Supporting and extending language development

Through interactions we can support and extend a child’s learning and development, particularly in the area of communication and language.

Apart from building an emotional connection with the child through interactions, children benefit from hearing lots of talk, conversations and words. In 2012, Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Meredith Rowe, carried out a study which looked at what contributes most to a child’s later vocabulary development. She found that:

  • children’s vocabulary at 30 months was influenced by the quantity of words parents used one year earlier,
  • their vocabulary at 42 months was influenced by parents’ use of a variety of sophisticated words one year earlier,
  • their vocabulary at 54 months was influenced by parents’ use of narratives and explanations one year earlier.

Adults can interact by talking, listening and responding to the child.

Even if a child is not yet able to communicate verbally, the adult can contribute to the exchange using language. For example:

The child grizzles because he is feeling hungry.
Adult: I can see you’re upset. Would you like some milk?
Child nods.

The child rubs her eyes.
Adult: You look sleepy. I think it’s time for a nap.

The child flaps her arms excitedly.
Adult: I know you like that song! It goes la, la, la, la!
Child squeals in delight.

By showing genuine interest in the child and adding interest to what the child has offered, we are building trust, communication, and developing the child’s language skills all at the same time.

We can support and extend a child’s language development, just by being with them and interacting in a natural way.

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Aprendendo Brincando

Play and learning

‘What did you do at school today?’ ‘We just played.’

We’ve talked about why children play and the benefits of play, but the idea still persists that if it’s too much fun, children are not learning.

However, the evidence suggests the opposite. Research shows that children actually learn through play. Play is learning.

Children need time to play

Play is fun, all children love playing, and children learn so much through play without even realising it. So we need to give children time to play, not just ten minutes when they finish their ‘work’.

When children play, they are experimenting with ideas, testing hypotheses, mastering skills, using their imaginations and representing their world. If you cut out play when teaching English you are removing a vital step in childhood development.

Here are a few examples of the different types of things children are learning and developing as they play.

  • When playing with play dough  children develop their fine motor skills. Children are working on hand-eye coordination and building up the muscles in their hands and fingers when modelling plasticine. These are valuable pre-writing skills, as good muscle strength and hand-eye coordination will help children hold and use writing tools properly later on. By playing with plasticine, children are also experimenting with things like colour, shape and texture.

  • When playing with dolls and a tub of water they are learning about the concepts of wet and dry, floating and sinking, clean and dirty. They are also engaging in sensory play, and experimenting with the way water feels.

  • When playing with musical instrumentschildren are developing sound recognition (the sounds that different instruments make and an understanding of how sounds can change (e.g. high, low, soft, loud, fast slow) and an appreciation of music. These valuable listening skills are transferable to the area of language and communication.

  • When playing with transport toys, children are experimenting with friction and motion, up and down, forwards and backwards, fast and slow.

  • When children are playing with blocks, they are learning about colour, shape and patterns, as well as the concepts of weight, size, height, length, vertical and horizontal.

  • In dramatic play and small world play(acting out scenes from real life, stories and/or imagination created with small figures and objects) children are representing ideas that help them make sense of the world around them. They can also experiment with playing different roles and inventing different scenarios, taking them beyond the real world and developing their imagination.

Toys and resources for play should be chosen on the basis that they are:

  • safe – toys should be checked regularly and broken toys thrown out.
  • clean – soft toys and dressing up clothes should be machine washed regularly.
  • age appropriate – no toys with loose or small parts for babies and toddlers (0-3 years), safety scissors provided for children who are learning to cut, sharp objects stored out of reach.

Adults should:

  • provide adequate supervision of children at all times.
  • model safe practice and behaviour.
  • set clear boundaries according to the child’s age and stage of development.
  • encourage children to respect each other while playing.
  • encourage children to think of the consequences of their actions.

Children will learn better knowing that they can play without hurting themselves, and are safe to experiment with new and different things.

