Language and Literacy in Education

Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Language and Literacy in Education

Introduction

Reading proficiency is an important factor in the mental development and academic progress of individuals from childhood into adulthood. In fact, according to Hernandez, if students do not become proficient in reading by third grade, they will be up to four times more likely to drop out of high-school when compared to students that have proficient in reading skills (2012). Furthermore, children living in poverty were much less likely to graduate from high school, and more likely to have reading deficiencies in their early childhood (Hernandez, 2012). Nevertheless, it is important for parents and educators from all backgrounds to better understand the role of literacy on the cognitive development and academic progress of individuals. Therefore, this article will attempt to inform parents and educators this role of literacy through an analysis of research concerning the power of language, science and linguistics, the development of language, the impact of technology on the development of literacy in young children, and the effect of literacy on cognitive development. It then examines the best practices for teaching writing, the environmental development of literacy in children and adolescents, and the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and academic achievement. Lastly, this article analyzes teaching literacy through TPRS, describes how to address literacy learning in low-income environments, and provides example activities for educators.

The Power of Language

Language increases our personal strengths and enables us to better understand the world by enabling us to access and disseminate concepts and information. The influential civil rights leader, Malcolm X, came to this realization while struggling to comprehend the meaning of vocabulary terms found in the literature he was reading during his imprisonment at the Norfolk Prison Colony (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986). It was not until after many months of memorizing definitions from a dictionary that he was able to truly understand the meaning of the books that he was previously unable to comprehend (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986). The power of language became so important to Malcolm X that he even described his time reading in prison as being the first time he felt true freedom (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986). The feeling of freedom that Malcolm X described in his writing is possibly due to the increase in thought function associated with concept recognition and neural connectivity. As vocabulary allows people to make connections between ideas and events which occur in daily life. His expanded vocabulary could have also influenced his ability to express his deep feelings towards inequality effectively enough to earn his leadership role during the civil rights movement.

Language not only enables us to better understand the world and to express ourselves, but it also allows us to make connections between ideas and analyze ourselves or situations with more precision. Bergen Evans explains that there is a link between our vocabulary, the choices we make, and our emotional responses. He argues that it is possible to eliminate our prejudices and emotionally charged habits if we increase our verbal vocabulary proficiency (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986). For example, a person who describes someone as being idiotic, may not fully understand why they feel this way about the person. If the person were to use a more descriptive term, like introverted, to describe the other person, he may find that there is fewer negativite feelings towards the person. Also, by using a richer vocabulary term, the person may be able to identify a new problem, ask the correct question, and subsequently find a solution to the problem (Why is this person uncommunicative? What can I do to help the person be more outgoing?). Evans also explains that using vocabulary with more precision can help us to avoid conflict, as seen when the U.S. used the word quarantine instead of blockade during the Cuban missile crisis (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986). This word choice used by the United States government helped reduce the risk of war (because no one understood what quarantine meant) by allowing Russia to save face when removing the missiles from Cuba (Rosa, Clark, & Eschholz, 1986).

Language can help individuals to better understand the world and enhance their ability to analyze situations, and it can also be used to persuade us to make uninformed decisions. In the documentary The Persuaders, Dr. Frank Luntz conducted market research for an energy company in order to identify words that the public find agreeable. The market research was conducted using focus group interviews that examined the emotional responses that group members had towards terms describing a project of the company. Dr. Luntz has been very successful at collecting data concerning the power of language on public opinion, which is used for political and corporate interests. Luntz’s ability to manipulate public opinion using for political gain can be seen in his recommendation to the conservative party to refer to the estate tax as the death tax (Vogt, 2004). He even helped decrease the negative connotations of global warming by calling it climate change (Vogt, 2004).

The practice of using misleading terminology to build support for ideas expressed by government and commercial industries are further explained in Dr. Luntz book Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear. In this book Dr. Luntz explained how the Obama campaign swayed public opinion during the 2008 presidential election by using positive messages of hope for the future to influence the public support (Luntz, 2008). He explains that companies and political organizations understand that most people’s language skills are functional at best, and it messages are delivered primarily on the basis that it is not important what is said, but what people hear (2008). For example, Al Gore used academic vocabulary to criticize Bush while speaking at Harvard during the 2000 presidential election, and because he used complex words, many people with poor vocabulary viewed his speech with suspicion (Luntz, 2008). Luntz found that using short sentences also helps to deliver messages to people because they can often help to eliminate confusion. If a picture is more effective at conveying a message to people than a sentence, then the picture should be used (Luntz, 2008). Credibility and consistency are also necessary to consider when using language to reach people, because people will change their views based on changes that are made to ideas or things they are already accustomed to culturally (Luntz, 2008). The sound and texture of words are also very important when trying to reach an audience because similar sounding words, or terms appealing to novelty, are much more memorable and catchy (Luntz, 2008). Lastly, speaking aspirational and providing context should be considered when using language because both principles help to create emotional appeal and make people feel necessity when making choices (Luntz, 2008).

