chapter  9
14 Pages

Language and thought

This chapter examines the importance of language itself in terms of thinking and learning. It looks at the role of the home and the community in terms of children's cognition. The chapter deals with the role of the school or setting in terms of children's cognition. The essence of language seems to be twofold: that it is symbolic and that its primary purpose is communication. There is the language of mathematics and the language of music, for example. Both use symbols combined together according to specific and defined rules and these are used to communicate thoughts and ideas and relationships and feelings. Children become able to use speech and language as tools in their problem-solving because speech allows them to reflect on and consider what they are doing. In time language becomes a more and more useful term for abstract thought. Children inhabit complex cultural worlds and to each new field or context children bring a store of cultural capital.