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ERIC Number: ED436253
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Oral Language in the Early Childhood Classroom: Building on Diverse Foundations.
Genishi, Celia; Fassler, Rebekah
Noting that children's talk makes some of their thinking visible and thereby provides a ready tool for early childhood teachers, this chapter focuses on the process of language acquisition. The chapter provides a historical context for language in early childhood education, discussing the nature of language and its acquisition, the development of communicative competence in the early childhood classroom, and curricula that build on children's oral communicative abilities. The chapter notes that language has been a special issue in early childhood education in the United States for the last 30 years, as social programs and movements of the 1960s and 1970 influenced public expectations for preschool and primary education. The components of language are described, along with its acquisition through interaction with others. Also summarized are: research on early communication; the development of syntax; and various contexts for the development of communicative competence, including the socioeconomic status of the family. The chapter then considers issues and choices involved in developing communicative competence in the early childhood classroom, focusing on multiculturalism, dialect differences and the match between home and school, and developmentally appropriate practice and meeting the needs of all children. Variations in the use of language in the classroom are explored, focusing on the importance of story, especially in dramatic play, and talking across the curriculum. The chapter concludes by noting that the talk teachers hear in the classroom represents a small part of a child's linguistic and communicative competence; suggestions are included for teachers to ease the transition to school talk. (Contains 77 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A