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16900X Exploring Professional Practice in Early Years Education

Question:
Children’s Bilingualism and Literacy Skills in Early years Education
Part 1: Reflections on children's bilingualism

This essay will include reflections on my experiences working with Children’s Bilingualism throughout my placement in the sitting. These reflections provide you an impression of children that have moved to a country where another language is spoken than their home language. As well as how they have acquired this language throughout their early childhood. Additionally, it has an influence on literacy skills. Even though I am not multilingual, I have always been interested in the influence of culture and languages on a child's personality (Bialystok and Werker 2017). The second part of this essay will incorporate a critical literature review to expand on the ideas raised in this thought.

I will be focusing on my professional experience. First of all, I have decided to look at the concept of bilingualism in general after looking at that in early childhood education more thoroughly. Bilingualism refers to the ability to communicate effectively in two languages, to shift seamlessly among them, and to adopt the right intercultural attitude in each.

In particular, bilingualism in children is referred to as children that have been educated in a second language since infancy or a relatively young age; Children born into families where two dialects are spoken and children who have one dialect at home and a second language at schools. Bilinguals have a more in-depth understanding of language and its grammatical patterns, referred to as metalinguistic consciousness. Furthermore, bilinguals experience cognitive transference, which occurs when their knowledge of one dialect is used to aid them in grasping an identical concept in the second dialect. 

As educational practitioners in early childhood, we are well poised to discuss the benefits of bilingualism, especially with families who may believe their children is impaired because they speak another language. To illustrate that, one of the most essential lessons I have learned is that bilingualism will not exacerbate scholastic obstacles or linguistic deficiencies.

For example, I have come to understand that monolingualism must always be tackled as part of a complex strategy. I aim to promote effective contact between the family and the classroom in order to keep children, families, and practitioners at the forefront of judgement. I am aware of educational and familial concerns while questioning widespread misunderstandings about bilingualism.

I hold a bachelor's degree in kindergarten and am overjoyed to have been admitted as an MA studen, where I am studying an exciting programme and am also looking forward to exploring the practise of placemant at siting. During my first day at the co-operative childcare (nursery & pre-school), I worked with the children, (aged between four and three years old,) called pre-school in many areas of the class such as the discovery area. I am interested in how the children build vocabulary through a dialogue with each other. Additionally, I loved the communication and the creation of discussions between them, which I believed was beneficial for language development, particularly throughout the early childhood years.

 A further point I observed in the art area was printed language, where children were drawing or writing letters or numbers, and they learned from it." One teacher noted that children’s exposure to printed language occurs throughout the whole day as they learn how to write, how to trace letters, and generally how to express their feelings on paper".

Providing children with the opportunity to practise their second language is another approach that I am aware of for increasing their acquisition of as an additional language. The Montessori method is designed to meet each learner's unique requirements. Consequently, every child is expected to be capable of learning independently, which, means It is not essential for the child to learn on his or her own, but rather that the child can work according to his or her own requirements and preferences. The child has the option of what to work with and how often they will be interested with this particular task.

I became drawn to Montessori's theories because of the significance I placed on learning foreign languages at Montessori schools. Many subjects at Montessori preschools are taught in a way that encourages individual learning. (Winnefeld, p. 70, 2014). Whenever I reflect about what appealed to me about this, it was the sense that I was able to observe how children obtain language through their choice of activity and individual learning. For instance, in the nursery where I attended, there was a mathematics area; there are different educational methods available, and the child can choose which one they prefer. As a consequence, they also incorporate Maria Montessori's ideas into individual learning and language acquisition. I am interested in learning more about bilingualism research and how the Montessori school method may facilitate the learning process.  

Moreover, when I started practicing in the nursery, I saw a girl who had, recently relocated to the United Kingdom with her mum. She is reluctant to convers and play with other children because she speaks only Turkish and English is her second language. As a consequence, this has an effect on her social ties as she begins to learn another language. A further objective is to emphasis the vital role that literacy skills play at this age, and the impact they have on children. I intend to investigate several of the beliefs that I have adopted and to ascertain what brought me to this particular method of thinking.

For the Previous example, I observed that during the sitting, when I used certain phrases from her dialect, she expressed happiness and a desire to join the group. I believe she felt reassured and comfortable joining the group and chatting in English with them. As a result, the facial expressions and the technique in which certain vocabulary in their language are handled and used assist the child in engaging with and learning another language. Furthermore, I believe that children should be educated in their home dialects in addition to English. While communicating with their practitoners in both dialects, they engaged in code shifting and code blending. 

Through my experience working with children, I encourage families to develop their child's bilingual abilities so that the child will never lack the capacity to communicate in their native dialect as they mature in a predominantly English-speaking classroom setting. And, presumably, the mental benefits of turning up bilingual will benefit their children for the remainder of their educational careers. It is frequently stated that bilingual children identically learn their dialects as unilingual children learn theirs.

Another issue I noticed in pre-school was the presence of a child who spoke more than one language. She is fluent in two languages other than her mother tongue. To be honest, I spotted her as intelligent and quick-witted, as well as having the ability to initiate conversation with her classmates. According to the findings of a study conducted by the University of Reading and entitled "Bilingual Children who Speak Native Language at Home: Higher Intelligence" (reference website), it was found that children who spoke one language at school but practised their native tongue at home with their families scored better on intelligence tests than those who spoke only their non-native language.

Part 2: A a critical literature review of research into the literacy skills in Early Years and their effect on bilingual children.

In the second part of this essay, I would like to review some studies on literacy skills and how they might have an impact on children learning another language in their society. I aim to accomplish this by conducting a critical examination of current research on the subject. Specifically, I will look at the theories that have been concerned with this topic and how it applies to communication and language adoption in children. Through reverting back to some of my preferred literature on literacy skills, I was able to locate references and learn more about the research that informed them.

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