As Novas Palavras Criadas em Inglês na Atualidade

Cat café’ and other words added to OxfordDictionaries.com

NBD, but are you ready to fangirl over our dictionary update? Abso-bloody-lutely. We’ve got some awesomesauce new words – no, rly – that will inform and entertain whether you’re hangry or it’s already wine o’clock. Mic drop.

Mic drops, awesomesauce, manspreading, and more

Let’s pick that mic up again and check out some of the words that have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com in the world of informal language. The mic drop in question can be a literal ‘instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive’, but it’s more likely to be figurative – or an exclamation to emphasize a particularly impressive point: Nuff said. Mic drop.

Mic drop has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

If you want to describe something as excellent, you can use awesomesauce; on the other side of the coin, anything of a poor or disappointing standard is weak sauce. Weak sauce came first, and has a more comprehensible origin as a metaphor; an inadequate sauce would certainly let down an otherwise decent meal. Though awesomesauce clearly comes from the words awesome and sauce, the former is currently beating the latter in the Oxford English Corpus and Oxford Twitter Corpus.

Why say banter (‘playfully teasing or mocking remarks exchanged with another person or group’) when you can save a syllable with bants? (Be careful where you use it, though; the term might be recognized in the UK, but is likely to get bemused looks elsewhere.) And, speaking of brevity, the initialism NBDcan take the place of no big deal, while rly is handy textspeak for really. SJW stands for social justice warrior, which is also added in this update. It’s ‘a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views’, but the word is used derogatively, usually by those who do not share these views.

You may remember mansplain from last year’s update. It’s now joined by the noun manspreading: ‘the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats’. If you’re a gentleman reading this on the bus … can we suggest you arrange your legs considerately? Rly.

Manic pixie dream girl has been added from the world of film criticism: find out more in our video post.

Other informal terms in this update include brain fart, bitch face, bruh, butthurt, fur baby, MacGyver, mkay, rando, and swole.

Mx, Grexit, and other words in the news

Among the additions in the August update, there are those that relate to recent news and events. The blends Brexit (British/Britain + exit) and Grexit (Greek/Greece + exit) were coined in 2012, relating to potential departures of the United Kingdom from the European Union and Greece from the eurozone (those countries which use the euro as their national currency).

Mx has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

The honorific Mx has also been added to OxfordDictionaries.com. It’s used (in the same way as Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms etc.) before a person’s surname or full name as a gender-neutral title. Katherine Martin, Head of US Dictionaries, recently spoke with the New York Times about the rising popularity of the term, which is first found in the late 1970s and has gained significant traction since.

Hangry?

Some fanciful words relating to food and drink are also included in the August update. Beer o’clock and wine o’clock are humorous terms for the (supposedly) appropriate times of day for having your first glass of either drink. You might need to start the meal earlier if you’re feeling hangry: a blend of hungry and angry, meaning ‘bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger’. Anything snackable will come in handy.

Hangry has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

English often forms new words using existing suffixes, and the realm of food and drink shows several such innovations. From the –y ending comes cheffy (relating to, or characteristic of, a chef) and melty (melting or partially melted); from the –ery ending, we get cidery (a place where cider is made) and cupcakery (a bakery that specializes in cupcakes). The latter is a venue where you’re unlikely to have the option of cakeage, which is ‘a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake that they have not supplied themselves’, and another word created by the inclusion of a common suffix. The word is modelled on the pattern of corkage, where the same rule applies to wine. And if you can’t bring yourself to have the finest things in life separately, there is now the option of a cat café, where café patrons can eat while surrounded by feline friends.

Cat café has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

Edible additions to OxfordDictionaries.comfrom Australian English include Anzac biscuit, barmaid’s blush (typically red wine mixed with lemonade or beer mixed with raspberry cordial), battered sav (battered saveloy sausage), and lolly cake (a cake containing sweets, known generically as lollies in Australian and New Zealand English).

