Oral Language Development
Oral language (OL), often referred to as a spoken language, includes speaking and listening, which is how humans communicate with one another. OL forms the basis for word reading and comprehension. Moreover, oral language is often associated with vocabulary as the primary component. Nonetheless, oral language is made up of much more. In the extensive description, oral language comprises six areas: grammar, vocabulary, phonology, discourse, morphology, and pragmatics. Students often acquire these skills at a young age before concentrating on print-based ideas such as decoding and sound-symbol correspondence. Since these skills are often established early in life, children with inadequate oral language capability are usually at a distinct disadvantage by the time they enter kindergarten. In essence, a solid oral language foundation helps children become effective readers, strong communicators and increase their overall sense of well-being.
The six OL components play a pivotal role in a child’s communication and spoken interaction. The most prominent part of the OL skills is vocabulary, and its development focuses on expressive and receptive vocabulary (Lervåg, Hulme & Melby‐Lervåg,2018). Expressive vocabulary represents a student’s words when communicating or writing, while receptive vocabulary represents the words a student understands. Morphology focuses on the smallest units of meaning in a word. These skills are concerned with a prefix, root word, and suffix. Grammar or syntax is the set of structural guidelines that govern the arrangement of words into paragraphs. Pragmatics necessitates the understanding of the social use of a language. Discourse refers to oral and written, communication which entails understanding the structure of a story, which is essential for reading. Phonology is the organization of words within the language. Children begin to advance their phonological awareness once the phonological system has been acquired.
Oral Language Development
The development of the oral language of infants starts especially when the caregivers socially interact with them. OL entails speaking and listening, and young children learn their world through communication. OL skills are a crucial predictor of later language as well as literacy development. Moreover, children start to develop language as they coo and babble. Momentarily, they begin repeating sounds such as ba ba, and when they speak their first word. The utterances of one-word result in multiple words, followed by more intricate sentences. OL is a process developed through the use of spoken language. Language significantly increases during the preschool years, and at the age of three, children should learn around 2,500 new words every year. Thus, it is essential to expose them to new words every day. OL helps children in their social interactions, playful encounters, make requests, share information, and asker and respond to questions.
Children often say their first words between 12 and 18 months of age (Amorsen, & Miller, 2017). They start to use intricate sentences from the age of 4 to 4 and ½ years. Children know most of their language basics by the time they begin kindergarten and can communicate efficiently. Nearly, every child learns the rules of their language at an early age through use and in the absence of formal instruction. A child learns the specific variety of language that the significant individuals around them use in their communication. Furthermore, children not only learn through imitation but through their own linguistic rules since they use forms that the grownups do not use, such as “I see your feet.” Ultimately, they learn the conventional forms, feet, as they sort out for themselves the exceptions to the English syntax rules.
Role and Importance of Oral Language in Development of Literacy skills
Oral language skills form the basis for literacy success, and the aptitude to use OL effectively affects every area of a child’s life. Supporting young children’s literacy as well as literacy development has long been viewed as a practice that produces strong readers and writers later in life. According to research conducted by the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP), vocabulary plays a crucial role in promoting reading development in the years prior to and during formal reading instruction (Shanahan & Lonigan,2012). Vocabulary and the concept they represent are apparently of functional significance incomprehension, and vocabulary may also foster decoding and translation of a text into language. Besides, Phonological representations are a crucial part of the linguistic system. The aptitude to gain access to these representations may be a result of the early development of vocabulary.
Reading comprehension relies on the language skills that have been advance since birth. Basic c vocabulary and grammar are clearly essential to comprehension as each facilitates understanding of the word and its interrelations in and across individual sentences in a text. Nevertheless, children who comprehend efficiently go beyond word and sentence understanding to construct a representation of the state of affairs described by the text. High-level language skills used to establish mental models of the text include reading (Shanahan & Lonigan,2012). Children start developing these language skills before formal reading instruction in a variety of language comprehension circumstances. For instance, young children depend on narrative knowledge structure to accomplish tasks such as following a set of instructions, share their everyday activities, or comprehend spoken stories, movies, or cartoons. A child’s oral language skills act as the basis for reading ability-word reading as well as language comprehension. Additionally, the alphabet’s phonological awareness and knowledge help students later in life to enhance their decoding and reading comprehension skills.
Strategies to Develop Oral Language
Teachers should explain the subtleties of tone as one of their strategies to develop oral language in the classroom. The students have probably experienced playground arguments associated with tone. Moreover,, misunderstandings are common when using loud outdoor voices (Whorrall, & Cabell, 2016). Thus, the teacher needs to remind the students how the tone of voice, which consists of the volume, rhythm, pitch, and volume, can alter the meaning of what a speaker says. Often, it is how they say it that can result in motive and attitude misunderstandings. Hence, teachers should ask students to be mindful of tone when they attempt to get a message across and change their volume and pitch accordingly.
Teachers must encourage conversation and remind students to speak loudly and communicate clearly. Al the social interactions provide students with a novel prospect to practice the language. Some of the students may require minimal guidance from the teacher to engage in conversations; hence, they should spark interactions when they can. Furthermore, teachers should ask questions, rephrase the learners’ responses and provide them with reminders that encourage oral conversations to continue. Additionally, they should ask the learners to feel the muscles used while talking and monitor their articulation as well as volume. They should acknowledge that clear speech is vital for communicating their ideas and information efficiently.
Teachers should question to improve comprehension. A teacher must ask questions during and after reading comprehension to sharpen the oral language skills (Whorrall, & Cabell, 2016). Furthermore, it helps the students deliberate what they are reading and absorb information from the words. For instance, the teacher can ask the students to read an introduction to a story or passage and respond to the purpose setting-questions such as, “What kind of story or article is this?. The teacher can also ask the students to predict the outcome or even summarize the passage.
I was impressed by several ideas regarding oral language. What impressed me most is the role and significance of OL skills in the development of literacy skills. OL skills form the basis for reading and writing skills. It is effectively established that learning to read builds upon oral language skills. Moreover, the OL skills play a crucial role in helping children become efficient readers, resilient communicators, and enhancing their self-assurance. Oral language skills are essential since it impacts the children’s experiences at home as well as at school. I often marvel with amazement as the three-year-olds begin to master language skills and marvel at their aptitude to let people understand what they mean. OL skills are crucial since children are introduced into the social world through language. Besides, the skills assist children in establishing relationships and in their ability to interact with others.
It is apparent from the readings and class assignments that, when children are exposed to the Skills, they become successful communicators. Children often advance their OL skills when they enter school. Moreover, children need to be able to speak the academic oral language to become effective learners. Teachers should enhance the student’s OL with a high-quality early childhood education that enhances their OL skills. Additionally, I have also realized the significance of focusing instruction on developing a foundation for the OL skills through oral expression as well as listening comprehension. The early OL skills are among the effective indicators of future success. Generally, the OL skills have a profound impact on a child’s preparedness for kindergarten and their success in their entire academic career. A child’s aptitude to use a language efficiently is a key feature for a child’s development.
Amorsen, A., & Miller, M. (2017). Children’s oral language development and early literacy practices. Educating Young Children: Learning and Teaching in the Early Childhood Years, 23(1), 24-27.
Shanahan, T., & Lonigan, C. (2012). The role of early oral language in literacy development. Language Magazine, 12(2), 24.
Unpicking the developmental relationship between oral language skills and reading comprehension: It’s simple, but complex. Child Development, 89(5), 1821-1838.
Whorrall, J., & Cabell, S. Q. (2016). Supporting children’s oral language development in the preschool classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 44(4), 335-341.
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