Ψ Some sort of schooling is available during middle childhood in every nation; but, there is a great deal of variety in each country.
• Strict lecture method: students are forbidden to talk, whisper, or even move during class.
• Open education: students are encouraged to interact and make use of all classroom resources–with the teacher serving more as an adviser, guide and friend.
• In most developing countries, boys & wealthier children are more likely to receive formal education.
Communication skills: Codes
- Code-switching: a pragmatic communication skill
that involves a person’s switching from one form of language, such as
dialect or slag, to another. For example, children in middle-childhood
censor profanity when they talk to adults, use picturesque slang &
drama on the playground, & even switch back & forth from one language
to another. All these are changes in code. All children code-switch!
- Formal code: a form of speech used by children
in school & in other formal situations. Example: Extensive vocabulary,
complex syntax, & lengthy sentences.
- Informal code: a form of speech characterized by limited use of vocabulary & syntax; meaning is communicated by
Example: gestures, intonation & shared understanding.
Second language Learners
Most of the world’s children are educated in a language other than their mother tongue. Even for those whose home language is also their school language, a second language is useful, even required. Learning another language enhances children’s overall linguistic and cognitive development, especially if it occurs before puberty.
- From: Total immersion: An approach to learning a second language in which the learner is placed in an environment where only the second language is spoken.
- To: Reverse total immersion: Child is taught in native language for several years, than the second language is taught as a "foreign" language.
- English as a Second Language ESL: An approach to teaching English in which English is the only language of instruction for students who speak many other native language.
- Bilingual education: an approach to teaching a second language that also advances knowledge in the first language. Instruction occurs, side by side, in two languages.
- Bilingual-bicultural education: an approach to teaching a second language that adds preservation of nonnative cultural symbols & strategies (such as in the way teaching occurs) to a bilingual program.
- The crucial difference between success and failure in second-language learning seems to rest with the attitudes of the parents, teachers & the larger community in how they indicate to the child that mastering a new language is really valued.
Findings of Developmental Research
- Children learn a first & second spoken language best early in life, ideally under age 5, otherwise under age 11.
- Peers are the best teachers, with the encouragement and guidance of adults who understand the school-age child’s eagerness to learn new structures, strategies, and vocabulary.
- Each combination of child, family, & culture is unique, & goals & attitudes vary tremendously. No single language-teaching approach is best for everyone, everywhere, but attitudes are an important gateway or barrier for language learning.
- Immigrant children are great learners–if given the opportunity.