Introducing Your Child to Home Life, Family, Community, and Culture
The period from birth through eight-years-old is called early childhood. The term early childhood development refers to a critical phase in the lives of many infants or toddlers. Children have continuously portrayed particular patterns of increasing their processes of language acquisition, language development, and literacy at this time. While it is essential to pay interest in the above areas, toddlers display different levels of understanding the complexity of human is oral language. Thus, they should be handled with much patience. Moreover, a timely interaction with teachers, parents, guardians or caregivers should start at the initial stages of a child’s life. Parents play a significant role in improving an infant’s hearing and listening skills. Babies are good imitators of the sounds, words or vocabulary that surround them. The opportunity enhances the young one’s ability to build on their intellect and pure knowledge. Besides teachers, the environment takes a significant role one self’s oral strengths. It is noteworthy to understand that the journey of learning begins at conception and the socio-cultural factors that surround a toddler may inhibit or advance their language or literacy abilities.
From a life story perspective, the literacy and language development journey of a young boy named John is integrated to comprehend the concept of early childhood learning and linguistic formations. John is the only child to Mary and Peter. He loves pets and owns a little cat called Petty. His mother, Mary is a cocaine addict. Her prenatal visits were not easy, in fact, most of her appointments were filled with strong messages warning her of the effects of cocaine to her then unborn child, John. Her Doctor, Ms. Hannah subjected her to a strict dieting plan that would reduce her chances of miscarriage and increase John’s birth weight. Mary was also put on a counseling program that was aimed at helping her find her way out substance abuse. Mary was given high doses of iron to fight the lack of it in her blood due to the high levels of cocaine ni her system. John lives with his parents who provide primary care for him. However, John loves the company of his mother more than his father. The family loves going for walks in the park together, especially on Sunday afternoons.
Peter, Mary and John live in Beaufort, South Carolina. The main language spoken in their home is English. In addition, most of the people who interact with John speak fluent English. These include their neighbors and family friends. The family also lives with Miranda, Peter’s sister, who speaks both English and Turkish. John’s family believes in language fluency; especially in English. However, for the purpose of interaction with their Turkish relatives, who include John’s grandparents, the family plans to take John for a Turkish class at the language learning session. His parents are also fluent in Turkish and take time to teach him word by word.
At the prenatal stages, John encountered severe exposure to cocaine. His mother, Mary, lived with a high addiction of the drug throughout her pregnancy. Scientifically, the problem is referred to as prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE). According to Ackerman, Riggins, and Black, 2010) though current researchers suggest that it is hard to establish the drug’s effects at the maternal stage, these problems affected John’s social life and phonology qualities later in life. His struggle in reading was noted when John’s parents took him to a nearby school that focuses on early education as from the age of six months and above. In school, he displayed some challenges that made learning complicated for him. There were signs of minimum social interaction with the other children at the institution (Lewis, Minnes, Short, Weishampel, Satayathum, Min & Singer, 2011). John also showed a variety of mannerism. There was a significant difference in the way he behaved at home and school. His developmental aspects were negatively affected by substance use.
Moreover, a toddler requires a conducive surrounding to cultivate improved phonology and language abilities. It is vital to provide a sustainable environment for an infant during its growth in their mother’s womb and after birth (Ehri, 2005). A polluted surrounding can easily destroy some bodily functions like motor and sensory movements, attentiveness, semantic traits, and cognitive abilities. In the case of John, he lived in a hostile home. His father, Peter demonstrated an aggressive nature and John experienced an intense domestic violence culture. The situation led John to perform poorly attaining lower academic test results as compared to other children within the age group of zero to eight years (Lane, 2007). On the other hand, John’s mother played a greater role in helping him with his learning. Mary built on a culture of reading books to John as from four months. Mary and Peter were wealthy members of the society which positioned them as individuals with a higher buying power of print materials. As an educated woman, Mary takes up the challenge of communication milestones by reading stories to her son every night. Though John’s father has a rude behavior, his is highly educated. Therefore, the environment engaged John into a space of endless new words, vocabulary and advanced sentences.
Over the months at school, John began to show some positive progress. John’s strengths were based on the abilities and intelligence of his parents. At the age of eighteen months, he could speak refined words as compared to his peers. His mother’s talks and storytelling acts created reading strengths because he was familiarized with particular names of things, color or sentences during these interactions. Besides, the level of complexity in his parents’ speech raised his language bar two or three times higher in comparison to the rest of the children whose parents were not as educated as John’s. His mother’s technique of storytelling continued to improve John’s ability in reading comprehension that constituted most lessons in the third grade (Meyer & Felton, 1999). The strategy ensured that he established a powerful mind that was able to remember and retrieve information learned earlier on in school or at home. John’s teachers also sought to improve his reading and writing skills through the provision of the right educative resources (Pence & Justice, 2017). Their proper organization of the children’s activities during school hours has impacted the appropriate mindset in their students. John was equipped with a positive energy towards learning and enhanced his language and literacy development. Imitating their educators gives them an added advantage to master various learning components. Active participation is another key element that was assimilated into the class programs that John attended. Progressively, he was able to differentiate verbs and other parts of speech.
John’s developmental stages became an attractive factor as he turned out to be a great reader in school. It is evident that the learning process is not a single-phased initiative but is polished over time (Lewis et al., 2011). From appreciating and familiarizing himself with several informative prints, John enriched his phonics or semantic abilities and boosted his recognition of many vocabularies and sentence structures. Taking these aspects into consideration made John turn into a skilled reader. Having a firm basis in the early development stages contributed to the ultimate success in school. The process of identifying certain sounds of words and developing better oral language played critical roles in the early childhood development of John.
From John’s story, it is drawn that failure to adhere to a proper foundation of language acquisition, language development, and literacy during the earlier stages of a toddler’s life may contribute to poor academic results. It is necessary that children like John attend schools at a timely stage as a method to avert the probability of failure later on. Apart from parents, caregivers, and educators taking a lead role, children should be informed and motivated on the necessity of equipping themselves with outstanding literacy capabilities. When children are faced with reading difficulties, their teachers should engage them in active discussions and storytelling activities that capture the attention of the young students. These engaging activities build on the main domains of a continuous learning activity. Above all, parents should provide an environment and materials that support the education of their infants. Mothers who mostly interact with their toddlers should acknowledge that their knowledge is essential in the future. Kids of our aged zero to eight years imitate their elders and integrate their vocabulary or sentences in their talks. Early childhood development should be emphasized in every family and learning institution.
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