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Children's Thinking and Language Acquisition

1. Share a way you've seen children test out words through deductive reasoning, hypothesis testing, or active construction. How can you help students hypothesize about words.

2. In what ways do race and culture and living circumstances mold our language patterns? Is this good or bad?

3. If a child was born to deaf and mute parents would the child be able to acquire language through television?

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Hi,

Interesting questions! One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is through discussion and example, which you can draw on for your final copy. This is the approach tis response takes. I also included two short excerpts for extra expansion of the topic.

Let's take a closer look.

RESPONSE:

1. Share a way you've seen children test out words through deductive reasoning, hypothesis testing, or active construction.

Deductive reasoning works from the general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test. We narrow down even further when we collect observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data -- a confirmation (or not) of our original theories. (http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php).

The ability to form testable hypothesis is important in many curriculum TODAY, and seen as an essential part of language development.

Have you seen children do this? The basis of the scientific method is asking questions and then trying to come up with the answers. The child might ask, "Why do dogs and cats have hair?" One answer the child might give is that it keeps them warm. (http://www.biology4kids.com/files/studies_scimethod.html). This is an example of the scientific method and active construction in action.

b. How can you help students hypothesize about words?

The questioning strategy teaches students to formulate questions that can be answered by referring to a part of the text. Questioning strategies often help children hypothesize about words: You might ask the child: "what word do you predict fits best in the sentence? The child might predict the first of four words. Then you would have the child red the sentence using the word. It will either be refuted or confirmed.

Students can also be helped to hypothesize about words and what words come next in a story through a strategy referred to as predicting as discussed in the following excerpt, "predicting helps students hypothesize what will happen in the text. Is that what you mean by hypothesizing about words? In order to do this successfully, students must be encouraged to activate relevant background information and to use clues from the title, pictures, or what has already been read to figure out what will happen next. Students are then asked to silently or orally read a meaningful chunk of text to verify predictions. The former teacher in the next excerpt reports that she "noticed the children are motivated during this part of the process because they want to find out whether their predictions are accurate."

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Solution Summary

By example, this solution explains how children test out words through deductive reasoning, hypothesis testing or active construction, and suggests teaching strategies to help students hypothesize about words. It also discusses ways that race and culture and living circumstances mold our language patterns, including both strengths and weaknesses. And, if a child was born to deaf and mute parents, it further discusses whether or not the child would still be able to acquire language through television.

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