curriculum content that implements strategies and methods that enhance language acquisition. This is done in light of the relevant theories that surround the proper development of linguistics in kindergarten children from vast socio-cultural backgrounds.
The teaching of linguistics to Kindergarten children is indicated by Ellis and McCartney (2011) to be quite a challenge. This is more dominant for the wide range of linguistic diversity as well as literacy development that exists within the 21st century classroom setting (p.44). This challenge is most common among pre-service teachers and the diversity in linguistics is noted to transcend continents as in never limited to the United States (Gerald and Hussar,2003). The diversity is noted to be present in other places that bear the same demographic trends as noted by Portes and Rumabaut (2001).In this paper we develop a curriculum content that implements strategies and methods that enhance language acquisition.
Strategies and methods
Most people would argue that what is today taught as well as expected to be the outcomes of kindergarten education is very different from what was presented a couple of decades ago. The shift from the play as well as group adjustment-oriented settings to the kindergarten classrooms which is characterized by the teaching of very discrete skills as well as specific expectations for the purpose of achievement is currently being reinforced by the numerous calls for the reforms to the public educational systems as indicated by the work of Elkind (1986).The critics of the adoption of skill-based kindergarten trends are shunning the return of the previously outmoded educational techniques. The development of the curriculum for the kindergarten is noted by Spodek (1986) to often ignore most aspects of outmoded educational techniques. Most of the children who enter the kindergartens of today are noted to possess a wider experience from outside the home as compared to the children in the previous settings (the past).As a consequence, several teachers, parents as well as administrators have advocated for the formulation of more advanced content.
A review of the demographic trends indicates a modest growth in the total number of children in the current population who need early care as well as education. There is also a drastic increase in these children's linguistic diversity (NAEYC,2009). A large number of these children are predicted to be from families whose primary language is not English (NELP,2008). The techniques to be used in teaching the kindergarten children linguistics should account for the achievement gaps. This means that they should take care of the weak and strong candidates alike. There should be a proactive development of the children's vocabulary as well as their oral language development. For the children to develop the vocabulary as well as the advanced linguistic structures, they need to be well educated in elementary grade teachings. This means that as a teacher, I will need to engage them in various language interactions all day long by reading to them in several small groups as well as telling them stories. A lot of evidence exists to indicate that the young children's knowledge of alphabet as well as phonological awareness are very important predictors of their levels of proficiency in writing as well as reading in later life (NELP,2008).The children should therefore be taught the alphabet as well as phonological awareness techniques. Songs, stories and tales will also be used in the development of the children's linguistic prowess.
According to Ballantyne et al., (2008), early education plays an important role in the process of preparing a bright better and successful future in school for young children who are learning the English language. Those children who get the opportunity to acquire and develop the basic primary skills of language and literacy in preschool do get to kindergarten armed with reading and writing skills.
Effective instructions in language development are very essential to any preschool offering the program of English Languageto learners. For children to fully understand the English language, they need clear instructions in the simplest possible English Vocabulary partnered with opportunities to listen and speak the same language all day long.The strategies that are used to ensure this is successful can be divided into two. These are the language strategies and the literacy strategies.
The language strategies include provision ofinstructions' in vocabulary that is explicitand systematic. According to Tabors (2008) children require exposure to multiple words to aid them in understanding their richness, proper meaning and usage. Tabor argues that teachers need to endeavor to introduce new words while teaching them new activities in the classroom. These should include read alouds accompanied with explanations of targeted words and vocabularies. This would go along in supporting learning of new words. The other way can involve the use of dramatic plays that are organized around a theme that is carefully chosen (Braham and Lynch-Brown 2002). Another way of achieving this according to Mc-Gee and Richgels2003, is the presentation of vocabulary in a thematic way that aids the children tomake out the associations that exits between the different words and the scaffolds that the students learn.
While applying these language strategies, a teacher should ensures that all the Students learning the English language have enough opportunities to talk to both adults and peers who inturn should provide feedback to the teacher as well as provide encouragement to the students. These social interactions provide the students with an opportunity to develop the language skills that are needed to negotiate while having those interactions (Ballantyne et al., 2008).
For these social interactions to be effective, a teacher can organize group activities where English language learners are paired with children who have strong skills of the English language. While doing this, the teacher should also be cautious not to group all the children who speak the same home language (Barone and Xu,2008). Another way of ensuring the efficiency of these interactions is to provide opportunities to for the learners to have self-direct activities where these learners choose activities that match both their language abilities as well as interests, (Bunce and Watkins,1995). The children can also be encouraged to talk through the provision of prompts that aid the children in expressing themselves. A teacher can also use open questions that are accompanied with multiple answers so that the English Language Learners can expand their own utterances.
The English Language Learners also need to be exposed to rich language through the sharing of reading books as well as through talks offered by the teacher. These according to Aukrust (2007), has shown that the children's oral language development can be enhanced. Coupled with all these, the teacher should provide an ongoing commentary on the occurrences in the classroom to help expose the children to language associated with the environment in the same classroom
Bunce and Watkins,1995).
Another important aspect that influences the learning process is the arrangements within the classroom space as well as provision of scaffolding to the English Language Learners.
The classroom according to Barone and Xu (2008) should be arranged in such a way that provides support to the each type activity that comes with instructions. The changes to the physical environment accompanying these activities should be minimal. Once the English Language Learners have learnt these activities in the various parts of the classroom, they will be cued to know what they are to do and the behavior that is expected of them in those particular areas.Bunce and Watkins 1995, posit that the classroom routines that are predictable can also provide scaffolding for the English Language Learners by allowing them to be able to anticipate what will happen in the days coming including the type of language that is required for each activity.
The continued usage of L1 language skills aids in the development of both English language and literacy learning. This can be achieved by encouraging parents to talk and read to their children while at home and using the home language as a way of strengthening the L1 language skills of their children. The children's home language can also be incorporated into the classroom whenever possible. The use of songs and videos can be effective for this purpose in the cases where the teachers cannot speak the home language of the students, (Gillander, 2007).
According to the National Early Literacy Panel, (2008) research shows that the alphabet knowledge phonological awareness as well as awareness of the print are some of the early literacy skills that have significantly contributed to achievement of late reading . The panel posits that the English Language Learners can begin to develop these fundamental skills in preschool way early before they develop strong English language skills.
Alphabet knowledge is a skill that are appropriate to preschool and include recognition and naming of upper and lower case alphabetical letters. It also involves the association of letters with the sounds they make. Phonological awareness on the others hand is the ability to manipulate the sounds are part of the language without emphasis on the meaning of the words.This can be done in preschool through learning to recognize…