The Brain-Changing Power of Conversation The Science Researchers used highly faithful audio recorders — a system called Language Environment Analysis (known as LENA) — to capture every word spoken or heard by 36 4–6 year olds from various socioeconomic backgrounds over two full days. The recordings were analyzed to measure the number of words spoken by each child, the number of words spoken to each child, and the number of conversational turns — back-and-forth exchanges initiated by either adult or child. Comparing those measurements with brain scans of the individual children, the analysis found that differences in the number of conversational turns accounted for differences in brain physiology, as well as for differences in language skills including vocabulary, grammar, and verbal reasoning. Read the MIT News story for a fuller summary of the research. The Takeaways
MIT Brain Study: Back-And-Forth Talk Key To Developing Kids' Verbal Skills New MIT research finds that for children's brain development, parents don't just need to talk to their kids — it's important to talk with them, in back-and-forth exchanges. "What we found is, the more often parents engaged in back-and-forth conversation with their child, the stronger was the brain response in the front of the brain to language," said cognitive neuroscience professor John Gabrieli. Story continues below Most Viewed Stories How can parents and teachers best educate young children? What principles can both teachers and parents bring to the education of very young children? Gillian Craig, who was part of the Learning Time with Shaun and Timmy writing team, explains. As teachers and parents, we follow certain principles in our roles. Often though, these principles overlap and all we need to do is recognise and reinforce these areas.
Teaching English to learners with Special Educational Needs (SENs) – Myths and realities ‘I know I have children with special educational needs in my class, I want to help them and we are supposed to promote inclusion, but I really am not sure how to do this’ Vera, primary teacher from Spain ‘Some of the children in my class are really badly behaved, they can’t sit still, don’t finish their work and are always calling out. I think they might have a learning difficulty, but I don’t know what to do’ Kris, secondary teacher from Poland Do you feel like these teachers?
Sound Words: Examples of Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is a fun, linguistic tool used in literature, songs and advertisements. Now that you've seen examples of the individual words, consider the following examples of onomatopoeia words in use. Take a look at the different onomatopoeia examples in Todd Rundgren's song, appropriately named Onomatopoeia. "Onomatopoeia every time I see yaMy senses tell me hubbaAnd I just can't disagree.I get a feeling in my heart that I can't describe. . .It's sort of whack, whir, wheeze, whineSputter, splat, squirt, scrapeClink, clank, clunk, clatterCrash, bang, beep, buzzRing, rip, roar, retchTwang, toot, tinkle, thudPop, plop, plunk, powSnort, snuck, sniff, smackScreech, splash, squish, squeakJingle, rattle, squeal, boingHonk, hoot, hack, belch."
The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids What do we make of a boy like Thomas? Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the highly competitive P.S. 334, the Anderson School on West 84th. Slim as they get, Thomas recently had his long sandy-blond hair cut short to look like the new James Bond (he took a photo of Daniel Craig to the barber). Unlike Bond, he prefers a uniform of cargo pants and a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of one of his heroes: Frank Zappa. Thomas hangs out with five friends from the Anderson School. Schema and Fairies Schemas are one of those things that divide practitioners, like fairies at the bottom of the garden. You either believe in them and are in absolute awe at how amazing they are, or you just don’t believe they exist. It’s really interesting when you discuss this with people and it’s extra exciting when a ‘non-believer’ suddenly says “That describes my key child exactly!!” But first of all, let’s explore what a schema is. Athey (2007) defines schema as ‘patterns of behaviour and thinking in children that exist underneath the surface feature of various contents, contexts and specific experience’ (page 5). Nutbrown (2011) extends this to patterns of ‘action and behaviour’ (page 10).
Ten ways to support your child’s English-learning at home As the British Council opens a new Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy centre in Mexico for two- to six-year-olds, senior teacher Sarah Reid offers some useful tips for supporting your child’s learning at home. More and more parents want their children to learn English from a young age. I often meet parents of children as young as two or three who say that proficiency in speaking English will help their child 'get ahead in a globalised world'.