Language In Abundance - Jannie Van Hees

Language in Abundance - Where will you put your lens?

Can you think with depth and breadth if you don't have the words to express yourself?

2/3 of a lot of our children's day does not expose them to complex language. Our challenge is to make sure the 6 hours we have with them is to expose to them to as much rich language as possible.

We want our kids to do well in education to then step up and be 'higher players' in society, how do we get the parent and caregiver to be more educated?

We know that education levels in the family are going to make a difference to their children - if we say there are a large number of families here that don't have higher education it doesn't mean they are NOT going to able to scaffold and help their children.

You can't spend your day gathering ideas from the children.

What are the trio of lens?

- Explicit attention to language
- Attention to co-contributors
- Optimising envieonmental conditions

Language carries knowledge, knowledge carries language. We need both.

Every baby has this immense, astounding ability to learn - this relies on bonding and love, if there is not strong bonding and love from the time the baby is out of the womb - this is a worry.

When the baby is born it has to have LARGE amounts of language that are of quality and are context relevant.

Quantity matters but more than anything else QUALITY matters. Just because there is talk with the child it doesn't mean it is quality enough to be the difference maker.

'Other's' language available to me'  .... 'Me trying out and using'

An immensely well planned well resourced study - in about 16 ECE in low socio economic, they realised there is a knowledge gap which is caused because there isn't enough exchange about quality info. These 16 ECEs received 60 - 100 informational books. They did PD with the ECE teachers about informational books, they took some little work shops with the families, they were anticipating a result - they anticipated improvement - guess what ? There was hardly anything. The great learning from this is, lots of informational books being read - without the talk after and discussion, meant there wasn't any AQUSITION of language. Acquisition potential of children is astounding - their brains have this capacity to uptake - only under OPTIMAL CONDITIONS.

In the end, in the spoken language that goes on and is available in your classroom, it has to pushing children to the edge of where they are capable of being. Not so that it is too hard or complex, but where we push them with a beautiful scaffold, it is all about high expectations.

Flourishing Learning Potential

1 - Optimising Learning and Interactional Conditions
2 - Elaboratie Style Pedagogical Responses
3 - Scaffolding Learners to become effective Conversationalists
4 - Planning Preparing Providing Language Acquisition potential

FOCUS 1: Flourishing Learning Potential
- Attention to noticing
- Effortful and purposeful engagement and interaction
- ALL participating
- Triggering the 'known' to connect the 'new'
- 'Stretching the learner's current language repertoire
- Multiple encounters
- Context relevant
- Facilitated through engaging mediating tools - persons, tasks, activities, resources

Would I be able to say what I've prepared and what I am planning to do is going to stretch every child's capability, open up the unknown, that every single child will be somehow cognitively and verbally involved.

It is the cunningness of not only selecting what is at the cutting edge of the children, but it is also HOW you do it, so it pulls them in and they love it- this is EVERY CHILD.

- Focus and notice
- Put in the effort
Take part (participate) fully
- Push yourself to the edge
- Dig deep for what you already know
- Learn from others - notice and focus
- You share - others gain from you
- Think and talk; think and read
- WONDERING and ASKING opens up possibilities to know.

The journey is relentless until it is habitus for the children. Effort and attitude, somehow or another we have got to get it so that it is such an embedded characteristic that the kids just DO IT.

We need to think of more valuable and dynamic ways of providing education to our children.


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