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Language Acquisition and Development

The purpose of this research proposal is to explore the connection between cognitive, environmental and reading awareness. The classification of language includes genetics and typology. There is a connection between the human brain and language abilities (Katamba, Dobrovolsky and O’Grady (2016). The study of language acquisition involves phonological development, morphological development, syntactic development and semantics. Determinants of language acquisition include motivation, social support, learning environment, comprehension, language development and comprehension. Thelen et al (2014: 145) cite the biological factors referencing the development of the brain, cognitive development and language. Children learn language by imitating their caregivers. This makes social development a significant aspect of language. There are different language learning models and interventions. The acquisition of language in nonnative speaking regions becomes a challenge because of the mother tongue effects. Perception, integration and differentiation are some of the factors of language acquisition. Differentiation involves the structural elements of language such as semantics, nouns, and verbs. The establishment of these is at childhood level. Learning development theorists like Lev Vygotsky (McLeod, 2014) and Jean Piaget (McLeod, 2009) believe in the unbiased or naivety of children.  Language is part of the learning process and it is important for interaction, imagination, and communication. It has different forms namely, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. There are different theories of language development. These are the behaviorist, nativists and interactionists.  The expected outcome is to refer to the development of language as a social influence or environmental, innate, or cognitive factor.

Research shows that the development of language skills is crucial for problem solving and the application of solutions. However, there is a difference between oral language development and literacy. Reading achievement defines the development of vocabulary, comprehension, syntax, figure of speech and syntax. The problem of reading achievement as a global phenomenon brings out the issue of second language learning. As more people strive to learn the global languages, some have a hard time embracing the new language. The research explains the reason for this challenge with suggestions for solutions.

There are numerous factors influencing language learning and reading achievement (Gardner and Wallace, 1972). Language development as an age factor, sex and intellectual development, cultural development and values. Jean Piaget a renowned cognitive development psychologist describes the development of the mind citing genetically motivated modes of thinking (McLeod, 2009). Although his theory describes the childhood development stages, it is not entirely descriptive of the learning process.  Therefore, Vygotsky’s theory is more appropriate because it looks more at the learning process. Piaget’s theory only adds support to Vygotsky’s notion of early learning. Research into the effect of positive and negative reinforcement in physical learning reveals that individuals develop attitudes towards learning through their experiences or perspectives (Barney et al., 2016). Hence, a positive environment encourages students’ attitudes towards learning.

Many countries globally emphasize the inclusion of global languages in order to succeed in the global market. The capitalist global environment is highly competitive and the acquisition of second or multiple languages is encouraged (Korzenny, 2012). Bilingualism as an asset becomes a motivating factor for the learner who search for self-improvement. Preschool learning environments today encourage the development of more than one language. However, there are factors, which determine the success of these language developments. Among these are the cultural and biological elements. Research reveals that language flourishes in certain environments against others. Learning a second language involves linguistic and cultural influences (Gardner and Wallace, 1972). Among these are student motivation or attitude, learning aptitude and the school environment.

Reading Achievement in a Multicultural Environment

Learning theories explain the connection between variables. Reid (1995) uses cross-cultural and gender variable to explain differences in learning. In this analysis, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) requires patience and motivation (Reid, 1995). There are suggestions for different styles of learning to improve learning processes for second language learners (Macro, 2006). Culture specific attributes tend to influence culture and learning (Rings, 1989). According to Perini, Richard, and Silver (2000) there are multiple intelligence indicators in adults.  This means people can handle different subjects in diverse learning styles. Wade-Woole, Siegel, Linda and Chiappe (2002) approach diversity differently. The study on native speaking English learners (NS) and ESL reveals changes in phonology and linguistic in different backgrounds. It also concludes that alphabetical knowledge enhances the phonological development. Learning preference can also shape the reading achievement process because of critical thinking (Elder, 2004: Gardner and Wallace: 1972). Difference in race, ethnic background, gender, cultural origin, intelligence, emotional development and attitude determine the progress in reading achievement. Sometimes confidence, maturity, personality and creativity help. Global trends indicate the need to diversify and students should embrace multiple diversities. Christopher, Ely (1989) suggests tolerance of ambiguity to expound on the learner attitude towards learning language. The figure below shows the main theoretical applications for language development.

Learning starts in young children and it takes initiative and curiosity Lewin-Benham (2006). Different approaches to learning produce different results (Bowman, Donovan and Burns (2001).  This research looks at the inbuilt and nurtured aspects of achieving language development.

