Oral Language Development: Discourse…(Part 2)

Part 2 of Oral Discourse begins to address 2 topics:

Oral Discourse and School Success

Oral Discourse and Reading Success

In this post the focus is on the first topic: Oral Discourse and School Success.

There is a long history in the education literature of focusing on the role of discourse (dialogue, conversation) in school success. These resources cover a range of ages/grades, topics, and context.   Some of them are oriented toward oral language development at the preschool levels; others are oriented toward the ways in which discourse plays a critical role in success in the classroom, often with emphasis on higher order thinking and problem solving. Here are just a few representative examples of this literature with very brief excerpts. Some of the references address the issue of children whose level of language skills puts them at a disadvantage as they enter school.

One of the earliest treatments was by Courtney Cazden.

Classroom Discourse: The language of teaching and Learning, Portsmouth, Heineman (Original 1988; Second Edition, 2001)

“Yet she also reinforces her original message: “The basic purpose of school is achieved through communication” (p. 2).”

http://hepg.org/her-home/issues/harvard-educational-review-volume-73-issue-4/herbooknote/classroom-discourse_75

Courtney Cazden, Professor Emerita at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, wrote her classic text Classroom Discourse in 1988. In this second edition she revisits many issues from the original text, including the exploration of “teaching as a linguistic process in a cultural setting” (p. 1), and her belief that the study of classroom discourse is “a kind of applied linguistics — the study of situated language use in one social setting” (p. 3). That first edition examined what Cazden calls the languages of curriculum, control, and personal identity, addressing three research questions still central to this second edition:

How do patterns of language use affect what counts as “knowledge,” and what occurs as learning? How do these patterns affect the equality, or inequality, or students’ educational opportunities? What communication competence do these patterns presume and/or foster? (p. 3)

Other historic and current works highlight the importance of discourse (dialogue, conversation) to school success. The big question to be addressed is: What kinds of discourse lead to what kinds of success. We make a beginning here by citing some short excerpts. In subsequent blogs there will be more detailed responses to that big question.

Karan Gallas, Talking Their Way Into Science: Hearing Children’s Questions and Theories, Responding with Curricula, 1995, Teachers College Press. For some of Gallas’ other work, see From the Harvard Education Review:  http://hepg.org/her-home/issues/harvard-educational-review-volume-65-issue-2/herarticle/how-children-talk,-write,-dance,-draw,-and-sing-th and Imagination and Literacy: http://rootedingrowth.blogspot.com/2011/04/karen-gallas-imagination-and-literacy.html

 What I describe in this book is how our practice of Science Talks developed in my primary classroom in response to my own questions as a teacher researcher. My reflection will focus alternatively on what “real science is, on the study of science in schools, on children as thinkers, on the role of theory in the science classroom, on the nature of collaboration and discussion, on different kinds of talk, on the acquisition of a discourse, on the teacher’s role in science instruction and on the social construction of learning.” p. 1.

Curriculum as Conversation: Transforming Traditions of Teaching and Learning by Arthur N. Applebee, 1996, U. of Chicago Press

“In this book, I offer a vision of curriculum that redresses that balance on the knowledge-in-action (rather than knowledge-out-of-context) that is at the heart of all living traditions. Such knowledge arises out of participation in ongoing conversations about things that matter, conversations that are themselves embodied within larger tradition of discourse that we have come to value (science, the arts, history, literature and mathematics among many others.)” p. 3

Zoe Donahue, Mary Ann Van Tassell, Leslie Patterson (Eds.), Research in the Classroom: Talk, Texts, and Inquiry, 1996, International Reading Association

“Many teacher researches are using the texts and the talk from their classrooms to participate in reflective discourse. They know that learning moments are captured in the classroom, and through discourse teachers and their students can re-see and re-search those significant moments.” P. 3

Martin Nystrand with Adam Gamoran, Robert Kachur, and Catherine Prendergast,Opening Dialogue: Understanding the Dynamics of Language and Learning in the English Classroom 1997

“Nystrand argues that people learn not merely by being spoken (or written) to, but by participating in communicative exchanges.”P. ix

Gordon Wells (Ed.) Action, Talk and Text, Teachers College Press, 2001

“The original title of the DICEP ( Developing Inquiring Communities in Education Project) Project was “Learning through Talk.” From the outset, we were certain that the essence of learning and teaching was to be found in the interaction among students and teachers that constitutes such a large part of classroom activity (two-thirds according to some estimates). At the same time we were also convinced that the most valuable talk occurs in the context of exploration of events and ideas in which alternative accounts and explanations are considered and evaluated. The question, then, was: What are the conditions that make such talk possible? Is there an overall approach that makes it more likely to occur?” p. 3

See also

Instructional Conversation in the Classroom: Can the Paradox be Resolved?