Gaming and the Internet

Whether you’re a Redditor, a YouTuber, or more used to handling physical meeples(playing pieces in certain board games), this update has terms that’ll come in handy. Some don’t show the finer side of the human character: rage-quit is a verb meaning to ‘angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating’, and is especially used in relation to video games.

Rage-quit has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com

One reason you might rage-quit is because you are being pwned: that is, utterly defeated by an opponent. This informal term is used more often in video gaming, and supposedly resulted from a common mistyping of own with this sense, as a result of the proximity of p and o on a computer keyboard. Along with pwn comes pwnage(and ownage), being ‘the action or fact of utterly defeating an opponent or rival’.

A Redditor is a registered user of the website Reddit; the word is formed on the pattern of editor, and the site relies upon user-submitted content, posted in subreddits(forums dedicated to specific topics). Users might well post content that they consider glanceable, shareable, and even snackable – which can refer to online content designed to be read or viewed quickly, as well as to food.

Other additions from the sphere of technology and the Internet include spear phishing (‘the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information’), and blockchain (‘a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly’). Nor are mobile phones left out: butt-dial and pocket-dialhave been added, denoting that awkward moment when you dial someone’s number by mistake while your phone is in your pocket.

O Futuro da Língua Inglesa

Book entitled 'English through Practice'

The future of English

All languages change and evolve over time – some have periods of expansion and decline and some eventually die, while new languages emerge. English has a particularly long and interesting history of development and change.

The English we use today bears little resemblance to the English of Shakespeare and even less to that of Chaucer in the 14th century. Similarly, there are significant differences between the varieties of English used in different parts of the world and by different groups of users within and between societies. Arguably, the pace of change has sped up in the last fifty or so years, partly because of technological innovations and partly because of increased mobility and migration between social and cultural groups.

It is difficult to predict the future of English, as Professor David Crystal said, we could all be speaking Martian in the future. In his talk on the future of English, as a global language, Crystal explains that language becomes global for one reason only – the power of the people who speak it. As Crystal says, “Power always drives language. English will remain a global power if certain things happen to maintain the power of the nations who speak it.”

Both Crystal and other linguists envisage scenarios where languages other than English will become the future dominant global language such as Arabic, Spanish, Chinese. It is already the case that while English remains the most used language of the internet, the proportion of English used has significantly been replaced by a wide range of other languages as can be seen in these figures:

Languages used on the internetLanguages used on the internet from Graddol 2006:4 – 2000 data from Global Reach, 2005 from Miniwatts International Ltd) (Cl

A importância da pronúncia na comunicação de sucesso.

Two people having a conversation

Pronunciation for successful communication

Being understood

We all know how important pronunciation is for intelligibility: if we can’t understand the individual sounds in a language (referred to as phonemes), we can’t recognize words and without word recognition, we can’t segment speech into meaningful chunks or phrases (referred to as tone units or thought groups). How often do we say ‘I couldn’t make out a word he/she was saying’.

A certain level of clarity and precision is necessary in pronunciation in order to achieve intelligibility. It has been suggested that there may be a ‘threshold’ level of intelligibility, below which individuals will not be understood (Hinofotis and Bailey, 1980).

Arguably, the degree of precision and clarity needed in a message varies from situation to situation. For example, it doesn’t particularly matter if you don’t understand every word that a friend says in a noisy café, as long as you get the gist. However, it can be much more crucial that a message between a pilot and air traffic controller is clear and precise (as we saw in week 2).

Being fluent

The role of pronunciation in communication is not restricted to intelligibility. Its function in communication goes far beyond simply recognising and understanding words in speech (i.e., intelligibility). Aspects of pronunciation, such as stress, rhythm, accentuation and pausing, also contribute to perceptions of speaker fluency, i.e. to the continuity, smoothness or evenness of speech. A speaker who pauses too much or in unexpected places, or who speaks too quickly or slowly, or who doesn’t signal clearly which parts of a message are more important than others is likely at least to irritate the listener or be labelled as linguistically incompetent.