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Science and Linguistics
An individual’s language and literacy rate has a strong connection to their world view or conceptual perception. A language is in itself a huge system of rules that connect ideas in ways that are permitted by socially acceptable grammar principles. Every language has different vocabulary usage norms and grammar rules that cause thinking to occur in predictable patterns (Whorf, 1940). For example, an Aboriginal in Australia expresses directions instead of time frames when they speak their language. An individual could ask them at any time what direction they are facing and they could tell you immediately (they might even think of you a dim witted for asking something so obvious to them). This is possibly due to the importance of knowing directions while traveling in the harsh Australian outback (Whorf, 1940). It is important to note that English has a very efficient system for keeping track of directions, but this usage is mild when compared to the Aboriginal People (Whorf, 1940). This signifies that language develops due to environmental factors, which influence the vocabulary and grammar systems that in turn affect the overall patterns of a person’s thought and perspective (Whorf, 1940). Language has a substantial effect on the way that we think. In fact, the word “think” enables us to think about thinking. If this word were not in our vocabulary, we would have a very difficult time solving problems that involve combinations of thought (Whorf, 1940). Vocabulary terms also enable us to internalize concepts into categories that illuminate confusion when thinking and communicating. Using a single word to describe a concept allows more ideas to be combined, without needing to explain every single aspect of the thought being expressed. Grammatical rules also enable us to combine the vocabulary terms in ways that allow us to join, compare, and contrast ideas or concepts (Whorf, 1940). A person that is unable to use grammatical formulas in this way would be impaired in terms of their organization of thought. Therefore, language affects the process of thinking in that it compiles concepts through terminology, and allows these terms to be organized through grammar.

The Cognitive Development of Language

During infancy and early childhood, the brain undergoes synaptogenesis, creating an amount of neural synapsis that far exceed the level seen in adults (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Following synaptogenesis, the brain then begins synaptic pruning, continually growing and shedding synapsis that increase brain efficiency and specialization (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Myelination also occurs, producing a fatty substance around neural axons that increase the speed of electrical charges that transmit messages within the brain (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). This is a sensitive period for cognitive development as learning accelerates and neural commitments are created as a response to environmental stimulus, which plays a role in the development of language in the brain (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). In fact, research points out that if children do not gain proficient reading skills by third grade, they will be much more likely to drop out of high school in the future (Fertig, Chavez, and Mckone, 2016). The development of reading proficiency during this time is associated with the level of white matter tracts in the brains of children. Nikki Arington found that reading accuracy, word reading fluency, and reading comprehension are all associated with patches of white matter pathways (specifically the AF, IFOF, ILF, and UF) in the brain, with typical readers having greater white matter integrity than poor readers (2015). Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development mentions that language and thought development during childhood are separate, but become intertwined around the age of two, which is when children typically engage in self-talk when performing tasks (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Piaget explains that around the age of two, children enter the preoperational stage of cognitive development, which is associated with the rapid expansion of vocabulary and grammar language structures (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Piaget also explains that children organize past learning experiences into schemes, or thought patterns, that are created through the assimilation and accommodation of information in their physical and social environment (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Vygotsky believes that there is a zone of proximal development (ZPD) where children can improve cognitive function through tasks that have scaffolded social support (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). This signifies that it is important for parents and educators to promote cognitive growth by challenging children with difficult tasks that correspond to individual constructivism, social constructivism, readiness for completing tasks, mediated learning experiences, scaffolding, apprenticeships, reciprocal teaching, ample amounts of play time, and through engagement in authentic activities (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013). Moreover, parents and educators should scaffold challenges by asking constructive questions, providing guidance and feedback, offering learning material and support, promoting communication in regards to tasks, dividing complex tasks into smaller parts, and by gradually reducing guidance to increase autonomy (McDecitt & Ormrod, 2013).

