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Language Development Essay

1554 words - 7 pages

An essay that explores the theoretical underpinning of a resource that relates to language development and its place in learning.

In this essay I will be discussing the good old fashioned stick and how it can be used to support a child’s language development. I will be discussing the diversity of play through the stick and how this is supported by the curriculum and how it is also supported by theory.
According to The National Toy Hall Of Fame, the stick may be the world’s oldest toy. Animals play with sticks; our dogs play fetch with them. Children have an endless source of make believe and fun with sticks. A child’s imagination can turn sticks into magic wands, fishing poles, swords, ...view middle of the document...

It was a scene remarkable to watch and could not help feel a little saddened that a lot of children do not get this opportunity to play like this, due to hectic lifestyles and computers etc.

Most school’s curriculum are planned activities which are organised in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. The school where I work not only include the formal requirements of the national curriculum but also offer various extra-curricular activities in order to enrich the child’s learning experience. We also include a hidden curriculum which is what children learn from the way they are treated and the way they are expected to behave. All schools want children to grow into positive, responsible people and to achieve their true potential. Every school allows children to have a ‘play time’ where they can run around, play games and role play and just be themselves. Playing outdoors must be one of the favourite parts of any child’s day. Children’s imaginations are limitless and play time gives the opportunity to express their ideas. The running around, jumping, playing with sand and sticks are building the child’s abilities. This outdoor play helps to develop the child’s gross motor skills (large muscle). The cross lateral movement of left arm and right leg and vice versa involved in all this playing is crucial to the child’s later success in reading and writing.
Marge Hampton (2004) claims, “It has been clearly proven by child development researchers that young children learn best through play. They are concrete learners and learn by using all their senses. They must experience their world in order to make sense of it. Play gives young children ‘hands on’ activities for learning about life”. Dr Gary Landreth a noted play therapist says, “A child’s play is his work and the toys are his words”.

How playing with sticks is supported by theory:
Many experts have differing ideas about how playing outside in nature help develop children’s learning, language in particular. Upon my research, the Forest School approach seemed very popular. Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) cited by O’Brien (2009) states that research has highlighted that children’s senses are stimulated by nature and that the experiences form children’s relationship with natural areas in a way that is often remembered into adult life. O’Brien also suggests that through active observations, teachers of the forest schools can identify individual learning styles of the children, for example, if they are kinaesthetic learners who learn more when carrying out practical activities, or if they learn by spatially exploring the environment around them, or if they are learning by touching, feeling and seeing what is around them. Interest and curiosity in a woodland setting leads to the children asking questions too, thus engaging more in conversation and developing language skills. Forest schools allow learning and play activities in an explorative way and children can focus on tasks over...

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