Factors motivating learning ( McLeod, 2014)

In addition to the psychological approach, crucial elements to consider include social economic class(Lee, and Burkam, 2002).  The foundation for reading starts in preeschool and develops in adulthood. Literacy in children involves instructional readinng. Although there is  a lot of information in the digital age, there are deficits in literacy levels in adults. This is especially the case in vocabulary development. For some adults, the reason for this is the deficiency in adequate reading foundation in school. The aim of this research is to address reading achievement in a multicultural environment.

(Adopted from: Rory, 2014)

Genetic factors such as race and nationality also influence language development. These include hormones, and intelligence. From the background of research, it is easier to understand reading awareness (Lieberman, Giudice and Mayberry, 2011). There is a close relationship between the development of vocabulary and reading development. Elementary school has different stages, which develop the child’s vocabulary from simplified to advanced level (Verhoeven Vermeer and Van Leeuwe, 2011). This discussion brings in the language acquisition factors, reading and comprehension, memory and reading ability in learners. It shows what hinders language vocabulary development and reading awareness in children and adults. The research is an addition to studies in reading awareness and spoken language. It explains the difficulties faced by some people in adopting bilingualism. It shows some of the factors contributing to this, including cultural background and the learning environment. The research highlights gaps in fluency and spoken language for a global environment.

Literacy and Bilingualism

The first option for action involves the collection of data from research material for learners who are native speakers (Eyisi, Daniel. 2016). The other on has a focus on data collection comes from studies on bilingual students. These data shows what motivates the pursuit for language. The other alternative is an analysis from data on psychological learning. Evidence based learning is necessary in the education system because it ensures high quality modes of learning (Davies, 1999). This means the education system to embrace learning activities that motivate students. Policy changes should incorporate the global learning environment (Driscoll et al, 2007). Using technology is one way to encourage diversified learning. A closer look at the role of technology connects theory with practice for the modern environment of E-learning (Katamba, Dobrovolsky and O’Grady, 2016).

Reading Research Base (Adopted from Wilson Language Training)

There are different sources of secondary data. This research dwells on academic as well as policy records. It points at gaps in regulatory systems for curriculum development. The research also includes online resource material. Regional focus to discuss gaps in reading awareness within specific locations helps to narrow down the research into specific problems. The study’s objective is to study reading awareness in adults but it includes childhood foundations of learning to highlight the development process. The multilevel research is an analysis of secondary data, which takes advantage of the historical studies done before. The representative data selection ensures that all these elements are put into consideration (Burns, 2014).

The data collected includes literature featuring studies and surveys (Burns, 2014). The experimental analysis looks at the population, samples, and variables influencing them.  The data retrieval comes from subject specific content obtained from literature within 30 years. This ensures that relevant information provides the required information. The specific research design measures and explain the concepts of early learning, reading achievement and education. It looks at these as the foundations for the framework (Punch, 2005). The design connects the variables in language attributes and the social factors to the notions about language and its development. The design reveals the independent variable, which remains constant despite introduction of other variables. Its function is to manipulate the results for group analysis. These include the language attributes, which influence the proficiency in spoken language or reading achievement.  A study of motivation and attitude in learning a second language compliments the study (Gardner and Wallace, 1972). Although the mixed approach provides data from across different designs, the variables are similar.

The procedure, data analysis and interpretation of data faces risks of failed validity but proper explanation for each case will prevent this. For example, the definition of concepts of language captures the explanation of variables, which have sequence and convergence. By examining the trend, the research makes inferences from clear and concise findings. The result gives more than one explanation because of the varied results. This is a cost effective way to carry out the research although there is no control of the data collection process.

Factors Affecting Language Acquisition and Reading Awareness

The Research Questions (RQ) describes the factors that influence-reading achievement. These include; age, social and attitude factors. The research raises questions in this regard. These probe the secondary data of previously done research for concrete solutions. It looks at the following questions for objective solutions. 

  • Why is the development of learning achievement different from language development?

This question raises similarities and differences in the written and spoken language. It looks at the spoken language as the focus for language achievement.  It tries to explain why most people learn English as an official language but still have poor pronunciations. This is a closer look at the structure of language in order to understand its critical elements (Carr, and Johnson, 2001).

  • Are older students better learners?

Part of the inquiry is as to whether learners can attain language achievement at a young age or older. It gives reference to age factors, the cognitive and social learning.