A version of this paper was presented at the Annual Convention of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, April 16, 2009.

http://people.ucsc.edu/~gwells/Files/Papers_Folder/documents/ICAERA09.pdf

 

Recently published:

John E. Henning, The Art of Discussion-Based Teaching: Opening Up Conversation in the Classroom 2008, Routledge Press

“….Yet despite repeated criticism and the introduction of numerous innovations the recitation (IRE) of memorized facts continues to dominate the classroom interactions between teachers and students…

In comparison to a recitation, a discussion is a related but different form of classroom discourse. Classroom discourse is very board and includes terms that refer to any and all verbal interchanges among teachers and student in a classroom…

A discussion may include some form of recitation but only as one part of a far more complex discourse. To facilitate participation during a discussion, teachers ask open=ended questions that enable longer, more varied student responses, require more varied teacher responses, and encourage more student-to-student interaction. In addition, the teacher places less emphasis on evaluation, more emphasis on feedback and casts the students in a more participatory. What distinguished expert discussion leaders from novices is the complexity of their classroom discourse….” pp. 1-2

 

Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford, Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk That Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding, 2011, Stenhouse Publishers   See also: http://www.jeffzwiers.com/ac/index.html

“Since the dawn of language, conversations have been powerful teachers. They engage, motivate, and challenge. They help us build ideas, solve problems, and communication our thoughts. They cause ideas to stick and grow in our minds. They teach us how other people see and do life, and they teach other people how we see and do life. Conversation strengthens our comprehension of new ideas….

…..As we worked in classrooms as instructional coaches and began to tap the teaching and sculpting power of extended, back and forth talk between students, an approach emerged that we called academic conversations…

….Conversations are exchanges between people who are trying to learn from one another and build meanings that they didn’t have before. Partners take turns talking, listening, and responding to each other’s comments. Academic conversations are sustained and purposeful conversations about school topics….” p. l.

 

                                                                                * * * *

 

 

Discourse and Reading Success….the next blog post

While we might think of “reading” as a one person silent venture, it is clear that in school students don’t just read. They talk before, during, and after some (most) forms of reading. They might talk to a teacher, tutor, peer, or self. The primary focus in this section will be on reading and talking and how that leads to being a successful reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Language Development: Discourse (Part 1 of 2)

Discourse Development.  Discourse is defined as communication beyond the sentence level. Discourse can be formal or informal. It can be written or oral.   It can take the form of conversation or discussion. For our purposes, discourse refers to oral communication in the form of conversation or discussion. My intention here is to look at how children learn to carry on conversations (discussions) for a variety of purposes and the ways in which discourse influences reading success as well as school success.

Discourse is not limited by the number of words uttered or the complexity or length of the “sentence.”  A 2 year old asking “Why?” is discourse–a question in search of an answer.  A two year old announcing “No!” is a response to a request or command. “Children” begin to engage in discourse as soon as there is communication between adult and child (infant/baby), although the intention and structure of the discourse with infants/babies is determined by the adult. When an adult responds to a baby’s noises or cooing or babbling, that is the beginning of discourse. As children get older (2-5), parents as well as other adults initiate and respond to a child’s communication in ways that can enhance the child’s language development…or not.

 In this blog on discourse (1 of 2) the focus will be on four questions: Questions 1 and 2 here. Questions 3 and 4 in the next blog: part 2 (questions 3 and 4)

1 Is there a relationship between oral discourse development and learning to read?

2 What do we (parents and teachers in particular) know about oral language/discourse development?

3 How is discourse related to school success?

4 How is discourse development related to learning to read (and later reading to learn)?

Note all direct excerpts are in italics and quotation marks. Highlighting in bold or red are mine.

1 The relationship between oral discourse development and learning to read. Note the work of Collins and Dennis and Dickinson and Tabors

Targeting Oral Language Development in High-Risk Preschoolers

http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ865817

Collins, Molly F.; Dennis, Sarah E., NHSA Dialog, v12 n3 p245-256 2009

“Among risk factors associated with reading difficulties, poverty and underdeveloped oral language skills can be particularly detrimental to reading success. The City Early Reading First (CERF) project implemented a comprehensive curriculum, professional development, intensive mentoring, and home supports to enhance children’s language, literacy, and cognitive skills. Participants (N = 75) were 4-year-old children and teaching staff from 8 Head Start classrooms in a large urban city in the Midwest. Within the larger project, CERF undertook an intervention–Language Enrichment Group (LEG)–that targeted at-risk preschoolers’ oral language development, including vocabulary, discourse skills, and content knowledge. LEGs focused on deepening content knowledge, providing opportunities for language development, and fostering social skills. Whereas nearly half of all 4-year-olds were at risk for later reading difficulty according to fall “Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III” (PPVT) scores, only one fifth remained at risk by spring. Supportive features of LEGs, refinements for future projects, and implications for the field of early education are discussed.”