Impact of Television and Cell Phone Usage on the Literacy Rates of Young Children

The daily use of technology is an unavoidable and necessary part of modern life in the United States. Understanding the effect of technology on reading and literacy can help parents and teachers to create tasks and regulations that promote positive growth in academics. Hofferth and Moon conducted a study that examined how cell phone usage relates to reading proficiency in children and adolescents. In their study, Hofferth and Moon found that children who spent a majority of their time talking on their phone had significantly lower scores when decoding words (2012). However, the lower test scores may be associated with the amount of time that a child spends reading, which may be lower with children who choose to talk on their phone. Hofferth and Moon also found that an increase amount of time spent sending text messages had a positive effect on reading proficiency (2012). This may be caused by an increased exposure to written words while texting. Furthermore, Hofferth and Moon found that family employment, maternal education, and race and ethnicity had the largest effect on reading comprehension and word decoding (2012). This is most likely due to underlying factors involving poverty rates and educational disparity in the United States.

Television is another technology that plays an important role in the daily life of children. Annie Moses completed a literature review of the effect of television on children, and found that moderate television usage had a positive effect on literacy development (2008). Moses also found that the quality of the television show content influenced the rate of literacy development in children (2008). For example, educational shows like Sesame Street tended to show improvements in literacy development when compared to shows that contained low quality of content (Moses, 2008). Nevertheless, an emphasis on increasing the amount of time spent reading and interacting with language should be considered when deciding the amount of technology usage that is acceptable for children. Making observations about the amount of time children spend interacting with language is a much better gauge of literacy development than tracking technology usage. 

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Vocabulary Knowledge and Academic Achievement

The vocabulary knowledge gained by students directly relates to academic achievement, and is an important factor in determining the difficulty of textbooks and standardized testing (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). There has been a push by many schools to explicitly teach vocabulary and spelling, which has been proven to be ineffective when looking at language improvement rates. This is possibly because the average amount of vocabulary terms that are used in schools (180,000) and known by students (80,000), would be nearly impossible to teach explicitly in class (40 words per day) (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). Learning the definitions of a vocabulary term does not necessarily signify that someone understands the meaning of a word. However, understanding the meaning and usage of a word should allow a person to connect ideas and feeling to the word, which will enable them to define the word without ever studying the definition (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). Definitions may also be confusing when learning vocabulary because a word can have many different meanings, and dictionary definitions do not always enable students to use vocabulary correctly (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). Anderson and Nagy explain that typical students learn anywhere from 2,000-6,000 terms per school year, and of these terms, less than 300 will be taught explicitly in a class (1993). This shows us that students learn a majority of their vocabulary knowledge by making contextual connections while reading.

But does this mean that vocabulary should not be taught in class? Not necessarily. Anderson and Nagy think that instructors should teach vocabulary in a way that encourages the students to become curious about the meaning of the words (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). If the students are interested in learning a vocabulary term, they can delve deeper into its meaning by using a dictionary as a reference (especially for high frequency words that have context). It is very important for instructors to teach strategies that can help students make connections and educated guesses towards the meaning of words, and teach about the nuances of words that share a similar meaning (Anderson & Nagy, 1993). Jargon and subject specific vocabulary should be taught along with conceptual information that is presented systematically, with an emphasis on inquiry and discovery (Anderson & Nagy, 1993).

Research conducted by Hart & Risley found that explicitly teaching vocabulary in pre-K classrooms may not be justifiable since vocabulary and IQ development is primarily influenced by implicit social interactions (1992). The most significant results came from the following parental variables: present in activities, joins in activities, responds to initiations, and vocabulary usage variations (Hart & Risley, 1992). The parents that engaged with their children the least uttered less than 100 different vocabulary terms, and around 200 words overall per hour. The children with the most engaging parents were exposed to around 500 different vocabulary terms and up to 4000 words per hour (Hart & Risley, 1992). This data implies that an increase in implicit language exposure affects the language learning outcomes of the children. The main concern of educators should then be to focus on increasing the amount of time spent interacting with the students, and to make an effort to improve language variation patterns in an individualized manner. Whether or not teaching vocabulary explicitly is a good idea for pre-K classes may depend on individual teaching practices. If the students enjoy learning the vocabulary and it increases their overall vocabulary usage and word variation rates in peer-to-peer interactions, then explicitly teaching vocabulary might be useful. However, if there are observed declines in the overall interaction rates and language usage variations rates within the classroom, implicit teaching may be a better option to consider when lesson planning.

