Teach English in Dushi Zhen - Chongqing

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Child Development There are many facets to child development. From birth, a child is constantly learning new skills that fall into categories, such as motor, sensory, mental, social or emotional development. Understanding the basics of this process can be very beneficial for teachers. I will provide a brief overview of each of these stages to simply better demonstrate the importance of monitoring childhood development, but then this concept of child development will be examined specifically as it pertains to second language education. The main goal in the infancy stage deals with motor skills. From about 3 months on, they start doing things such as holding their head up to sitting up and rolling over. (Remer Altmann and Academy, 13) From about 9 months to a year, they are focused on learning to crawl and walk. At about a year, babies start responding to simple commands, which demonstrates increased sensory skills, such as the ability to listen and comprehend. From age 2-4, sensory development continues, with children being able to recognize images, listen and respond to questions and show enthusiasm when a story is read to them. By age 5, children should be able to take part appropriately in conversations. (Remer Altmann and Academy, 72-23) At around age 5 or 6, children begin schooling. This is a place where a vast majority of mental, social and emotional skills develop and a good place to start looking at language development. For a child only learning one language, they should be able to ?consistently use simple, but complete sentences that average five to seven words. As the child progresses through the elementary years, grammar and pronunciation become normal.? ( When it comes to learning a second language, there are two main ways in which children do so, simultaneously or sequentially. Simultaneous learners are ?children under the age of 3 who are exposed to two languages at the same time. These children may include those who are exposed to one language by parents at home and another language by providers in their early childhood program.? ( The children that would be enrolled in an esl course are most likely to be sequential second language learners. These children ?have become familiar with one language, but are then introduced or required to learn a second language. The classic example of sequential learning is when a non-English speaking child enters an English-dominant classroom. Unlike simultaneous language learning, sequential learning of languages can occur at any age and can be influenced by factors like the child?s temperament or motivation.? ( There are four main stages of sequential second language learning: home language use, the silent period, telegraphic and formulaic speech and, finally, productive language. ( In the first stage, children may persist in using their first or native language even if others do not understand them. After this, they realize their first language is not working, and they enter a silent period in which they barely speak and rely heavily on nonverbal means to communicate with others. The younger the child, the longer the silent period may last. Eventually, they will begin to communicate using a very limited vocabulary. After much practice, students will eventually be able to express their own thoughts and construct basic sentences. ( A child?s overall development is a combination of mastering all of these skill sets. I have paid specific detail to the areas that deal directly with learning English as a second language because the area of childhood development is one that can be covered for so many different angles. Works Cited Halgunseth, Linda. "How Children Learn a Second Language." Web. 25 Jul 2011. . Remer Altmann, Tanya, and American Academy of Pediatrics. The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones. new york, NY: Bantam Dell Pub Group, 2006. 13, 72-23. Print. "School-age Children Development-Overview." (University of Maryland Medical Center). Web. 25 Jul 2011. .