Fostering Language and Literacy in Classrooms and Homes

David K. Dickinson and Patton O. Tabors

Copyright © 2002 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

http://www-tc.pbs.org/teacherline/courses/rdla170/docs/fostering_language.pdf

“Our measures of the classroom environment were far less potent predictors of later language and literacy than our measures of teacher-child interaction. Our data strongly indicate that it is the nature of the teacher-child relationship and the kinds of conversations that they have that makes the biggest difference to early language and literacy development.”

         * * * * *                                                                    

2 What do preschool and primary teachers know/should know about oral language/discourse development? See the work of Prestwich, Jones, and Dewart and Summers. What do they need to know? See the work of Resnick and Snow

Measuring Preschool Teachers’ Perceived Competency and Knowledge of Oral Language Development by Dian Teer Prestwich, Dissertation, 2012

http://www.cde.state.co.us/sites/default/files/documents/research/download/pdf/measuringpreschoolteachers.pdf

Research has demonstrated the impact of early oral language development on a child’s later reading comprehension. Additionally, research has suggested that teachers’ knowledge of effective practices in literacy plays an important role in students’ ability to learn to read. The problem is that preschool teachers’ knowledge of strategies for developing language is unknown because there is no known instrument for assessing preschool teachers’ knowledge of these strategies. The research questions for this study examined the development of an instrument to measure preschool teachers’ perceived competency and knowledge of strategies for language development….”

P 161-168 Questions for 3 categories: Vocabulary, Extended Dialogue and Dialogic Reading

Preschool Educators’ Perceptions of Practices in Facilitating/Modeling Oral Language Acquisition and Development, doctoral dissertation, Nicole Alissa Jones, 2012, Graduate School of Education Loyola University, 163 pages

http://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1355&context=luc_diss

Educators responded to 31 topics divided into 3 topics: Knowledge of Engaging in Dialogue Reading, Knowledge of Extending Discourse, Knowledge of Using Specific Vocabulary.

 ABSTRACT

“Preschool educators are linguistic models for their students. They prompt students to speak. Educators who are able to understand the critical nature of their role in the students’ oracy development and to deliberately encourage conversation may have a profound impact on preschoolers who may be at risk. Oracy is self-expression prompted

by discourse activities such as questioning, labeling, turn-taking in conversation, and it is stimulated by a variety of speech events, such as playing or otherwise interacting with peers and adults. This study explored how preschool educators behaved as models in facilitating oral language acquisition and development. The goals of this study were to answer the following research questions:

What are the perceptions/practices of preschool educators in racially, linguistically and economically discrete preschool programs with regard to their role in developing oral competencies/oracy among their students?

What are the perceptions/practices of preschool educators in racially, linguistically and economically discrete preschool programs with regard to their role in facilitating second language acquisition?

What are the perceptions/practices of preschool educators in racially, linguistically and economically discrete preschool programs with regard to the instructional strategies used to facilitate interaction among their students?”

Pragmatic Skill Profiles (For Parents, Teachers, and Specialists)

http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/04/department-of-education-releases-new-parent-and-community-engagement-framework/

Hazel Dewart and Susie Summers C 1995 Pages 29-32 references, 68 page pdf.

Hazel Dewart, Professor of Psychology at the University of Westminster, London, is a charted clinical psychologist whose research has concentrated on language development and communication disability. Susie Summers, is a speech and language therapist, working extensively with young children and their families. She has a particular interest in supporting the development of communication in everyday contexts. Developed by researchers on literacy, language development and practitioners of literacy, preschool education, and parents.

http://wwwedit.wmin.ac.uk/psychology/pp/children.htm

These authors, noting the lack of a tool to observe and measure pragmatic development (at the discourse level), developed an observation tool, as well as charts showing developmental milestone from birth to seven years and beyond for each of the three observational categories.

For example: Communication Functions:

9-18 months: Begins to express a range of communicative intentions..(attention seeking, requesting, protesting, greeting, naming) [Note connections to Halliday’s functions in the prior blog post on Sentences]

18-36 months: Uses single or multiword utterance to : comment, express feelings, assert independence.

36-48 months: Uses language to talk about past and future events, give information.

 For example: Response to Communication

18-36 months: Begins to recognize a range of adult communication intentions and responds appropriately.

36-48 months: Notices changes in wording of familiar stories and rhymes

 For example: Interaction and Conversation

9-18 months: Responds to qs by non[-verbal vocalizations or gestures; interactions limited to one or two turns per partner.

18-36 months: Responds to requests for clarification by repetition or by revision of the original form of the utterance.

36-48 months: Can participate in pretend conversations and switch from one speech code to another when taking stereotypical role in plays. When child is misunderstood tends to repeat without modification.

 Includes 4 Observation/Interview Sections (links): Communicative Functions, Responses to Communication, Interaction and Conversation, and Contextual Variation with detailed guidelines for both Preschool and School Age Populations

“We decided to focus on three major aspects of the development of pragmatics. The first of these is the

development of communicative functions, the way the child comes to be able to express a range of intentions, such as requesting, greeting and giving information, through a variety of communicative behaviors, such as gesture, vocalization and language.