The amount of ELL or low-SES students in the classroom may also affect whether or not vocabulary should be taught explicitly. The students in these populations may benefit from explicit vocabulary instruction if they have difficulty understanding the language used by the instructor in class, as long as the instruction makes the vocabulary usage more clear. The most important aspect of deciding whether or not to explicitly teach vocabulary is to evaluate whether or not it interferes with overall student engagement rates and the diversity of language used in class. (What are the benefits or limitations when teaching these terms? Can the students figure out the meaning of the terms without explicit instruction?) In any case, the overall goal should be to emulate the patterns of the most engaging parents, and expose the students to the appropriate amount of words per hour (500), while providing the students with comprehensible input, individualized to meets the needs of each individual in the class.

Black English Vernacular

Studying BEV is a good way to understand the problems associated with English proficiency in schools with high rates of Black and Hispanic students. Being able to recognize the major grammatical errors (possession, verb tenses, copula) that cause problems in communication, reading, and writing, can help educators to analyze and intervene with students who are overly reliant on BEV. Primary school teachers should put emphasis on pronunciation since it is one of the major deviations between BEV and Standard English (Labov, 1998). However, there should be some lenience towards allowing students to use BEV in class as long as it does not cause misunderstandings and maintains clarity when expressing ideas. The main concern of not allowing BEV in class is that the student’s may be fearful of expressing themselves, and learning may decrease as a result (Labov, 1998). However, it is possible that trying to correct every single deviation from Standard English may be very productive in class, because BEV was learned socially and will continue to be used outside the classroom.
The best way to decrease a student’s dependence on BEV is to change their social environment and integrate high and low-SES students in schools (Labov, 1998). Changing the social learning environment may be more effective at decreasing BEV use, because the students will have more exposure to Standard English, and there will be purpose for maintaining the use of Standard English in class. If student’s environment is centered on BEV and they are consistently corrected by the teacher for using BEV in class, they may become defiant and rebel against authority (Labov, 1998). If the student’s environment is diverse, the teacher can correct the student’s language usage without being offensive, because the language environment will be more representative of how English is used throughout the United States. In this environment the student will have to adapt due to social pressure rather than on the basis of authority.

In terms of teachers allowing BEV in writing depends entirely on the capability of the student being analyzed. If students are unable to express themselves without using BEV in writing, then teachers should allow it and work with each student to correct the errors in a natural, non-judgmental manner. Students who have a strong grasp of Standard English, yet still use BEV to express themselves in a clear manner should not be corrected, as long as they understand the strengths and limitations of using BEV in writing. Labov suggests that reading teachers treat language deviations as mistakes, but primary school teachers should accept some pronunciation differences in order to maintain the confidence level of students (1998). Primary school teachers should also place emphasis on grammatical structures and pay attention to silent letters (Labov, 1998). The teacher should be aware of homonyms associated with BEV, and allow pronunciation differences in reading class, but they should still make sure that correct grammar is used during reading. Being aware of the differences between BEV and Standard English is essential for the teacher to improve their student’s reading ability, while avoiding unnecessary critique that harm student confidence levels (Labov, 1998). Adger, Wolfram, and Christian’s recommendations differ from Labov, in that more emphasis is placed on the background knowledge of the students. If the students are given readings that relate to their cultural world view, they will be more likely to make inferences while reading text (Adger, Wolfram, & Christian, 2007). Adgar, Wolfram, and Christian also call for an increase in academic English being used in oral group activities so that learning occurs naturally through self-analysis of errors (2007).

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Best Practices for Teaching Writing

Common Core State Standards set a series of benchmarks to improve writing instruction in K-12 schools. The meta-analysis written by Graham, McKeown, Harris, and Kiuhara identify the best practices for teaching writing at the elementary school level. The results were categorized into 14 genres which include; strategy instruction, self-regulation, text structure, creativity/imagery instruction, teaching transcription skills, Grammar instruction, prewriting activities, peer assistance, product goals, writing assessments, word processing, extra writing, and comprehensive writing programs (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). The researchers found that strategy instruction (task specific writing strategies, background knowledge, and self-motivating reinforcement) increased the positive effects of instruction, provided that educators were providing collaborative and individualized instruction (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Adding self-regulation instruction to strategy instruction showed positive results, but was not statistically greater than the sampling error (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012).