  • When does the learning of language start and does it, continue in life

This investigation shares theories of early learning and cognitive development to explain why language is an important course in preschool education. It explains why there is emphasis in language as a standard course for those planning to pursue further studies abroad.

  • Does attitude and personality differences affect learning and reading?

This explanation brings light to the global challenge of cultural influence and language. It answers the question, does race affect language achievement

  • What kind of environment fosters language development and learning achievement?

The human mind has the capacity to learn language in different environments effectively. It highlights efficiency in self-learning to bring out the role of tutors and multimedia applications such as videos in language

This research proposal seeks to answer these questions by analyzing the following elements of language as the measurable variables.

  • Phonology (Important Speech Sounds shaping the tune of the language)
  • Morphology (smallest unit of meaning in language)
  • Syntax (grammatical structures)
  • Content ( Semantics or meaning, pragmatism or use)

From the Interactionist Theory, language development is both inborn and a factor of influence from environmental and genetic factors (Cahill, 2013). Behaviorist support environmental conditioning and imitation. Nativists view language as innate or inborn. A mixed analysis of all these elements helps to unearth the strongest of these.

This research depends on creativity and ethics for professionalism. The use of different research methods is favorable for the best outcome (Eyisi, 2016). It compliments previous research in education issues related to learning and reading achievement. Having looked at previous research, there is a connection between the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of influence in reading achievement. This research delves deeper to unearth exactly what affects learners in spoken language as opposed to the nonverbal language. Through definition of different concepts, the research aim is to understand the nature of language and the verbal influences to language (Johnson, 2010). The infant perception, cognitive processes, linguistics and its relationship to language development is also part of the analysis. The research bases its research on secondary data from traditional theorists in psychology and education in order to pave the way for contemporary discussions. The method of examining the data:

  • Looks at the learning psychology theorists who profess the internal elements as more dominant in shaping this kind of learning
  • Examines the role of environmental theorists who support the social cultural causes

From the theoretical perspective, it is clearer that there are dominant factor or both sides, which affect the learning process. The planned research captures data from multiple case studies from studies in foreign and English speakers ( Burns, 2014). The information collected comes from academic data, online references and public discourse. The essence of the data collection is to study the language adoption rates, acquisition of bilingualism, and cultural perspectives on the development of global languages in multiple environments. Comparisons made include traditional theorists and modern shifts in education. It considers the role of technology and internet learning to analyze the development of language after foundational stages of life. The experiment also highlights the advantages and disadvantages of both the qualitative and quantitative data in use. Computer software such as ATLAS, NVIVO and SPSS help to analyze the social data scientifically (Punch, 2005). Using the latest updates to obtain relevant information, the research uses software applications as a way of capturing the data and translating it into a technical data for accurate information. From the research analysis, the use of mixed data collection is evident for analyzing extrinsic and intrinsic data and outcome (Driscoll et al., 2007).

Theoretical Applications for Language Development

In both qualitative and quantitative data, objectivity helps to find a scientific explanation to the learning achievement concerns. Validity and reliability ensures consistency, and stability of quantitative information (Punch, 2005). It places computation in order using the required measures. Qualitative data collection relies on the credibility of data in order to agree with the quantitative data collected. Looking for more information about the author presents challenges because most of the traditional books have outdated information. In order to understand these approaches in relation to the contemporary educational the more recent approaches are put into focus too (Devaus and William, 2006).

Planning is an integral part of carrying out the plan. It look at the right academic journals that form a strong foundational argument and the mixed methodologies.   The research is a discussion of the innate and social cultural effects and language adoption amongst the learners. Its analysis unfolds the complexities of the research design. It reviews and puts together activities that are clear, explicit and effective. The data collected is then merged with the previous one for reliable findings that will be useful today especially in the era where the education system involves internet learning platforms.

In this research, ethical consideration applies across the whole research process (Abed, 2015). From the design to the conclusion, the research considers transparency and replicability. This is in line with the openness of information for growth and development. Secondary data helps in the spread of information for further inquiry into the gaps in education. The use of qualitative and quantitative data collected ensures that the procedures followed are reliable. Integrity thinks about the implication of the research by maintaining uniqueness and objectivity. The literature review gives credit to literacy work and expounds on it without disclosure of sensitive data. Reliability in the data collection process ensures professional conduct during the research. The information available is intellectual property therefore; the research analysis ensures that there is no conflict of interest. Using research from secondary data is advantageous because most research is already completed. Using reliable sources is important in order to avoid incompetency and compromised data. The mixed method includes online data collection for qualitative data. In this case, privacy and informed consent becomes important (James and Gunter, 2001). If the research is to follow the required principle, it will provide important data for future research therefore, it requires serious undertaking.