The second aspect is that of the child’s response to communication, the way the child reacts to and understands communication from other people.

The third aspect is the way the child participates in interaction and conversation, looking at the child as a participant in social interactions involving initiation, turn taking and repair.

We also looked at the way the expression of these aspects of pragmatics is affected by variations in context,

such as time and place and the people involved.”

One final reference in relation to the idea that reading begins with oral language is by Resnick and Snow, Speaking and listening for Preschool Through Grade 3 (2008), published by the International Reading Association. These standards were developed as a joint project of the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh and the National Center on Education and the Economy.

In this revised edition of an earlier work, the authors provide a set of 3 standards* for speaking and listening for 3 age levels: 3-4 year olds, 5-6 year old and 7-8 year olds.  This text offers a clear outline of the standards, multiple examples in both the text and on video, as well as suggestions for how to implement each standard.  They describe 3 Speaking/Listening standards:
1  Habits
Talking a lot  (authentic practice)
talking to one’s self  (meta skills)
conversing at length on a topic (knowledge building)
discussing books (discourse)
2 Kinds of talk [functions] and resulting genre
Inform, entertain and persuade
Present themselves, their topic, or their point of view to others
Negotiate or propose relationships with others
Evaluate people, information, or events
Think, teach, and learn
3 Language Use and Conventions
Rules of interaction
Word play and language awareness
Vocabulary and word choice
                                                                                     * * * * * 
In the next blog: part 2, questions 3 and 4 about discourse:

 3 How is discourse related to school success?

4 How is discourse development related to learning to read (and later reading to learn)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences: Function: Part 3 of 3

SENTENCE FUNCTIONS
Halliday  “function” categories
7 Functions of Language expressed at the sentence level

Instrumental: I want a banana

Regulatory:  “First I … you need a rake and you have to build over the rake.”

Interactional:  “Do you like cricket too Henry?”

Personal:  “I know that song ‘cause we sang it at Kindergarten.”

Heuristic:  “We could make a water thing to tell how much rain we got.”

Imaginative: “Alice the camel has one hump, one hump, one hump.”

Representational:  “It is raining really heavy and heavy all day.”

The context for this chart from Michael Halliday is from a 1969 article in Educational Review titled “Relevant Models of Language,” which appeared in Language Development: A Reader for Teachers edited by Brenda Miller Power an Ruth Shagoury Hubbard, Merrill Prentice Hall, 2002

The chapter begins with a question asked by a teacher of English: “What is language?”, to which Halliday responds: “Why do you want to know?” Halliday’s point is that it matters why you want/need to define language. He takes the perspective of the child learning language: that is, the child’s “Model” of language internalized as a result of his experience. “The child knows what language is because he knows what language does.” [that is, the function(s) of language]. Halliday goes on to write:

“….The determining elements of the young child’s experience are the successful demands on language that he himself has made, the particularneeds that have been satisfied by language for him. He has used language in many ways—for the satisfaction of material and intellectual needs, the mediation of personal relationships, the expression of feelings, and so on. Language in all these uses has come within his own direct experience and because of this he is subconsciously aware that language has many function that affect him personally.”

“…We shall try to identify the models of language with which the normal child is endowed by the time he comes to school at the age of 5, the assumption being that if the teacher’s own ”received” conception of language is in some ways less rich or less diversified it will be irrelevant to the educational task.”

Halliday then goes on to describe “models” of language the child brings to school: Instrumental, Regulatory, Interactional, Personal, Heuristic, Imaginative, and Representational. See the chart above for the categories, the functions they are designed to achieve, and examples.

Language Use and Learning

In the same text on Language Development: A Reader for Teachers, Gay Su Pinnell describes “Ways to Look at the Functions” of Children’s Language”* in which she offers examples based on classroom observations, a process for doing those observations, and ways to enhance children’s 7 functional uses of language.

*Taken from Observing the Language Learner (pp. 57-72), A. Jaggar and M. T. Smith-Burke (Eds., Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 1985

There are many texts and example that address the relationship between oral language and school success, some of which we will refer to as to move to our next level of oral language—discourse. Many of these are from the 1970’s beginning with a seminal work by Cazden and Hymes in 1972 (Functions of Language in the Classroom). The date is mentioned not to suggest that these sources, ideas, and concerns are outdated; but, rather, to suggest that language use and school success is an old and ongoing topic of interest and importance. More recent texts include:

The Art of Discussion-Based Teaching by John E. Henning (2008) and

Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk That fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford (2001)

******

The Functions of Language (at the sentence level): Some examples and excerpts from Halliday.

