Of the many languages that children are born with, the verbal is the most prized by society. As parents, we are in a hurry to teach our children to talk. We want them to have a rich repertoire of words and for them to use their vocabulary appropriately. Since most of us are not linguists, but like to read parenting and self-help books, we ensure that our child reaches not just the milestones specific for his age group but also masters those appropriate for the next developmental stage as well. As a result, we have verbally articulate kids all around us, and they grow up into adults who can speak confidently almost all the time that they are awake.
Last year around this time, my then two-and-a-half interpersonal son was fluent in English and a beginner in French as a result of his environs in Canada. One year in India and Hindi has joined ranks with English as his receptive language. In this short one year, Hindi has been elevated to the status of his primary expressive language. If I did not understand the nuances (more to do with the “how” than the “what”) of language development and the concept of whole language, I would lament at the development of one language (Hindi) at the expense of the other (English) at an age when children can learn multiple languages simultaneously.
In this context, a few observation/perceptions come to fore:
- We tend to overemphasise verbal language, marginalizing the expressions of non-verbal or intrapersonal people. In societies like ours, we forget that language is one of the vehicles of ideas with functional, expressive and aesthetic purpose; it is not the only one. People express themselves in mannerism, art, music, dance, touch, etc – the list is endless. Sadly true, our over-dependence on the aural is at the expense of the visual and other sensorial receptions. Do we teach our children how to understand and interpret these languages?
- There seems to be a perceptible hierarchy of languages. Acquisition of certain languages is valued over others. For instance, in India, we want our children to speak English as native speakers. Realistically speaking, the environment of our preschoolers and early language learners is rich in vernaculars, be it the domestic help at home with whom they spend long hours in the absence of their parents, or didis in preschools who are their primary teachers both within and outside the classrooms. Learning of a language is a social process and the environment is a key determinant. Is it realistic to believe that pre-schoolers in countries that largely speak languages other than English, like India, are socially immersed in English?
- A fascination for a particular language is so strong that we ignore metacognitive aspects of language learning. The expressive language should clearly and coherently reflect the thought process. Our main concern for preschoolers should not be “what” language they use but “how” well they are able to construct that language to align with their thoughts. The proficiency with the “how” is going to be the linguistic base and the learning pattern that the brain will follow for the acquisition of other languages. Isn’t proficiency in one verbal language, irrespective of which one it is, an indicator of success in new language acquisition?
Our first language is part of our personal, social and cultural identity. Maintaining first language is a vital factor in the educational development of your child. It doesn’t matter which one it is as long as he is well grounded in that language; because language has more to do with functions of the brain than social projection and pretensions.
|< Prev||Next >|
It only takes a single piece of paper for this artist to create beauty
Whether it's Greek sculpture or Renaissance paintings, paper cutting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word "art." The work of Pippa Dyrlaga, an artist from Yorkshire, UK, might just change that. While completing her master's degree at Leeds Metropolitan University, Dyrlaga "stumbled across" paper cutting, and it has now been her passion for seven years. SEE ALSO: 'Jeff's Table' showcases the majesty and artistry of toasting frozen waffles "It was the first time I felt that a medium was truly right for me," she confessed on her website. Inspired by animals, nature and her surroundings, Dyrlaga allows emotion to guide her as she carefully crafts each new work of art, permitting them all to be one-of-a-kind. Amazingly, each piece is cut by hand, and can take anywhere between one and 100 hours to create. "I get asked a lot why I spend all that time cutting them out instead of using a computer, but to me that's the difference between a product and a piece of art, it is a one off," the artist told Mashable . Beyond her paper cutting art, Dyrlaga is an illustrator who displays her work on bearfollowscat.com . You can see more of her paper cutting on Instagram, where she documents her work in progress, or her regularly updated Facebook page. Image: pippa dyrlaga Image: Bear Follows Cat - Pippa Dyrlaga Papercutting Artist/facebook Image: pippa dyrlaga Image: pippa dyrlaga Image: pippa dyrlaga Image: pippa dyrlaga
Chicago teachers' union votes to authorize strike
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) said on Monday that its members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, setting the stage for a potential work stoppage as soon as mid-October. The CTU, which represents nearly 27,000 teachers and educational support workers in the country's third largest public school system, said in a statement that 95.6 percent of votes cast were in favor of a strike, with just over 90 percent of teachers voting. "This should come as no surprise to (the Chicago Board of Education), the mayor or parents because educators have been angry about the school-based cuts that have hurt special education students, reduced librarians, counselors, social workers and teachers' aides, and eliminated thousands of teaching positions," the union said in a statement.
Chicago teachers vote to authorize strike in contract talks
CHICAGO (AP) — Teachers in the nation's third-largest school district announced Monday that they have overwhelming support for a strike, but several steps remain before a possible walkout could take place next month.
3 Things Undecided Majors Should Look for in Colleges
Here are three factors that undecided students should consider when vetting colleges. A strong general education curriculum that allows students to explore: A strong, structured core curriculum allows students to explore many different academic areas and opportunities they have intellectually, says Wes Waggoner, associate vice president for enrollment management at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a former high school counselor. A lot of academic programs to choose from: But students should see if schools are flexible with students changing or adding majors and minors if they decide they want to study something else, says Waggoner.
How to talk to your kids about college costs
College tuition may be daunting, but so are the conversations about how to pay for it. Experts say it pays off for parents talk with children early and often about how to cover higher education costs. ...
Anthem protests spread to colleges, WNBA player sits
AP FACT CHECK: Trump off on how colleges use endowments
BOSTON (AP) — Donald Trump says colleges and universities should be using their endowments to make college more affordable but that too many are using "the money to pay their administrators or put donors' names on buildings or just store the money, keep it and invest it." But that's not exactly how endowments work.
Where SEC Schools Rank Among the 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges
How SEC Schools Rank Off the Gridiron
LinkedIn undergoes big redesign in bid to become your new favorite social network
LinkedIn is overhauling its flagship social network, with the addition of new features such as messaging bots, and trending news, in an effort to boost engagement. The company also debuted a new online learning platform.
Government severs ties with for-profit colleges accreditor
Hundreds of for-profit colleges could close, leaving up to 600,000 students scrambling to find other schools, after the Education Department withdrew recognition of the nation's largest accreditor of for-profit ...