Conclusion

Reading awareness depends on comprehension. The foundation of this is fluency, vocabulary development, phonetics and linguistics. Early literacy concepts include the early learning theories, which have different influencing factors. Among these are cognitive, motivational, social and cultural factors. Changes in the multicultural environment reveals gaps in spoken English despite improved literacy levels. This research proposal seeks to carry out an inquest into the factors influencing reading awareness. This explains the causes for the existing gaps in spoken language literacy levels. It partly discusses the bilingual attributes of language development in order to highlight the challenges faced by students in adopting to the global languages. Using secondary data collection, the research looks for these gaps. Ethical considerations across all stages ensure that the process is credible and the data collected is reliable. The objective of the research is to lead to the expected outcome as an addition for future inquiry into the subject of reading awareness across a multicultural environment. The research is relevant in the contemporary global environment because quire of learning videos and interactive platforms that require proficiency in reading as much as it does for the unspoken language.

Approaches to Learning

References

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Barney, David. Pleban, Frank, Fullmer, Matt, Griffiths, Racheal Higginson, and Kesley. Whaley. 2016. Appropriate or inappropriate practice: exercise as punishment in physical education class. The Physical Educator, 73, 59-73

Bowman, Barbara, Donovan, Suzanne and Burns, Susan (eds). 2001. Eager to Learn: Educating our Preschoolers. Washington DC. National Academies press

Burns, Robert, 2014. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches.  (4th ed). UK Sage.

Cahill, Larry. 2013. Fundamental Sex Difference in Human Brain Architecture. PNAS, Vol 111 (2), pp 577-578

Carr, Laura and Johnson, Judith. 2001. Morphological Cues to Verb Meaning. Applied Psycholinguistics. Vol 22 (4), pp 601-618

Christopher Ely. 1989. Tolerance of Ambiguity and Use of Second Language Strategies. Foreign Language Annals, Vol 22 (5), pp 437-445

Davies, Phillip. 1999. What is Evidence-based Education? British Journal of Educational Studies, 47(2), 108-121.

 Driscoll, David. Appiah-Yeboah, Afua, Salib, Phillip. Rupert, Douglas. 2007. Merging qualitative and quantitative data in mixed methods research: How to and why not. Ecological and environmental anthropology (University of Georgia). Paper 18. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/icwdmeea/18  

Eyisi, Daniel. 2016. The usefulness of qualitative and quantitative approaches and methods in researching problem-solving ability in science education curriculum. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(15), 91-100.

Elder, L. 2004. Diversity: Making Sense of it Through Critical Thinking.  Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved From: https://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/diversity-making-sense-of-it-through-critical-thinking/489

Gardner Robert and Wallace Lambert. 1972. Attitudes and Motivation in Second-Language Learning. Rowley. Newbury House Publishers Inc

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Katamba, Francis, Dobrovolsky Michael and O’Grady William. 2016. Contemporary Linguistics. An Introduction. London. Longman.  Retrieved From: https://books.fledu.uz/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2016/10/Contemporary-Linguistics.pdf

Korzeny, Fellipe. 2012. The Benefits of Bilingualism in Today’s Globalized Job Market. Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication. Retrieved From: https://hmc.comm.fsu.edu/uncategorized/the-benefits-of-bilingualism-in-todays-globalized-job-market/

Lee, Valerie and Burkam, David. 2002. Inequality at the Starting Gate. Social Background Differences in Achivement As Children Begin School. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved From: https://www.epi.org/publication/books_starting_gate/

Lewin-Benham, A. 2006. One Teacher, 20 Prescholers. And a Goldfish: Environmental Awareness, Emergent Curriculum and Documentation, Young Children, Vol 61 (2)

Lieberman, Amy, Giudice, Alex and Mayberry, Rachel. 2011. Reading Achievement in Relation to Phonological Coding and Awareness in Deaf Readers: A Meta-Analysis. Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. Vol 16 (2), pp 164-188

Macro, Ernesto. 2006. Strategies for Language Learning and For Language Use: Revising the theory Framework. The Modern Language Journal. Vol 90 (3), pp 320-337

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