Term Paper: English Language Learning for Aboriginals

Pages: 7 (2385 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Physical adaptations are important as well, as these children need to understand their world from the standpoint of both of their languages. These adaptations can include providing play objects that come from various cultures, labeling the physical environment with both English and other languages, and playing physical games that have a language component (Epstein, 2009). These all work to help students associate words in another language (English) with physical objects. The more a student learns to provide an English word as well as a native word when looking at a particular object, the more the student will begin to make connections between the word and the object (Learning, n.d.). While it can take some time for children to be able to do that, the practice they need is not something they can get without physical representations they can use. Just assuming they will "pick up" the language is no longer acceptable or logical (Learning, n.d.).

The social curriculum is equally important when it comes to making sure aboriginal children are able to learn English in an ECE setting without compromising what they already know of their native language (Epstein, 2009). In order to become more social in their L2, children can play games where they must ask or answer in English, and they can be required to interact in English through simple scenes or plays. Many children love to dress up and play characters or others that they find important or fascinating, even at a very young age. By working this into the curriculum, children learn to become more social in the English language, which will make learning more fun to them and help them begin to see how the language "fits" in specific situations (Epstein, 2009). Another way to make adaptations for children to socialize in English is to create specific times of the day, week, etc., where all interactions must be in English. The teacher can help keep the conversation moving, but the children will have a chance for socialization that does not involve any of their native language.

Temporal adaptations are important for ECE situations and English language learning, as well. These relate to time, and the most logical adaptation is to teach children to tell time in their L2 (Epstein, 2009). This can be done through singing and playing games that involve time, through counting, and through clocks and other devices around the classroom that provide children with time information in both their L1 and L2. The more children learn about time and how to tell it, the easier it will become. However, teaching them in their native language and in English is very important in order to make sure they do not fall behind in one language or the other. Children can learn to be truly bilingual, but it is much easier if they begin young and are taught correctly. Failing to teach them in the right way will result in a loss of ability in one language or the other. Fortunately, there are many ways to provide bilingual learning to children who need it.

Resources

For ECE children and their families, there are many resources that can help them learn English and have a bilingual ECE experience. These include:

Child Care Canada http://www.childcarecanada.org/

Manitoba Education http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/childhood/links.html

Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.cps.ca/en/issues-questions/early-childhood-development-resources

Government of Canada https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/pmaece-ppmepe.nsf/eng/h_wy00146.html

Conclusion

Early childhood education can be a difficult process, and it is made more complex when children do not speak English as their native language. Because it is very important to learn English, these children should learn it in an ECE setting as soon as they are able. However, they also have to learn it correctly, or it can lead them to lose touch with their native language. If that occurs, they will have trouble communicating with parents and other family members who may not speak English or who may not speak it very well. Having a child lose his or her connection to family and culture would be an unfortunate experience. Equally unfortunate, though, would be a child who grows up not speaking English well enough to get a good education and a good career. Children of aboriginals are at risk of these things, but many aboriginal parents realize the value of learning English. They are willing to speak it at home if it will help their children succeed, and they focus on ensuring their children are capable of learning English properly. The importance of this cannot be overstated, and should be more carefully considered to give all aboriginal children the best chance at a good future.

References

Casper, V., & Theilheimer, R. (2009). Introduction to early childhood education: Learning together. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Epstein, R. (2009). The languages we speak: Aboriginal learners and English as an additional language. Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth. The Government of Manitoba.

Kato, K., & Ozaki, N. (2002). Young children's representations of groups of objects: The relationship between abstraction and representation." Journal for Research and Mathematics Education, 33(1): 30 -- 45.

Learning and teaching a second language. (n.d.). Section IV implementing inclusive early childhood programs. [END OF PREVIEW]

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English Language Learning for Aboriginals.  (2014, March 19).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/english-language-learning-aboriginals/7964957

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"English Language Learning for Aboriginals."  Essaytown.com.  March 19, 2014.  Accessed May 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/english-language-learning-aboriginals/7964957.