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The term paper is a critical analysis of the hypothesis that "Reading to a child every day (even an infant) is beneficial for language development". Language development (Language acquisition) refers to the entire process in which there is steady growth in intricacy and connotation of signs and sounds as professed and construed by human beings via a process of learning and maturation (Bohannon & Bonvillian, 1997). In children, early language development refers to the process by which a kid begins to comprehend language and starts to communicate. It is worth mentioning that the various stages of language development constitute, cooing, imitating words with cognition, babbling and using short sentences.
It is indeed a fact that the capability to read and write extremely well is requisite in the present era. Reading and writing styles are very significant to kids as they will later use such skills in not only in college and profession but also in their day to day life. A number of studies have established that those student that were read books as well as other literature material aloud when they were young and in their early stages of development have higher chances of obtaining higher points in a tests (Taylor, 2010). Thus it is evident that when parents encourage early reading as well as writing in their children, they are preparing them in the best way to become successful individuals later in life.
Language development in children
It is amazing how kids learn how to communicate and understand language. Moreover, all other achievement made by the kid for instance turning herself, sitting, waving to mention but a few is a happy moment for the parents. It is worth mentioning that parents are indeed the first teachers of their kids especially in language development. Additionally, the concrete foundation of and communication is during pregnancy. After birth, the kid usually picks up language from those close to them for instance parents, caregivers and other siblings. There is further language development as such kids go out and interact with other individuals.
There are five theories that seek to explain how kids learn language and communicate. The nativist theory holds that kids do have an inborn quest to make sense of their second environment. With such a drive, kids are thus capable of using language in order to make sense of this outer environment. The social theory asserts that kids seem to copy language as well as words that they get to hear and see from models, members of the family and their caretakers (Sato & Uchiyama, 2006). Interactionist theory saw defects in the first two theories and in addition to those attributes brought forth for the theories, interaction of kids with one another creates an environment in which they can talk to one another hence language development.
Brain research has brought forth a new twist in events in explaining how children learn language as well as effectively communicate. It is established that kids have a sort of active, plastic brain that is flexible. This provides an opportunity for young kids to learn and communicate. The ability to obtain and use verbal communication is a significant facet that differentiates humans from other living organisms. For this simple reason, there is need to ensure that infants grow up having the capability to effective master their language so that they can effectively and successfully interact with others as well as making sense of their world. On major way to doing this is to read to them as soon as they are born and even when not yet born, especially the last month of pregnancy (Rathus & Facaro, 1988).
Reading to a child every day
According to Bickerton, 1984 there are numerous ways in which not only parents but also caregivers can use to help their children in effectively and successfully grow in language development. They include speaking to the kid as possible as one can, encouraging them to speak, using kid's DVDs, using fun toy, making picture books with the kid, teaching them gestures, verbal mapping, listening and talking to the kid and more importantly reading to your kid.
Sato & Uchiyama, 2006 suggested that reading aloud to a kid brings with it a number of importances that one cannot measure. For instance, it catalyzes kid's language development, skills in thinking and imagination. Additionally it is a perfect opportunity for the two, the parent and the kid to spend valuable time together. It is worth mentioning that although the kid might not understand any word uttered, he/she will typically be fascinated by the voice that comes out while reading, seeing pictures as well as the parent's face will also appeal to them. This will help them especially in school to have higher concentration.
Reading appropriate literature to a kid on a daily basis is key to language development, enhanced level of intelligence, trust, and strengthening his or her social propensity in adulthood. Books that have pictures, animals, shapes plus any other objects when read aloud is vital. There are various advantages of doing this.
It has been proven that when parent and caregiver read to kids various literature, their natural curiosity is fostered and develops quickly. For instance, when a child is shown a picture of an elephant, he/she will be fascinated and as he grows, will like to know more about the same.
Additionally, the concept creates an opportunity for the kids to expand their thinking and horizon abilities. It also helps them get rid of any sort of fears, exposing them to new things. It is worth noting that since kids learn by seeing what older people around them are doing, when parents do it in an appropriate manner, kids learn good behaviors in communication, listening when one is talking and so forth (Sato & Uchiyama, 2006).
As stated previously, reading to kids at whatever stage of their lives dispels the fear in them and instill confidence which is one of the main attributes for persons to effectively and successfully express themselves in a confident, easy and clear manner be it oral or written. A study did show that that parent that read to their kids fostered an environment of love and care that help them believe in themselves and growing up with the attitude of making it (Bickerton, 1984).
Study after study has established that the bond between a parent and a kid is very significant in the later upbringing. The relationship between parents and their kid do dictates how the kids will respond to various issues later in life for instance confronting challenges, emotions and feelings (Rathus & Facaro, 1988). When parents take time to read to their kids and make it a routine, the bond between the two becomes much stronger where the parent can establish the pints of weaknesses of the kids and take corrective measures at early stages.
As kids grow, what constitute language development is building is acquisition of new terms. It has been shown that each reading when constantly repeated helps a kid master new vocabularies. Initially, simple words are engraved in their brain, later as reading continues they are in a position to understand vocabularies and eventually use them in communication (Bohannon & Bonvillian, 1997). On the same note, it helps them in pronunciation. When kids get to hear what their parent say out loud, they are in a position to lean how certain words are pronounced. This attributed to the fact that they are capable of experiencing the rhythm and melody of language and can translate this once they are old enough to it.
Additionally, the hypothesis holds that the practice brings out a culture in kids that will help them read on their own as well as helping their own kids grow up as individuals who can effectively express themselves, indeed this is true. All these is achieved by the interest and experience created when parents read to their kids.
To those kids who are old enough to communicate by either writing or talking, when parent or caregiver read to them a loud, they are provided with an opportunity to clearly understand grammar as well as being able to correct sentence structure hence avoiding run on sentences. Generally speaking reading to kids even if they have not yet developed to the stage of effectively communicating verbally, is very significant in bringing up kids who will be effective communicators and successful in academic, social as well as professional life (Taylor, 2010).
From the review of the hypothesis, it is evident that reading to a child every day (even an infant) is beneficial for language development. Parents are indeed the first teachers to their kids in language development. The numerous advantages in reading to kids that seem to support the hypothesis are the following; it fosters vocabulary mastery, pronunciation, provide kids with an opportunity to correct grammar, establishes a stronger bond between a parent and a kid, enhances kid's level of intelligence, trust, and strengthening his or her social propensity in adulthood.
It is also important to note that there are various theories that have been brought forth to explain language development in kids. They include nativist, social, interactionist and brain research. Although there are individual who would bring out strong arguments against the hypothesis, the points herein are enough to counter them and prove that indeed reading to kids is beneficial in language development.