Silent Preschoolers: Nurturing the voices of children who are new to English. PhD Student: School of Education : deLissa Institute of Early Childhood and Family Studies Amy Farndale Mujema 2012 Australian context According to the AEDI (2009, p.4), 17.2% of all children in Australia speak a language other than English (LOTE) in the home. There is a diversity of 279 languages, other than English, spoken by Australian children (AEDI 2011). In South Australia, between 2010-11, 3,000 CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) children received preschool bilingual support (DECS 2011, p.39). Worldwide, bilingualism is the norm. Languages of Australian 4- to 5-year-old children (McLeod 2011) Greek and other Vietnamese, Arabic, Cantonese, Italian, Spanish and Somali Samoan, Vietnamese, and Italian Greek, African Languages, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Spanish and other Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Mandarin, Greek, Hindi, Turkish, Assyrian and Somali Bengali, Cantonese, Croatian, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Macedonian, Russian, Tamil and Urdu Cantonese Figure 1. Main languages spoken by Australian children aged 4 to 5 years in each state and territory Note: The darker shade indicates 16–26% of children aged 4- to 5- years in NSW and Victoria speak languages other than English. The lighter shade indicates 4-9% and the lightest indicates 1–3% of children speak languages other than English in that state/territory. Phases of English Language Learning 1. Pre-production New to English 2 . Early Production Becoming familiar with English 3. Speech Emergence Becoming a confident user of English 4. Intermediate Speech Demonstrated competency as a speaker of English (Clarke 2009, Crosse 2007, Diaz-Rico 2008 and Tabors 2008) Phase 1: Pre-production New to English May continue to speak 1st language (as if understood) ‘dilingual discourse’. May be socially isolated, overwhelmed, insecure Is an observer Often gives up speaking and enters a ‘silent period’ (lasting weeks to months) Uses gestures / body language / facial expression May rehearse words quietly to themselves Receptive language (understanding) skills exceed expressive (productive) language. Phase 1: Pre-production Gather information from parents. Involve Parents. Use gesture, facial expression, body language (culture?) Seek bilingual support and support the 1st language.* Adjust speech – slow, basic Learn some basic first language vocab. (audio record) Organise small groups and encourage peer interaction.* Learn correct pronunciation of name. Offer interactive activities (Total Physical Response) Offer bilingual books Welcome efforts, praise. Use visuals, graphic organisers, realia (objects) Encourage other modes of expression = arts, dance Revise Revisit Rehearse Recycle Repeat Routines* Select appropriate levels of questioning – yes/no, point* Speak with running commentary. Provide input* Introduce mainly tier 1 or 2 words* Marion Blank’s Levels Level 1: Matching • Can you point to the ………..? • Where is the …………? • What is this? Level 2: Relationships / classifying • What does it do? Level 3: Reorganising / Prediction • What will happen next? • Can you tell me the story? Level 4: Explanations • Why do you like that one? Tiered words (Beck, McKeown & Kucan 2008) Tier 1 - basic • car • big Tier 2 – descriptive (more in written text) • gigantic • opposite Tier 3 – technical/specific • condensation • pupa Phase 2: Early Production Goes public with talk Has telegraphic speech – 1-2 words to mean a sentence Uses formulaic speech – Uses common phrases ‘I want…’ Hypothesises and tries out new formulations of sentences Uses invented words to fill gaps in English sentences For example ‘I want mm mm apple’ (‘to eat’ = mm mm) May mispronounce words. Phase 2: Early Production Extend and expand sentences Encourage talk about concrete experiences Pause – provide the child with an Continue to support the first opportunity to respond language (transfer concepts) Select appropriate levels of questioning Focus on meaning rather than form Encourage social interaction Select appropriate repetitive books. Repeat the same books but use in different ways Encourage singing songs (both languages) * Focus on opportunities to talk * Phase 3: Speech Emergence Talks in sentences Has a growing expressive vocabulary, initiates more freely. Makes more grammatical mistakes and over-generalises rules. Eg ‘I runned’. ‘He is a girl’. Uses longer more complex utterances. Make clarification checks – assesses own output (talk) Phase 3: Speech Emergence Refrain from rescuing the child and encourage their own speech attempts. Promote collaborative learning. Start introducing decontextualised language. Employ higher levels of questionning such as categorisation and prediction. Do not obviously correct children’s mistakes, but model, reformulate, rephrase, elaborate and expand.. Introduce Tier 2 words. Phase 4: Intermediate Speech Speaking with improved grammar Expresses ideas. Engages in conversations. Explores complex ideas. Can demonstrate leadership. Is confident in exchanges. Phase 4: Intermediate Speech Focus on more abstract vocabulary Use higher levels of questioning (prediction, causal relationships) Introduce technical language. (Increase Tier 2 and 3 words) Phases of English Language Learning 1 • Pre-production • New to English 2 • .Early Production • Becoming familiar with English 3 • Speech Emergence • Becoming a confident user of English 4 • Intermediate Speech • Demonstrated competency as a speaker of English (Clarke 2009, Crosse 2007, Diaz-Rico 2008 and Tabors 2008) Naturally every child’s experience is unique and these descriptions of the four phases aim to give a general understanding of English language learning. It takes 1-2 years to obtain BICS (basic interpersonal communication skills) It takes 5-8 years to obtain CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency) (Cummins 1985) References: AEDI 2009, A Snapshot of Early Childhood Development in Australia Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) National Report 2009 Re-issue, Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations., Australia. Clarke, P 2009, Supporting children learning English as a second language in the Early Years (birth to six years), Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia, <http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/earlyyears/supporting_children_learning_esl.pdf>. Crosse, K 2007, Introducing English as an additional language to young children : a practical handbook, 1st edn, Paul Chapman Pub., London. Díaz-Rico, LT 2008, A course for teaching English learners, Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, Boston. 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