chapter  1
12 Pages

Language development

ByPamela McKeown

Research and experience are bringing greater understanding of how children learn and the difficulties they encounter. Every parent and teacher has personal experience of the emotional release of language used by children in anger—and how the need to express aggression in physical terms is reduced when insults and angry words can be offered instead. Language has special significance in ritual. Many civilisations have believed that the use of someone's name gives the speaker power over the person. Language has both meaning and structure. Words have to be identified and later strung together in an accepted order if meaning is to be transferred from one person to another. Parents help or hinder according to how well they support the teacher, whether they ask to have the method by which their child is learning explained, so that they can avoid hurtful or damaging observations and comparisons.