So, when a child uses a sentence we need to pay attention to its function, not just its form.
Below are added details from the Halliday chapter, including direct comments that I believe have implications for the adults in the child’s environment who model the functions of language. Note that these examples are at the sentence level, but they only take on meaning as they function as part of a discourse

Instrumental: Language is used as a means of getting things done.
I want… a car, boat, treat…. I want to…go home, find a book…

“Success in this use of language does not in any way depend on the production of well-formed adult sentences; a carefully contextualized yell may have substantially the same effect…”

Regulatory: Language is used to regulate the behavior of others.

You shouldn’t….tear the paper,
go there; use that pencil, take that book..

While this function of language, in the child’s experience, may initially be used by adults, the child learns to use it, too.

….“The child applies awareness [of adult regulatory language] in his own attempts to control his peers and siblings, and this in turn provides the basis for an essential component in his range of linguistic skills, the language of rules and instructions. Whereas at first he can make only simple unstructured demands, he learns as time goes on to give ordered sequences of instruction and then progresses to the further stage where he can convert sets of instructions into rules, including conditional rules, as in explain the principles of a game. This is regulatory model of language continues to be elaborated, and his experience of the potentialities of language in this use further increases the value of the model…..”

Interactional: Language is used to address social interactions—both personal and group interactions.
Let’s work on this together.
We can do this.
You don’t belong here.

“Language is used to define and consolidate the group, to include and to exclude, showing who is “one of us” and who is not, to impose status, and to contest status that is imposed….”

Personal: Language is used reflect self, his/her personality, uniqueness
I’m good at math.
I like to play dominoes.
I think school is fun.

“We are not talking here merely of “expressive” language—language used for the direct expression of feelings and attitudes–but also of the personal element in the interactional function of language, since the shaping of the self through interaction with others is very much language-mediated process.”

Heuristic. Language used to explore one’s environment—language as a means of investigating reality, a way of learning about things.
I have a question?
Do that mean…?
Oh, look, there’s a frog.

“The young child is very well aware of how to use language to learn, and maybe quite conscious of this aspect of language before he reaches school; many children already control a meta-language for the heuristic functions of language, in that they know what a “question” is, what an “answer” is, what “knowing” and “understanding” mean, and they can talk about these things without difficulty.”

Imaginative. Language used to create his/her own “environment” as he/she can image it to be.
Hi, Mr. Pepperoni Pants.
This is a zigo.
The request of the buggy coming right up. Humming…
Once there was a big tree house…

“Another element of meta-language, with words like story, make up, and pretend.”

Representational: Language used to communicate about something, for expressing propositions.

Mars is a million miles away.
The zoo has many wild animals.
Molly is sick.

“The child is aware that he can convey a message in language; a message which has specific reference to the processes, persons, objects, abstractions, qualities, states, and relations in the real world around him.”

* * * *

More example as we move to the next section on oral language development and skills: The Discourse Level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Language Development: Sentences (Part 2 of 3)

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

 

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

 

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2.  They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

 

Sentence Processing

There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

 

Processing complex sentences

From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

 

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

 

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

 

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

 

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

 

^The high group showed

*longer communication units

*greater elaboration of subject and predicate

*more embedding in transformational grammar

*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

 

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

 

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

 

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

 

* * *

Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)

http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

 

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:

1)      Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences

2)      Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)

3)      Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

 

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

 

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

 

“…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts.   Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentences Blog for April 17

Sentences (Part 2 of 3): Processing Sentences

“Sentence” is the third unit (sound-word-sentence-discourse) of oral language described as a primary basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2. They don’t know the “parts of speech” names, but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs) to achieve a certain purpose. As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

I write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I began with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are talked about by adults and are addressed in school curriculum.

Sentence Processing
There is more to sentence development than its form or structure (syntax). Equally important for the development of literacy (reading) skills are processing of sentences and using sentences for communication—function.

Processing complex sentences
From a developmental perspective Loban’s research with 211 students followed from K to grade 12 shows the following about students’ skills at processing language at the sentence level:

*Those superior in oral language in kindergarten and grade one before they learned to read and write are the very ones who excel in reading and writing by the time they are in grade 6.

^In sentences in oral language, the high group in the 1st grade demonstrates a proficiency in elaboration attained by the low group only at grades 5 or 6.

^Although all subjects knew and used all the basic structural patterns of English sentence, the high group had a much greater flexibility and repertoire within the pattern of a sentence: that is, they had more ways to fill slots like the subject, the modifiers, and the objects.

^The members of the high group used more subordination, combining communication units in complex fashion

^The high group showed
*longer communication units
*greater elaboration of subject and predicate
*more embedding in transformational grammar
*greater use of adjectival dependent clauses

Difficulties in attending to or producing long and/or complex sentences impacts reading in a number of ways.

