Chatterfun News

Second Language and Early Childhood Development: A Guide for Teachers

February 22, 2013:

Providing children with high-quality early childhood education from birth to five years of age can have positive and long-lasting consequences. However many schools ignore the fact and most low-income area schools do not provide children with the complete learning environment. Studies have shown that by the time children reach kindergarten, it is too late to remove differences like social class and group differences from their language and thinking ability.

Therefore, early childhood learning programs are essential and are the only way to help children from low income households to understand and discover the joy of learning and become something in turn. However, many teachers in this program are not well qualified. Most states in the U.S have a minimal requirement for teachers. These teachers are not certified and are paid very less. Because of small pays, there is a high turnover rate in the sector.

Children who are sent to pre-schools require teachers who have the ability to not only teach them the basic of learning but also have the ability to help them understand and make better use of their learning. Early childhood teachers play five important roles in the life children: they are communicators, educators, evaluators, agents of socialization and educated human beings.

As a communicator, early childhood learning teachers play a very important role in the child’s ability to develop language. A child starts to develop language a few months after birth. If the child is sent to a pre-school, the teacher there is the child’s social contact to the grown up world while he/she is in school. Children at this stage develop language by interaction and what better interaction can they find than a teacher?

Early childhood children are usually dealt in groups. Teachers need to articulate with students who have advanced language skills as well as with children who are a bit slow at developing language. These teachers have the responsibility to talk with children and help them develop language and increase their vocabulary.

Young children are interested in everything and anything about the world. Their teachers need to be aware of the generalized situation and knowledge of the world. Obviously, it is not expected that the teacher knows everything; however it is good if the teacher has curiosity, extended vocabulary and skills to discover.

As evaluators, early childhood teachers need to identify children who are having developmental delays or disabilities. As teachers it is extremely difficult to understand this particular issue because children from different cultures and varying languages are also enrolled in school. These children may have difficulty developing a new language. However, at the early childhood stage it is not impossible and it is not very difficult to develop such ability in child.

When children are served in programs outside school, it helps develop their socialization skills. It helps them to interact with people other than their immediate family members and helps in developing socialization skills. A teacher is also a medium for socialization for such children.