Language and Literacy

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Language and Literacy what are they? How do they relate? How do we learn them? These are just a few questions one might ask them self when they contemplate the effect language and literacy have on learning. “Forms of language and literacy develop supportively and interactively. Children build on oral language knowledge and practices as they learn to read and write’ they develop key understandings about reading through writing, and they extend their writing range through reading” (Braunger & Lewis, 2005). This illustrates how at even the most basic level, language and literacy are interconnected from the very beginning. Therefore, in order to dissect each to see how children learn each, one needs to have a full understanding of both language and literacy apart from each other before one can fully understand how they work together. Language is first and foremost functional. It can be divided into two parts; written language and oral language. “Language is essential to learning, and ready, as a specialized form of language, is not only a basic skill, it is an indispensible tool for critical and creative thinking” (Braunger & Lewis 2005). There are many similarities between written and oral language, “Reading, writing, speaking and listening, at the deep levels of production and comprehension, are parallel manifestations of the same vital human function – the mind’s effort to create meaning’(Cambourne, 1988)” (Braunger & Lewis, 2005). For both written and oral language development, children go through a similar learning process; seeing/hearing, recognizing, awareness of the differences in what they are seeing/hearing, participation in speaking/writing (Braunger & Lewis, 2005). While there are many similarities, the two modes of language are different in many complex and interesting ways. These differences are due to such “pragmatic factors as psychological and physical distance from audience, function, amount of time people have to produce language, and...
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