Thursday, 4 April 2019

Language Acquisition

At our CoL meeting, Dr. Jannie Van Hees talked to us about language. She referred to language in two different ways:

- Being able to receive the language (decoding)
- Being able to use the language (comprehension)

She emphasised the importance of learning being active. This is important to retain learner attention. This includes the process of being metacognitive with the children. This process of metacognition is something which we are always looking into and is a huge part of the way we do maths in our school (DMIC maths).

Jannie discussed the importance of detail. She talked about how it is easy for the default to become less detail however as teachers, we should constantly be trying to pull more detail out from the children.

Another thing that Jannie talked about which matches messages we have received from the DMIC mentors who come into the classroom is the idea that expecting hands up is something that is hindering language.

Jannie challenged us to think about whether this is something that is common across the classrooms in our school and also across our schools in Manaiakalani. I strongly believe this is a common occurrence and is something which we are constantly reflecting on, particularly in maths. A challenge to myself is to think about how I can extend this understanding to reading and writing so that language acquisition (particularly oral language) is a focus right through the school day and then also into the digital world when children are learning from home.

Dr Jannie Van Hees (2019)

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