Making an impression

Pronunciation, arguably more than any other area of language, can provoke emotional reactions. How we speak can quickly create lasting positive or negative impressions or strong reactions – ‘I can’t stand his voice’ – ‘I liked the sound of him’ – ‘don’t take that tone with me’.

The first impression we make when we speak is through our voice and our pronunciation. Through our accent, tone of voice and delivery, we convey a great deal about who we are and how we feel. Research suggests that pronunciation can have a crucial impact on how others evaluate us; accents can affect how intelligent or attractive you are perceived to be, and can potentially affect results in exams, trials and job interviews.

In this sense, pronunciation, and accent in particular, can have considerable strategic value, that is it can perform a ‘gatekeeping’ function. For instance, having the ‘right’ accent can open doors to career or social opportunities, while having a strong regional or foreign accent can lead to negative impressions and discrimination

Em Português

Pronúncia para uma comunicação bem sucedida

Ser entendido

Todos sabemos como a pronúncia é importante para a inteligibilidade: se não podemos entender os sons individuais em uma linguagem (denominada fonemas), não podemos reconhecer palavras e sem reconhecimento de palavras, não podemos segmentar a fala em partes significativas ou frases (referidas como unidades de tom ou grupos de pensamento). Com que frequência dizemos “não consegui distinguir uma palavra que ele / ela estava dizendo”.

Um certo nível de clareza e precisão é necessário na pronúncia, a fim de alcançar a inteligibilidade. Tem sido sugerido que pode haver um nível de inteligibilidade “limiar”, abaixo do qual os indivíduos não serão compreendidos (Hinofotis e Bailey, 1980).

Indiscutivelmente, o grau de precisão e clareza necessário em uma mensagem varia de situação para situação. Por exemplo, não importa se você não entende cada palavra que um amigo diz em um café barulhento, contanto que você adquira a essência. No entanto, pode ser muito mais crucial que uma mensagem entre um piloto e um controlador de tráfego aéreo seja clara e precisa (como vimos na semana 2).

Ser fluente

O papel da pronúncia na comunicação não se restringe à inteligibilidade. Sua função na comunicação vai muito além do simples reconhecimento e compreensão das palavras na fala (ou seja, inteligibilidade). Aspectos da pronúncia, como estresse, ritmo, acentuação e pausa, também contribuem para as percepções da fluência do falante, ou seja, para a continuidade, suavidade ou uniformidade da fala. Um orador que faz uma pausa demais ou em lugares inesperados, ou que fala rápido ou vagaroso, ou que não sinaliza claramente quais partes de uma mensagem são mais importantes do que outras, provavelmente irrita o ouvinte ou é rotulado como linguisticamente incompetente. .

© University of Leicester

Fazendo uma impressão

A pronúncia, sem dúvida mais do que qualquer outra área da linguagem, pode provocar reações emocionais. O modo como falamos pode criar rapidamente impressões duradouras, positivas ou negativas, ou reações fortes – “Eu não suporto a voz dele” – “Gostei do som dele”, “não tomo esse tom comigo”.

A primeira impressão que fazemos quando falamos é através da nossa voz e da nossa pronúncia. Através do nosso sotaque, tom de voz e entrega, transmitimos muito sobre quem somos e como nos sentimos. Pesquisas sugerem que a pronúncia pode ter um impacto crucial em como os outros nos avaliam; O sotaque pode afetar o quão inteligente ou atraente você é, e pode afetar os resultados em provas, testes e entrevistas de emprego.

Nesse sentido, a pronúncia e o sotaque em particular podem ter um valor estratégico considerável, isto é, podem executar uma função de “gatekeeping”. Por exemplo, ter o sotaque “certo” pode abrir portas para oportunidades profissionais ou sociais, embora ter um forte sotaque regional ou estrangeiro possa levar a impressões negativas e discriminação

Por quê eu não consigo aprender Inglês?