Teaching text structure (summary, vocabulary, and reading) displayed significantly positive improvement for the students. Creativity and imagery instruction showed positive results, but was not directly applied to the creative writing process (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Transcription skills (handwriting, spelling) showed positive results for learning writing but the results were not significant (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Grammar instruction showed negative results for language instruction, however, it could be argued that these results are inaccurate, and may reflect ineffective teaching strategies. Prewriting activities such as drawing pictures or taking notes had significant effects on quality instruction (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Collaboration between students while writing significantly increased overall learning outcome for improving writing quality (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Adult feedback and peer/self-feedback both showed positive learning outcomes, with adult feedback showing larger improvements (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Word processing instruction displayed positive effects, but the results were not significant (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Giving extra writing time to students improved learning outcomes, but the results were not significant. Typically, extra writing time should be used as an accommodation technique for students who struggle academically. The authors found that teaching planning, regulation procedures, creative imagery, text structure, and transcription skills were important for improving students learning outcomes (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Collaborative activities, goal setting, organizational skills, and feedback loops showed positive results for writing instruction (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012). Other suggested strategies that displayed positive results include offering the alternate modes of composing (word processing, hand writing), increasing time spent writing, and implementing comprehensive writing programs (Graham, McKeown, Kiuhara, & Harris, 2012).

The overall results of this study may be limited for implementing techniques in practical instruction due to the sample size, and ineffective elaboration of results. Classroom teaching efficiency can also vary extensively because of external factors such as school resources, location, class size, demographics, and teacher experience. Comprehensible input, modeling, scaffolding lessons, individualization, and organizational strategies tend to show the greatest improvements in student writing levels in my personal experience teaching writing. Grammar and vocabulary practice being implicitly taught (using individualization) and immediately applied to writing have also show positive results in my classes because they increase instructional clarity. However, the ability for educators to identify and provide information regarding grammar and vocabulary usage is limited to the experience of the teacher. Teaching academic vocabulary also becomes increasingly important as students’ progress through middle school, but should not be taught to primary school students due to background knowledge limitations. Having the students write about topics that relate to their cultural and linguistic background knowledge can also increase writing quality due to an increased understanding of content. Lastly, individualization and immediate feedback are extremely important for improving writing proficiency, because it allows students to understand the writing process holistically and increases confidence and accountability.

Comparing Total Physical Response to English Language Teaching Guidelines

Jean Oliver is an experiences language teacher who experimented with increasing the language learning proficiency of her students using the Total Physical Response and Storytelling teaching modals. In her class, the students were required to learn Spanish by reading and creating short stories with grammar rules and vocabulary lists relevant to their level. Jean Oliver’s teaching techniques used high frequency words used in a reading context that allowed the students to make connections between word meanings implicitly. Oliver reinforced this information by having the students create stories through the use of communicate strategies (group work, repetitive questions, collaborative story formulation), and through writing practice based on the class topic (Oliver, 2012). This practice adheres to Norbert Schmitt’s vocabulary teaching and learning guidelines from the International Handbook of English Language Teaching in that reading skills were stressed in the class to improve vocabulary, students had multiple exposures to vocabulary terms, high frequency words were targeted for learning, sequences of words were used together, word parts were taught using verb conjugation, and some meta-cognitive strategies were used for learning vocabulary (Cummins & Davison, 2007).

 Reading to learn vocabulary was specifically encouraged by Schmitt as he described reading as being the best way to start learning a language, outside of being in an immersive environment (Cummins & Davison, 2007). Learning word pairs, cross association between words, examining the underlying meaning of words, and teaching word families should be stressed when using the TPRS methodology. Furthermore, it is important that the reading methods found in TPRS stress vocabulary that is immediately useful in daily communication, and may focus on low frequency vocabulary before students have mastered high frequency terms. The students may have trouble finding the deeper meaning of some low frequency vocabulary terms that are found in the readings. This may waste some of the class time and effort required for students to acquire the vocabulary knowledge. However, if this problem is observed, it could be addressed by deciding which words to emphasize in class, requiring reinforcement activities as homework, explicitly teaching the deeper meaning of some terms, and having class activities that explore the uses of high frequency words Cummins & Davidson, 2007). However, it is important to note that some of these teaching practices may already be used by Oliver in class, but were not mentioned in the article. More information would need to be assessed in order to make any concrete critiques about her teaching strategy.