For example, in her text on Teaching Reading Comprehension Processes (1991), Judith Westphal Irwin describes three kinds of comprehension skills: metaprocesses, macroprocesses and microprocesses. Under microprocesses, Irwin describes the importance of chunking words into meaningful phrases, selecting what is most important from the sentence to keep in short term memory for interpretation of upcoming sentences (that is, microselection); and then using that information across sentence boundaries (integrative processes).

“Integrative processes” she defined as the processes involved in understanding and inferring the relationships between clauses and sentences. Three main types of integrative processes are understanding anaphora, understanding connective relationships, and making “slot filling” inference.” (Irwin, page 38). In the following pages, she offers several suggestions for teaching these skills. (pp. 38-49)

* * *
Cheryl M. Scott, Chapter 16: Syntax in Stone, et. al. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders, (2005)
http://books.google.com/books?id=e3rckmb3a3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=C.+Addison+Stone&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pbBOU7-xEMG0yATaioDgDg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Syntax&f=false

Scott lists three things that make sentences complex:
1) Features of open class words (nouns, verbs); reversible passive sentences
2) Number and type of syntactic operations (usually reflected in sentence length)
3) Types of syntactic operations (reversible order, subordination, ambiguity, parsing, etc.)

So, just as is the case in Words/Vocabulary, the complexity of sentence and the operations required to process them, (anaphora, connectives, inferences, for example) influences how easily a child can process sentences.

This reminds us of the quote from the work of Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek:

“… Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

Although the “average” child has mastered the basic structures of sentences by age 5, children still need to learn the more complex structures that will require more demanding processing. The question we need to ask is how they will learn these sentence structures in order to process them efficiently and effectively. This does not mean that we should focus on directly teaching “grammar” to young children as a basis for reading. Young children (preschool through primary grades) learn language skill through meaningful contexts. Sentences become meaningful to children when we focus on the “functions” of sentences, part 3 of our “sentence” topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Languge Development: Sentences

 Sentences (Part 1 of 3)

 “Sentence” is the next unit (Sound-Word-Sentence-Discourse) of oral language that provides a basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2. What do children know about sentences as they begin to put them together? They don’t know the names of the parts of speech that make up sentences (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc., or the role of those in sentences as subjects, objects…etc.), but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs). As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 I am going to write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I’m going to begin with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are approached in school.

 STRUCTURE

 A few sites are helpful. First is a chapter on Language Development by Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University

On Language Development. (It was not clear from the link which book contained this chapter) http://udel.edu/~roberta/pdfs/Bear%20chaptBrandone.pdf   In this chapter, the authors use content, form, and use as their framework for discussing language development. They write:

 To better address typical and atypical language development as well as strategies of prevention and intervention, the five structural components of language– phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology, and pragmatics–. may be simplified into three essential aspects of communication: content, form, and use (Bloom & Lahey, 1978). Content refers to the semantics of language—the concepts and ideas that are encoded in words. Form is the way in which meaning is represented, including speech, sign language, and writing. In the context of spoken language, form encompasses phonology, morphology, and syntax. Finally, use refers to the function of language in context. Although each of these aspects of language can be identified separately, they are inherently interconnected elements in communication (Bloom & Lahey). Language problems may arise when there is a disruption within anyone component of the model or in their integration. The following sections consider the typical development of each of these aspects of language.”

 Language Development

This link shows overall language development, but there are several references to the development of sentences:

 “The next crucial milestone in the development of language form occurs when the child discovers that rule-based combinations of words actually express more than the meaning of any of the individual words. For example,

by 17 months children are able to discriminate between ‘‘Cookie Monster is tickling Big Bird’’ and ‘‘Big Bird is tickling Cookie Monster’’ (Hirsh-Pasek & Golinkoff,1996). Comprehension of these rule-based combinations comes prior to production using these rules. Children begin to combine words into two-word utterances (e.g., ‘‘car go’’ and ‘‘more juice’’) between 18 and 24 months. These early word combinations express meaningful relationships yet tend to be missing function words (the, a), auxiliary verbs (am, is, has), and the bound morphemes that mark plural (s), possessive (-’s), or tense (-ing,-ed). As children learn to combine words into longer sequences, they add the function words and bound morphemes that were absent from their first…”

 Their Milestone charts show language development of content, form, and use. Note here the reference to syntax/sentence development across charts.

12-18 mos.

Semantic roles are expressed in one-word speech, including agent, action, object, location, possession, rejection, disappearance, nonexistence, denial.

Words are understood outside of routine games; still need contextual support for lexical comprehension.

18–24 mos.

Average expressive vocabulary size: 200–300 words at 24 mos.

Prevalent relations expressed: agent–action, agent–object, action–object, action–location, entity–location, possessor–possession, demonstrative–entity, attribute-entity.

^Understands basic semantic roles and relations; two word utterances and two syllable words emerge

^Utterances are telegraphic with few grammatical markers

24–30 mos.

Understanding and use of questions about objects (What?), people (Who?), and basic events (What is x doing? Where is x going?

^Use of no, not, don’t as negation between subject and verb; Use of sentences with semi-auxiliaries—gonna, wanna).

30–36 mos.

Use and understand Why? questions.

36–42 mos.

Use and understand semantic relationship between adjacent and conjoined sentences, including additive, temporal, causal, contrastive.

^Present tense auxiliaries appear; be verbs used inconsistently

42–48 mos.

Use and understand ‘‘when’’ and ‘‘how’’ questions.

Use conjunctions and as well as because to conjoin sentences.

^Early emerging complex sentences types, including full prepositional clauses, hi clauses, simple infinitives

48–60 mos.

Use conjunctions when, so, because ,and if

 “…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 …” For most children, the development of language proceeds without difficulty. By the age of 5, typically developing children have mastered the building blocks of the system and are left only to refine and integrate their skills in order to use language in an increasingly complex range of tasks. During the course of the development of language, there is a tremendous range of what can be considered normal.” [Use of bold print mine.]

…”Through interaction with family, peers, teachers, and caregivers, children learn communicative competence, or how to use language appropriately and strategically in social situations (Hymes, 1967). Because we use language for so many purposes, many skills are involved in communicative competence (see Becker-Bryant, 2001)…”

 “Children need to learn to ask questions, make requests, give orders, express agreement or disagreement, apologize, refuse, joke, praise, and tell stories. They must learn social routines (such as saying ‘‘Trick or treat’’ on

Halloween), terms of politeness, and ways to address others. Children must also understand how to initiate, maintain, and conclude conversations, as well as take turns, provide and respond effectively to feedback, and stay on-topic. Crucially, they must learn to be sensitive to their audience and to the situations in which they are communicating. Sophistication in pragmatics continues to develop throughout childhood and into adulthood. [bold mine]

 Some additional references for sentence form/syntax:

Some resources posted on the Brandone et. al. link:

http://www.asha.org/public/

The public page of the website for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers resources to help all audiences better understand communication and communication disorders. It also provides links to early intervention references and professional referral services for access to qualified care.

http://www.bamford-lahey.org

The Bamford-Lahey Children’s Foundation is a foundation dedicated to conducting and supporting programs that will enhance the linguistic, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. The Foundation’s current focus is improving the language development of children with language difficulties.

This website provides a thorough list of references on language disorders as well as information relevant to the goal of developing guidelines on evidence-based practices in child language disorders

 And two other google search links:

Language Development; short; commercial

http://www.education.com/reference/article/language-development-preschool-children/

 Images for syntax development

https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+syntax+development&client=gmail&rls=gm&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=BXBNU8C9K-Wb2QW4yYDADw&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1414&bih=641

http://dbsenk.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/understanding-oral-language/

http://www.almightydad.com/general-interest/learning-to-speak-developmental-milestone

 Part 2 of the Sentence Series is on sentence processing (forthcoming in a few days)

 

Links for Language Development by Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek, et. al.

Work by Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek

Book Chapter on Language Development

Children’s Needs III:by Various and George G Bear and Kathleen M. Minke(Mar 1, 2006)

And See also  http://www.temple.edu/infantlab/

Click Research, then Language, the Presentation

See Power Point Presentation (2010) on How Babies Talk

See also-How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life Paperback (Amazon)

Sentences: Part 1 of 3: Structure, Processing, Function

Sentences Structure

“Sentence” is the next unit of oral language that provides a basis for learning to read and reading to learn. Developmentally, the “average” child begins to put words together to form “sentences” by age 2. What do children know about sentences as they begin to put them together? They don’t know the names of the parts of speech that make up sentences (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc., or the role of those in sentences as subjects, objects…etc.), but they do learn that there are certain kinds of words that go together (nouns and verbs, nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs). As they continue to develop, their sentences grow longer and more complex.

 I am going to write about sentences in terms of three dimensions: structure, process(ing) and function. I’m going to begin with structure because structure (form/grammar) is often the way sentences are approached in school.

 STRUCTURE

A few sites are helpful for the purposes of this blog. First is a chapter on Language Development by Amanda C. Brandone, Sara J. Salkind, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff,U. of Delaware and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University

On Language Development. (It was not clear from the link which book contained this chapter) http://udel.edu/~roberta/pdfs/Bear%20chaptBrandone.pdf  In this chapter, the authors use content, form, and use as their framework for discussing language development. They write:

 To better address typical and atypical language development as well as strategies of prevention and intervention, the five structural components of language– phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology, and pragmatics–. may be simplified into three essential aspects of communication: content, form, and use (Bloom & Lahey, 1978). Content refers to the semantics of language—the concepts and ideas that are encoded in words. Form is the way in which meaning is represented, including speech, sign language, and writing. In the context of spoken language, form encompasses phonology, morphology, and syntax. Finally, use refers to the function of language in context. Although each of these aspects of language can be identified separately, they are inherently interconnected elements in communication (Bloom & Lahey). Language problems may arise when there is a disruption within anyone component of the model or in their integration. The following sections consider the typical development of each of these aspects of language.”