Muitas alunos me perguntam por que têm tanta dificuldade em aprender inglês. Eu sempre respondo que, a professora é só um dos meios de aprendizagem. Se não houver engajamento do aluno em estudar, ler, escutar músicas, assistir séries, conversar com nativos, esse aprendizado será mais difícil.

Segue um texto com excelente explicação sobre esse tema. Não deixem de ler.

A lista abaixo resume como o envolvimento com o idioma pode ser observado. Lembre-se de que os alunos também podem se engajar em maneiras que não são observáveis e, inversamente, podem fingir estar engajados para satisfazer o professor.

Critérios para identificar o envolvimento com a linguagem (EWL) (Svalberg, 2012: 378, adaptado de Svalberg 2009: 247)

Cognitivo

Quão alerta é o aluno?

O aluno parece enérgico ou letárgico?

Ele parece notar os recursos de linguagem / interação?

Como focado?

A atenção do aluno está na linguagem (como objeto ou meio) ou não?

A mente do aprendiz parece vagar?

Quão reflexivo? Quão crítico / analítico?

O raciocínio do aprendiz é indutivo ou baseado em memória / imitação?

O aluno percebe e reflete ou simplesmente reage?

Com relação à língua-alvo, o aluno compara, faz perguntas, infere / tira conclusões?

Afetivo

Quão disposto é o aluno a se envolver com a linguagem?

O aluno é retirado ou ansioso para participar?

Quão proposital?

O aluno parece entediado ou não focado na tarefa, ou estar focado?

Quão autônomo?

O comportamento do aluno é dependente ou independente?

Social

Como interativo

Interage, verbalmente ou de outra forma, com os outros para aprender?

Como apoiar os outros?

por exemplo. por comportamentos verbais ou outros?

O aluno se envolve em negociação e andaimes?

Líder ou seguidor?

As interações do aluno são reativas ou iniciadas?

© Universidade de Leicester

How engagement with language might be observed

The list below summarizes how engagement with language might be observed. Remember that learners may also engage in ways that are not observable, and conversely they can pretend to be engaged in order to satisfy the teacher.

Criteria for identifying engagement with language (EWL) (Svalberg, 2012: 378, adapted from Svalberg 2009: 247)

Cognitive

How alert is the learner?

  • Does the learner seem energetic or lethargic?
  • Does he or she seem to notice language/interaction features?

How focused?

  • Is the learner’s attention on the language (as object or medium) or not?
  • Does the learner’s mind seem to wander?

How reflective?; How critical/analytical?

  • Is the learner’s reasoning inductive or memory/imitation based?
  • Does the learner notice and reflect, or simply react?
  • With regard to the target language, does the learner compare, ask questions, infer/ draw conclusions?

Affective

How willing is the learner to engage with language?

  • Is the learner withdrawn or eager to participate?

How purposeful?

  • Does the learner seem bored or not focused on the task, or to be focused?

How autonomous?

Is the learner’s behaviour dependent or independent?

Social

How interactive

  • Does he or she interact, verbally or otherwise, with others to learn?

How supportive of others?

  • e.g. by verbal or other behaviours?
  • Does the learner engage in negotiation and scaffolding?

Leader or follower?

  • Are the learner’s interactions reactive or initiating?

O Poder dos Testes

Vivemos em um mundo onde as pessoas têm opiniões diferentes sobre a sociedade. Isto é especialmente verdadeiro quando se trata de entender onde está o poder e quem o exerce.

Leia os dois extratos seguintes dos livros que abordam a questão do uso social e político dos testes de linguagem.

Extrato 1. De Elana Shohamy (2000). O poder dos testes. Longman: Harlow, pp. 15-17.