Example Instructional Activities for Educators 
Culturally responsive instruction that creates a safe community for learning while focusing on each student’s motivation and background. It is important to establish this environment at the beginning of class by completing activities that require collaboration and involve connecting the background knowledge of each student to class content (Olson, Scarcella, & Matuchniak, 2015).

Sample Exercise: Provide the students with a modal paragraph and have the students work together to describe the meaning of their partner’s name. When they finish the task, they must exchange papers and rewrite the paragraph below the modal. They can choose an image to place next to their paragraph if class resources are sufficient.

Many reports have found that students struggle with cognitive strategies related to academic reading and writing. It is important for teachers to use modeling, scaffolding, guided practice, comprehensible academic text, and cognitive strategies (ex. Planning), in order to increase learning outcomes (Olson, Scarcella, & Matuchniak, 2015).

Sample Exercise: Have the students make predictions about the text before reading by using a graphic organizer that encourages analysis of picture and words in a text. First, the students must examine the title and write about what they think the text may be about.
Next, the students look at visuals within the text in order to make associations to what
they think the text will explain. Third, the students will find common words within the text
and explain how they might relate to the title, pictures, and possible content of the text.
This exercise could also be used to help build vocabulary and assess the students
background knowledge on the topic.

It is necessary for educators to scaffold class content in order to make challenging tasks more approachable for students. This can be achieved by providing the students with graphic organizers which teach analytical and organizational skills to students when reading and preparing to write essays (Olson, Scarcella, & Matuchniak, 2015).

Sample Exercise: T charts can be used to allow the students to compare and contrast ideas when reading, or state the positive and negative aspects of a topic when writing. This will help the students to keep track of important information, organize ideas, and prepare outlines for writing topics. In more advanced writing courses, the students can make a t-chart for their thesis, and each topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph. They can also be used to organize sources next to the ideas expressed in each section of the t-chart.

Conclusion

This article first found that language is a powerful tool that can be used to make connections between ideas and events which occur in daily life, make connections between ideas and analyze ourselves or situations with more precision, and persuade and manipulate the decision making process. Next, it found that language affects the process of thinking by compiling concepts through terminology that are organized through grammar structures. Third, it found that it is important to support literacy growth during early childhood, since the brain is going through a sensitive period of growth that can be enhanced through promoting challenges, and offering support. Fourth, it found that technology can be used to promote literacy growth as long as it promotes language interactions. Fifth, it analyzed a series of recommended strategies that can help students improve explicit language learning outcomes. Sixth, it examined Black English Vernacular and provided recommendations for improving student levels of Standard English. Next, it examined TPRS and explained methods for teaching language literacy from the International Handbook of English Language Teaching. Finally, it provided a selection of activities that addressed culturally responsive teaching, cognitive strategies for reading and writing, and the implementation of scaffolding techniques. In the future, it is important for parents and teachers to consider these principles when approaching literacy development in children and adolescents, and be aware that the quality and quantity of language interaction directly relates to overall literacy development, especially during early childhood development.

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References

Adger, C. T., Wolfram, W., & Christian, D. (2007). Dialects in schools and communities (2nd     ed.). United States: Routledge Member of the Taylor and Francis Group.

Anderson, R., & Nagy, W. (1993). The Vocabulary Conundrum. Technical Report No. 570

Arrington, N. (2015). White Matter Microstructure in Relation to Reading Proficiency and           Behavioral Inattention.

Cummins, J., & Davison, C. (Eds.). (2007). International handbook of English language teaching (Springer international handbooks of education). New York: Springer-Verlag            New York.

Fertig, B., Chavez, S., & Mckone, J. (2016). To Teach Kids To Read And Write, Sometimes You            Have To Get Creative. Retrieved from        http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/05/26/479169956/to-teach-kids-to-read-and-write-           sometimes-you-have-to-get-creative

Graham, S., McKeown, D., Kiuhara, S., & Harris, K. R. (2012). A meta-analysis of writing          instruction for students in the elementary grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(4), 879–896. doi:10.1037/a0029185

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1992). American parenting of language-learning children: Persisting     differences in family-child interactions observed in natural home environments.           Developmental Psychology, 28(6), 1096–1105. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.28.6.1096

Hernandez, D. (2012). Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence             High School Graduation. Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from     http://gradelevelreading.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Double-Jeopardy-Report-   030812-for-web1.pdf

Hofferth, S. L., & Moon, U. J. (2012). Cell phone use and child and adolescent reading     proficiency. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1(2), 108–122.         doi:10.1037/a0027880

Labov, W. (1998). