The Omni Intelligencer

Sell your house faster for more. auction-style-property-sale
  Sunday, August 02, 2015  Home > Education > K-12 & Children > What's in a language!
Follow us on Twitter
Every Dollar Helps
Donate using PayPal
Amount:

What's in a language!

| More
Payal Mahajan

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.


Sell your house faster for more. auction-style-property-sale
| More
 
  • New guidelines for AP history: Are they still 'unpatriotic'? 30 Jul 2015 | 5:56 pm

    In the wake of a partisan uproar last year, the 2015 guidelines for the Advanced Placement United States history curriculum released Thursday feature a more-balanced look at the country, academics say. The AP program, which allows high school students to take college-level courses for credit, is administered by The College Board, a private nonprofit corporation. Political conservatives argued that the 2014 guidelines for US history had an anti-American slant that highlighted wrongdoing and downplayed the achievements of the American people.

  • Why I Kept Firing Teachers in No Pineapple Left Behind 30 Jul 2015 | 12:02 pm

    Why I Kept Firing Teachers in No Pineapple Left BehindThe dark, scathing critique of the American education system makes dehumanizing students a necessary evil.


  • Four-day week for Georgia public school district: Does it work? 30 Jul 2015 | 10:19 am

    This is the second consecutive year that the school district is operating with this atypical schedule, and metrics indicate the switch has had a positive effect on the students. “It has increased our discipline, our attendance is good, teacher attendance as well," said Jeff Martin, Chattooga High School principal to WSB-TV News in Atlanta. In the state of Georgia, schools are required to have no less than a daily average of five and a half hours of daily “instructional time” based on a 180-school-day calendar, according to guidelines set forth by the Georgia Department of Education.

  • How the Media and You Are Misled by False Data 30 Jul 2015 | 4:15 am

    How the Media and You Are Misled by False DataIt’s worth noting too that this is the government’s own data, which was largely ignored by the White House while portraying access to contraception as a crisis in the United States. Faulty claim #2: That brings us to another crisis declared by the Obama administration – the alleged epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses, and the existence of “rape culture” in higher education. From Barack Obama and Joe Biden on down, the White House has tossed around statistics supposedly from reliable studies of the issue, claiming that 1 in 5 women in college will be the victim of sexual assault.


  • Virginia college graduates sue Rolling Stone over rape story 29 Jul 2015 | 5:50 pm

    Three University of Virginia graduates on Wednesday filed a defamation lawsuit in New York against Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher Wenner Media and a journalist over a now-debunked 2014 article describing a fraternity gang rape. The three men, all 2013 graduates and members of Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the story, claim the magazine was negligent in publishing an article entitled "A Rape on Campus" by Sabrina Rudin Erdely.

  • 3 Big Differences Between 529 College Savings Plans, UTMA Accounts 29 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am

    According to the College Board, the average cost for a year of college is $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending a public university, and the tuition jumps to $31,231 for private schools. For those reasons, 529 plans are one of the most popular vehicles for college savings, as they allow for tax-free growth and withdrawals, as long as the funds are used for approved educational expenses. When considering the best method to save for college, parents may consider both 529s and UTMA accounts.

  • South Africa's 'Boere Buffett' faces classroom revolt in Advtech bid 29 Jul 2015 | 6:49 am

    School children attend class at Waterstone College in the south of JohannesburgBy TJ Strydom JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A takeover battle to create a $1.5 billion private education giant in South Africa is pitting shareholders against parents and exposing tensions over race, language and ethnicity two decades after the end of apartheid. Although education stirs emotions in any country, it is particularly true in South Africa, where access to schooling and the language of tuition were used for decades as tools of oppression by the white-minority government that ended in 1994. The firm, 52 percent-owned by investment company PSG Group, has seen its share price rise seven-fold since its 2011 float as it has tapped into growing demand for affordable private schools.


  • Best Value Colleges 2015 29 Jul 2015 | 4:47 am

    A graduating Air Force Academy cadet straightens his cap during the graduation ceremony for the class of 2015, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, May 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)These schools give you quality for a lower price.


  • One of America’s Top Universities Is Ditching the SAT to Boost Student Enrollment 28 Jul 2015 | 6:46 pm

    One of America’s Top Universities Is Ditching the SAT to Boost Student EnrollmentPreparing for and taking the SAT and ACT tests has become a stress-filled rite of passage for American high school students. But on Monday, one of the nation’s most prestigious and competitive universities, the George Washington University, joined the ranks of colleges that will no longer require the high-stakes tests for admission.The reason for the shift: boosting the enrollment of disadvantaged students. ...


  • With hiring of Jen Welter, NFL's Arizona Cardinals make history 28 Jul 2015 | 5:49 pm

    Jen Welter charged her way into the ultimate boys club when she was announced Monday as the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the National Football League. The 14-year veteran of women's professional football leagues around the country – who also holds a master’s degree in sports psychology – was hired as an intern on the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff and tasked with guiding linebackers during the team’s training camp and preseason. For years, women have worked in front office or administrative roles within the NFL, and the percentage of women in those positions has been increasing annually.

The fastest and best way to sell real estate.
auction-style-property-sale