 Language Development

This link shows overall language development, but there are several references to the development of sentences:

 “The next crucial milestone in the development of language form occurs when the child discovers that rule-based combinations of words actually express more than the meaning of any of the individual words. For example,

by 17 months children are able to discriminate between ‘‘Cookie Monster is tickling Big Bird’’ and ‘‘Big Bird is tickling Cookie Monster’’ (Hirsh-Pasek & Golinkoff,1996). Comprehension of these rule-based combinations comes prior to production using these rules. Children begin to combine words into two-word utterances (e.g., ‘‘car go’’ and ‘‘more juice’’) between 18 and 24 months. These early word combinations express meaningful relationships yet tend to be missing function words (the, a), auxiliary verbs (am, is, has), and the bound morphemes that mark plural (s), possessive (-’s), or tense (-ing,-ed). As children learn to combine words into longer sequences, they add the function words and bound morphemes that were absent from their first…”

 Their Milestone charts show language development of content, form, and use. Note here the reference to syntax/sentence development across charts.

12-18 mos.

Semantic roles are expressed in one-word speech, including agent, action, object, location, possession, rejection, disappearance, nonexistence, denial.

Words are understood outside of routine games; still need contextual support for lexical comprehension.

18–24 mos.

Average expressive vocabulary size: 200–300 words at 24 mos.

Prevalent relations expressed: agent–action, agent–object, action–object, action–location, entity–location, possessor–possession, demonstrative–entity, attribute-entity.

^Understands basic semantic roles and relations; two word utterances and two syllable words emerge

^Utterances are telegraphic with few grammatical markers

24–30 mos.

Understanding and use of questions about objects (What?), people (Who?), and basic events (What is x doing? Where is x going?

^Use of no, not, don’t as negation between subject and verb; Use of sentences with semi-auxiliaries—gonna, wanna).

30–36 mos.

Use and understand Why? questions.

36–42 mos.

Use and understand semantic relationship between adjacent and conjoined sentences, including additive, temporal, causal, contrastive.

^Present tense auxiliaries appear; be verbs used inconsistently

42–48 mos.

Use and understand ‘‘when’’ and ‘‘how’’ questions.

Use conjunctions and as well as because to conjoin sentences.

^Early emerging complex sentences types, including full prepositional clauses, hi clauses, simple infinitives

48–60 mos.

Use conjunctions when, so, because ,and if

 “…Although most grammatical structures are in place by the age of 5, children continue to acquire more complex forms and rules of grammar in the school setting….”

 …” For most children, the development of language proceeds without difficulty. By the age of 5, typically developing children have mastered the building blocks of the system and are left only to refine and integrate their skills in order to use language in an increasingly complex range of tasks. During the course of the development of language, there is a tremendous range of what can be considered normal.” [Use of bold print mine.]

…”Through interaction with family, peers, teachers, and caregivers, children learn communicative competence, or how to use language appropriately and strategically in social situations (Hymes, 1967). Because we use language for so many purposes, many skills are involved in communicative competence (see Becker-Bryant, 2001)…”

 “Children need to learn to ask questions, make requests, give orders, express agreement or disagreement, apologize, refuse, joke, praise, and tell stories. They must learn social routines (such as saying ‘‘Trick or treat’’ on

Halloween), terms of politeness, and ways to address others. Children must also understand how to initiate, maintain, and conclude conversations, as well as take turns, provide and respond effectively to feedback, and stay on-topic. Crucially, they must learn to be sensitive to their audience and to the situations in which they are communicating. Sophistication in pragmatics continues to develop throughout childhood and into adulthood. [bold mine]

 Some additional references for sentence form/syntax:

Some resources posted on the Brandone et. al. link:

http://www.asha.org/public/

The public page of the website for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers resources to help all audiences better understand communication and communication disorders. It also provides links to early intervention references and professional referral services for access to qualified care.

http://www.bamford-lahey.org

The Bamford-Lahey Children’s Foundation is a foundation dedicated to conducting and supporting programs that will enhance the linguistic, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. The Foundation’s current focus is improving the language development of children with language difficulties.

This website provides a thorough list of references on language disorders as well as information relevant to the goal of developing guidelines on evidence-based practices in child language disorders

 And two other google search links:

Language Development; short; commercial

http://www.education.com/reference/article/language-development-preschool-children/

Images for syntax development

https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+syntax+development&client=gmail&rls=gm&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=BXBNU8C9K-Wb2QW4yYDADw&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1414&bih=641

http://dbsenk.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/understanding-oral-language/

http://www.almightydad.com/general-interest/learning-to-speak-developmental-milestone

 Part 2 of the Sentence Series is on sentence processing.

 

 

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