“Os usos dos resultados dos testes têm efeitos prejudiciais para os participantes, já que tais usos podem criar vencedores e perdedores, sucessos e fracassos, rejeições e aceitações. As pontuações dos testes são muitas vezes os únicos indicadores para colocar pessoas em níveis de classe, para conceder certificados e prêmios, para determinar se uma pessoa será autorizada a continuar em estudos futuros, para decidir sobre uma profissão, para participar de aulas de educação especial, para participar de honra. aulas, para ser aceito no ensino superior e para obter empregos … Os testes são usados como um método de impor certos comportamentos sobre aqueles que estão sujeitos a eles. Os testes são capazes de ditar aos participantes o que eles precisam saber, o que aprenderão e o que aprenderão. Os candidatos estão dispostos a fazê-lo, a fim de maximizar suas pontuações, tendo em conta os efeitos prejudiciais que os resultados podem ter sobre suas vidas ”

Extrato 2: Glenn Fulcher (2015). Reexaminar os testes de linguagem: uma pesquisa filosófica e social. Londres e Nova York: Routledge, p. 155.

“Embora testes e avaliações pressupor desigualdade, é uma desigualdade de resultados, não de oportunidades. Kariya e Dore (2006) fazem uma distinção entre os ‘igualitaristas comunais’ revolucionários que distribuem a renda, o prestígio e o poder igualmente entre todos os membros da sociedade, e ‘igualitaristas meritocráticos que estão interessados principalmente na igualdade de oportunidades para competir por resultados que possam ser Embora o qualificador “vastamente” possa ser questionável em uma democracia moderna, é o que hoje chamamos de igualitarismo meritocrático que motivou a compreensão vitoriana da igualdade. Significava a remoção do privilégio, a provisão de tal educação que levaria ao sufrágio universal e oportunidade para todos na sala de exame, sujeita ao impacto inevitável do background socioeconômico (como a capacidade de pagar por aulas particulares). Em suma, essas foram as características críticas de uma sociedade democrática, e o teste é uma parte essencial do mecanismo que faz com que funcione. ”(Fulcher, 2015, p. 155).

In English

The power of tests

We live in a world where people hold different views about society. This is especially true when it comes to understanding where power lies and who exercises it.

Read the following two extracts from books that address the question of the social and political use of language tests.

Extract 1. From Elana Shohamy (2000). The Power of Tests. Longman: Harlow, pp. 15 – 17.

“The uses of test results have detrimental effects for test takers since such uses can create winners and losers, successes and failures, rejections and acceptances. Test scores are often the sole indicators for placing people in class levels, for granting certificates and prizes, for determing whether a person will be allowed to continue in future studies, for deciding on a profession, for entering special education classes, for participating in honour classes, for getting accepted into higher education and for obtaining jobs….Tests are used as a method of imposing certain behaviours on those who are subject to them. Tests are capable of dictating to test takers what they need to know, what they will learn and what they will be taught. Test takers are willing to do so in order to maximize their scores, given the detrimental effects the results may have on their lives”

Extract 2: Glenn Fulcher (2015). Re-examining Language Testing: A Philosophical and Social Inquiry. London & New York: Routledge, p. 155.

“Although testing and assessment presupposes inequality, it is an inequality of outcomes, not of opportunities. Kariya and Dore (2006) make a distinction between the revolutionary ‘communal egalitarians’ who would distribute income, prestige and power equally among all members of society, and ‘meritocratic egalitarians who are interested primarily in equality of opportunity to compete for outcomes that may be vastly unequal.’ While the qualifier ‘vastly’ may be objectionable in a modern democracy, it is nevertheless what we now call meritocratic egalitarianism that motivated the Victorian understanding of equality. It meant the removal of privilege, the provision of such education as would lead to universal suffrage and opportunity for all in the examination hall, subject to the inevitable impact of socioeconomic background (such as the ability to pay for private tuition). In short, these were the critical features of a democratic society, and testing is an essential part of the mechanism that makes it work.” (Fulcher, 2015, p. 155).