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1. Language Development and Storytelling: Nurturing Tom's Gift for Words 2. Enhancing Tom's Language Skills: Strategies for Granny and the Teacher 3. Exploring Language Teaching Theories and Vygotsk


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Question: Tom is a 4-year-old boy who stays with his granny in a village. Every evening his granny tells him short bedtime stories. He enjoys storytelling. He has just been admitted at a local daycare centre and the teacher is impressed by how Tom retells the stories to his peers at the centre. His language is characterised by more complex sentences that resemble that of older children. 1.1 Describe the language stage that Tom displays. Give concrete examples to support your answer. (15) 1.2 How can Tom’s grandmother employ advanced strategies and techniques to strengthen and promote his language skills through supplementary activities? (5) 1.3 Recommend ways that you as a teacher can explore to advance the literacy development of children like Tom. QUESTION 3 [30] 3.1 Compare and contrast the perspectives of language teaching proposed by the behaviourist and the nativist theorists. Illustrate their arguments with practical examples. (20) 3.2 Drawing upon Vygotsky’s social theory as a framework, argue the significance of play in fostering language development in Foundation Phase learners. (10)

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1.1 Tom appears to be in the "preschool stage" or "early childhood" of language acquisition according to Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development. This stage is characterized by an ability to use complex sentences, understand grammar, and tell stories. His storytelling ability indicates his capacity to arrange events sequentially which is a part of narrative skills. Additionally, Tom's language demonstrates a clear understanding of syntax, morphemes, and semantics which are characteristic of this stage. For example, his ability to use complex sentences resembling those of older children indicates his strong understanding of clauses, conjunctions, and predicates- all structural elements of sentence formation. 1.2 Tom's grandmother can employ various activities to strengthen and promote his language skills. She can introduce books that are just beyond his reading level and read aloud to him, exposing him to new vocabulary and complex sentences. She could also engage him in interactive storytelling, where he becomes an active participant steering the direction of the story. This would encourage his problem-solving ability along with creative and lateral thinking. It's also beneficial to ask Tom open-ended questions which may help him to think more deeply about the story and express his thoughts in complete sentences. 1.3 As a teacher, you can help children like Tom by providing them with plenty of opportunities to express their thoughts and feelings. Encourage storytelling sessions and provide a variety of books for them to read. Incorporating role-plays, dramatic plays, or puppet-shows can also contribute to their literacy development. Additionally, providing an enriching literacy environment with different multimedia aids like visual charts, digital media stories, or audio storybooks can stimulate their interest and learning. Question 3 [30] 3.1 The behaviourist theory of language learning, proposed by B.F. Skinner, suggests that language is a behavior learned through conditioning; specifically, through a system of rewards and corrections. For example, when a child says a word correctly, they are praised and encouraged. This reinforcement motivates them to repeat the word. On the other hand, the nativist theory, associated with Noam Chomsky, argues that language acquisition is an innate capacity, wired into the brain. Chomsky's idea of a 'language acquisition device' (LAD) refers to the human capacity to learn languages naturally. For instance, a child speaking grammatically correct sentences without direct instruction suggests an innate understanding of grammatical rules. 3.2 Vygotsky's social theory emphasizes the role of social interaction in learning. In this context, play becomes a crucial part of language development. Through play, children communicate, negotiate roles, establish rules, and share narratives, which in turn fosters their language skills. During pretend play, for instance, a child may emulate a teacher and direct a 'class' of stuffed animals, practicing both leadership and communication skills. This aligns with Vygotsky's belief that learning takes place in the 'Zone of Proximal Development'; in the interplay between peer interaction, guidance from an adult, and individual capability. Therefore, it can be argued that play serves as a pivotal platform for language acquisition and cognitive development.

Answered by gpt-4

April 11, 2024, 10:17 a.m.

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Published: Thursday, April 11, 2024

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