LANGUAGE DURING THE EARLY
SCHOOL YEARS (Chapter 10)
PowerPoint Outline
• I. Importance of Increasing Language and
Academic Skills
• II. Overall Growth in the Elementary Years
• III. Development of Syntactic Skills
• IV. Morphological Development
• V. Semantic Development
• VI. Pragmatic Development
• VII. Language Differences
I. IMPORTANCE OF INCREASIING LANGUAGE
AND ACADEMIC SKILLS**
• Burke “Spotlight on poverty and opportunity”
• http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org
Burke:
Youtube…Why Teachers Drink
II. OVERALL GROWTH IN THE EARLY
ELMENTARY YEARS**
• The biggest language changes we see are in
semantic and pragmatic skills
• Metalinguistic ability—the ability to think
about language—makes big leaps during this
time
Most children have the fine motor skills to draw
and write
Gross motor skills develop, especially in sports
III. DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTACTIC
SKILLS**
• On the exam, I will not hold you responsible
for reading pages 319 (beginning with Noun
and Verb Phrase Development) through page
327 (begin reading again at Phonologic
Development)
• PowerPoint only 
A. Noun Phrases**
Nouns: persons, places, or things
Remember that a noun phrase (NP) is a sentence
role filled by people and objects
B. Verb phrases**
• Harder than noun phrases (different tenses)
• Irregular verbs develop slowly (e.g., caught,
slid, blew)—should be there by 8 yrs.
C. Types of Sentences
Use of compound and complex
sentences increases:**
• Complex sentence: Has an independent and
dependent clause
• We will go to the movies if we have enough
money.
• Compound sentence: Two independent
clauses joined by a conjunction
• I went to the movies and my mom bought us
some popcorn.
IV. MORPHOLOGICAL
DEVELOPMENT**
• This is very important, because morphology
knowledge is really stressed in the Common
Core State Standards
• For example, one kindergarten standard is: (not on
exam):
• [Students will] use the most frequentlyoccurring inflections and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s,
re-, un- pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the
meaning of an unknown word.
Children especially need to master
derivational suffixes:
The –ly suffix which converts
adjectives into adverbs…
-er has 3 uses:
V. SEMANTIC DEVELOPMENT**
• A. Vocabulary Growth
• 5-year olds have an expressive vocabulary
of around 2200 words
• A first grader has an expressive vocabulary
of around 2600 words but may understand
8,000-10,000 English root words
• By 6th grade, a child understands around
50,000 words
Children need to learn how to
organize words they learn**
• Taxonomies: categories of
objects that share a common
essence (fruits, weather, tools)
• Themes: bound by an event
(e.g., cake, presents, candles
signify a birthday party)
In terms of development:
Previous knowledge is so important to
vocabulary acquisition:
The ability to define words…
For example, in defining the word
“special”**
• A parent with a 4th grade education might say
“’special’ means something that doesn’t
happen very often.”
• Their 11th grade daughter might say “it means
‘exceptional, unique, or noteworthy’”
In school, children “slow map**
• They add features beyond the
functional and physical aspects
of something
• For example, at 5 years, they
think of a dog as a furry animal
that barks
• At 12 years, they think of a dog
as a furry animal that barks and
is a mammal that has descended
from wolves and is carnivorous
Shoes: **
• In the Philippines, there is
one word: zapatos
• In the U.S. High heels,
tennis shoes, sneakers,
slingbacks, pumps,
sandals, mules, penny
loafers, boots, flipflops,
clogs, stilettos, platforms,
espadrilles, booties
Laura Justice, ASHA Schools Conference
Justice —we need to teach Tier 2
words
B. Figurative Language**
• Figurative language is words
used in an imaginative sense,
rather than a literal one, to
create an imaginative or
emotional expression
• Connotes higher order language
skills
A metaphor:**
• Implies an analogous relationship
• Love is a rose.
• He’s a bull in a china shop.
• She’s a kid in a candy store.
A simile:**
Directly states an analogous relationship
“Your lips are like pedals—bicycle pedals.”
“Your teeth are like stars—they come out at
night.”
“She’s as light as a feather.”
Proverbs:**
• Short, popular sayings that embody a
generally accepted truth, useful
thought, or advice
“The early bird gets the worm.”
• “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
• “Don’t count your chickens before
they’re hatched.”
More proverbs: (not on exam)
Filipino proverbs (thanks to
Chantelle!)**
• It is better to live in a nipa hut if a good person
dwells there than to live in a palace with an
arrogant person
• Before trying to clean the dirt off others, be aware
of your own dirt
• Before you get into someone’s business, take a
good look at yourself in the mirror
• If you are not proud of your native language, you
are but a stinky fish. Be proud of your culture!
More proverbs:
Proverbs are hard for children through
about 8 years old
VI. PRAGMATIC DEVELOPMENT
• A. Conversational Skills
Children must learn the I-R-E format:
For example: **
• Teacher: “Graciela, why is it important for
us to know about the Native Americans?”
• Student: “Because they were the first
people here in North America.”
• Teacher: “Good. That’s right. And we can
learn from how they cared for the earth.”
As they mature, children become
better at**
• Indirect requests
• Introducing a topic into conversation,
sustaining it through several turns, and closing
or switching the topic
• Repairing conversational breakdowns through
providing more background context and
defining terms
It is crucial to help students with
pragmatics as they grow older**
ASHA Schools Conference: Pamela Wiley—In
middle school:
B. Narrative Skills**
• Narratives reflect the storyteller’s experience
• Being a good storyteller enhances children’s
self image and group identification within
their families and communities
There are 4 types of narratives:
Children need to develop story grammar
(components and rules of a story)**
• Usually there is setting + episode structure
• For the exam, don’t worry about types of
sequences (bottom of p. 302 and all of p.
304)
• 1. Setting; introduce characters etc.**
• There once was a girl who lived in New
Hampshire
• 2. Initiating event (action, seeking something)
• and she wanted to become famous.
• 3. Internal response (character’s reactions,
thoughts, intentions, motivations)
• She thought it would make her happy.
• 4. Internal plan (strategies for attaining
goals)**
• So she and her family moved to Hollywood
• 5. Attempt (Character’s action to attain goal)
• where she took acting lessons and found an
agent.
• 6. Direct consequence (success or failure)
• She found out that there were about 200
girls auditioning for every role she tried out
for
• **7. Reaction (character’s emotional
response, though, or actions to the
outcome or preceding chain of events)
• The girl missed all her friends back in New
Hampshire, and she wasn’t getting any
roles. So she and her family moved back
home.
VII. LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES**
• Codeswitching is a normal behavior that
demonstrates the continuing separation of
two languages
• E.g. “Me gustaria manejar. I’ll take the car!”
• “My boss gives me this huge sense of utang
ng loob, and I just hate that.”
• “You’re here early. Das ist gut!”
For children who speak African
American English (AAE)…
PowerPoint Outline
• I. Importance of Increasing Language and
Academic Skills
• II. Overall Growth in the Elementary Years
• III. Development of Syntactic Skills
• IV. Morphological Development
• V. Semantic Development
• VI. Pragmatic Development
• VII. Language Differences
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LANGUAGE CHANGES DURING THE SCHOOL YEARS AND …