for example if their other language is written
from right to left, not from left to right they may start writing English from
right to left, or they may think about the subject in one language and write it
in another or they may code-switch during writing.

In the end every
child has the right to have the best of his or her learning experiences,
because it affects their whole life and having difficulties in learning and
writing should be  treated starts as a
little human with the ability and the need to express his thoughts, ambition
and the right to define himself as somebody with possibilities                               

                                                                           

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