Language Arts Instruction Term Paper

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Teaching Language Arts: Description of How Oral Communication Skill May Be Developed Through Conversation, Storytelling and Oral Discussion

It is reported that the use of language in the early years of childhood teaches children not only about the world around them but how language and its use serves various purposes. This type of knowledge is known as pragmatic knowledge which in part is conversational skills. It is asserted in the work of Weiss (2004) that the development of conversational skills in childhood influences the child's ability to interact with others. Children inherently learn these skills however, the adult teacher or parent's role in assisting the learning of children in the area of conversations skills is critical to the ability of the child as a conversationalist. Storytelling is excellent in its ability to develop language arts among children because it requires them to be good listeners. Storytelling can be followed by a question and answer session which teaches students to take turns in speaking. Acknowledging that the storyteller 'has the floor' indicates to students that those who are listening should adhere to the allowance of the speaker to speak without interruption. Oral discussion also enables student learning of language arts through indicating that students should raise their hand before speaking illustrating how the give and take of oral conversation proceeds. Children learn from experience and participation in activities such as these the common courtesies of oral communication and the skills that are required to effectively participate in oral communication and language interaction with other individuals. During question and answer sessions, children who know the correct answer will often in their excitement blurt out the answers, instructing children in this area of oral communication will increase their communication with others and will teach them the correct manner in which to engage in communication with others and ultimately make the student more successful in the future.


It is related by Highreach Learning Inc. that auditory discrimination skills are defined as "the ability to identify and distinguish between different sounds." (nd, p.1) Auditory skill discrimination is a development process that is a "step-by-step process." (Highreach Learning, Inc., nd, p. 1) With the growth and development of the child comes the child's ability to discriminate sounds. The reason that the development of auditory discrimination skills includes that in primary grades children are required to discriminate between spoken words. When children begin to read they are required to be able to discriminate between the sounds that are associated with different letters which may be difficult and which may take some time to develop. The example stated is: "a child may be able to hear the differences between the letters M. And B. But he/she may not be D. And B." (Highreach Learning, Inc., nd, p. 1) Another area in which there is great importance in auditory discrimination skills is that of identifying sounds such as the ringing of a bell so that the child knows that it is time for class or when the bell is rang differently indicating that there is a fire in the school or that children should prepare for a severe weather event such as a tornado. Children who have trouble with auditory discrimination of sounds should be assessed for hearing related problems or for other problems that are known to be linked to failures in auditory discrimination skills. Included in auditory discrimination is the ability of the child to detect differences between the sounds in the environment and the ability to detect differences in non-phoneme aspects of speech and the ability to detect differences in specific sounds in speech. (Super Duper Handouts, 2013, p.1)


Reading assessments are such that can be grouped into categories that include: (1) early reading screenings; and (2) early reading diagnostic assessments. (Rathvion, 2004, p.12) Rathvion states that early reading screening speak of the "evaluation of large groups of children with relatively brief, cost-effective measures to identify which students are at risk for reading failure and require intervention so that they do not fall behind their peers." (Rathvion, 2004, p.12) Early reading screenings are reported to include "assessments that are administered in kindergarten prior to formal reading instruction (preliminary assessments) as well as measured administered in the first and second grade after formal reading instruction has begun." (Rathvion, 2004, p. 14) There is a great deal of controversy regarding the abilities and skills that should be measured in early reading assessments. The debate is centered on the role of IQ tests. Specific questions relating to IQ tests include the following stated questions: (1) how does IQ predict the ability of the child to learn to read?; and (2) to what extent does IQ predict the remediation response in readers with poor reading skills. (Rathvion, nd, paraphrased) IQ is such that can be influenced by the experience of reading and discrepant and nondiscrepant readers have phonological deficits that are not different in regards to their word-level reading skills. (Rathvion,, 2004, p. 14)


It is noted that the use of multicultural children's literature is an effective method for fostering learning of various literature genres among students. In addition, multicultural literature can be used to "broaden student understanding of culture, as well as cross-cultural, intra-cultural, and multicultural differences and similarities." (NCREL, nd, p. 1) The use of various fiction and nonfiction works in the classroom assists students in their understanding of various cultures as well as the different genres of literature available. Children are able to learn about the use and effect of literary elements and devices which includes such as the setting of the story, the traits of characters, the purse and metaphors and symbolism. Use of various literary genres in reading instruction assists students in recognizing major literary genres, subgenres and periods in different traditions. In addition students will become able to develop familiarity with issues of race, history, culture, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. According to the work of Gocer (2010):

"Upon their murmuring jingles, riddles, clearances and nursery rhymes, children come to open the door of a colorful, dynamic and amusing world. In this world, it is embedded in Turkish language's centuries old refined and infinite expressional fineness, as well as its people's traits of warm and sincere sensibility, perception, sharing and creativity. Children develop their language by reading such literary works of stories, novels, etc. Literary works comprise a significant factor in skilled conversation, writing, listening and comprehension." (Gocer, 2010, p.439)


The teaching of reading and spelling to students is done separately and for good reason since teaching and spelling make a requirement of different techniques in teaching and a different learning schedule. Reading instruction involves having students 'sound-out' words whereas spelling instruction teaches students the correct spelling of words which is at times contrary to the way the word appears to be articulated. Spelling instruction which teaches students how to spell accurately is reported to be a skill that is "not an isolated skills limited to a student's weekly spelling test or spelling bee competition. Spelling is one of the fundamental subskills of effective written communication. The vast majority of spelling occurs in real life applications to achieve communication objectives. The goal of spelling instruction should not be temporary memorization of words but rather the development of skills to be able to correctly represent our written language." (Right Track Reading, 2014, p.1) The foundation for success in spelling requires the student: (1) develop phonemic awareness; (2) understand the phonemic nature of spelling; (3) learn the phonemic code; (4) approach the process of spelling phonemically; (5)…[continue]

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