Reading, speaking and writing in any language are the practical manifestations of three of the four main components of the language. Or these practical activities help to develop not only the basic knowledge of a language, but also its overall acquisition.
To understand the practical activities, we must first get acquainted with the basic concepts. Each language is composed of four main components: phonology, semantics, grammar and pragmatics. The development of the four components takes place gradually and gradually from the earliest childhood, when the language is the mother tongue, or language.
The development of language, in this case, becomes quite natural as the child grows – in parallel with his mental, psychological and emotional development. For this reason, the mother tongue cannot be replaced by any other language. percent.
In multilingual circles it often happens that the main spoken language of the child is different from that of the mother (example: the mother and father are Bulgarians but live in the United Kingdom and have chosen their child to speak English, respectively communicate with him in English, and Bulgarian is used only in conversations with each other.The child absorbs English-speaking environment, communicates in sotsuma only in English and has only indirect access to the native language of his parents).
In this case it is entirely up to the parent whether the child wants to develop several native languages at the same time (if the parents communicate with the child in Bulgarian in the case described above, then both English and Bulgarian will develop at almost similar levels). We at LuckyKids International Camp have always recommended a multilingual environment and the development of two or more languages from early childhood.
But let’s look at the components of speech and their practical dimensions one by one:
- Phonology – studies the organization and use of sounds in natural languages. The phonological system of a language includes a description of the sounds and their characteristics, as well as the rules that determine how the sounds interact. Or it is the sound image of a language. Accordingly, the practical image of this component is speaking (listening, perception) or generally speaking – communication.
When we place the child in a specific language environment, he begins to listen (perceive, absorb) the sound characteristics of the specific language, which develops the phonological aspect. When the child feels stable enough in his knowledge, he also begins to reproduce the sound language , copying / imitating / repeating what he heard.
This is the reason why in LuckyKids International Camp we keep the teachers in their native language – English. In this way the children copy and reproduce according to a phonological model that is closest to the natural one.
Often in school, teachers are people whose mother tongue is not English. They have been taught by teachers whose mother tongue is also not English or there is no continuity. In this case attending a 14-day course where you can communicate with native English speakers is essential for the adequate development of the phonological component.
- Semantics – this component deals with the meaning of words and individual parts of speech. What is the meaning of spoken words.
The practical image of this component is listening / reading comprehension, with awareness of what information the combination of sounds carries. How do teachers and parents understand whether a child understands the content of a text (whether read or spoken in communication practice)?
The best way is to invite the child to tell the content in their own words. Ideally, even when telling in their own words, the child will speak the language in which they have read the text again.
The retelling is not used here to go into all the details, nor to emphasize the literary technique, but to check the extent to which the child manages to understand the content and, if necessary, to supplement his knowledge. .
We at LuckyKids develop this component in the preparation of group, thematic projects. In this practice, children get acquainted with new information on a topic, which they first perceive, and subsequently, through conversations with the teacher, it leads to learning. with understanding. This develops not only the language, but also the very practice of reading comprehension, which is important for the acquisition not only of this language, but also of other languages, as well as for the acquisition of new material in each another area of life.
- Grammar – from Greek “art of letters”. Grammar gives the rules, the structure, the conditions, the framework of the language Every kingdom lives by rules and the language kingdom is no exception.
Grammar has two main sections: morphology and syntax. Morphology deals with the structure of words, and syntax – with the structure of sentences. Here the practical dimension includes all three practices – writing, reading and speaking.
The morphological aspect of grammar is emphasized in younger children, while the syntax is included at a later stage. One of the techniques of mastering these rules is: when the child speaks and constructs the sentence incorrectly (or pronounces an incorrect conjugation of a verb), the teacher does not correct it directly (which is a form of reproach), but repeats what the child says correctl, as if in affirmation of his thesis. In this way the child hears the correct structure and remembers it, without feeling discomfort.
In this version, the rule is learned gradually and non-violently. A little more aggressive practice is memorization – by constantly rewriting the rules. We at LuckyKids do not use the latest practice. We set the rule (it is often heard in class, but not understood), then the children are placed in situations where they understand it and finally – to do it practice to remember it and use it routinely.
- Pragmatics – studies the ways in which the context influences the meaning; that is, “meaning in context and linguistic use.” While semantics emphasizes the literal meaning, pragmatics gives a different nuance — showing how in a different context, the same statement can mean different things. ю
In the gradual upgrade – this is the component that we reach only when we have mastered the first three to some satisfactory degree. The practice used here: in conversations, for example, expressions such as “Break a leg” are used, fables, proverbs are read, riddles are told, metaphors and symbols are used. language-specific is also inherent.
In general, pragmatics in a foreign language can be learned when the child has passed the intermediate level. Free conversations with teachers and animators allow such knowledge to be easily acquired.
All components of language are developed through these three practices: reading, writing and speaking. In an international camp, one day is spent incontinuous practice, because the main spoken language is English.
The results among the children are visible immediately, because the child feels winged and free to express himself in English more and more, with each passing day. And this ace happens without having to memorize. All activities in the camp are directed in this direction.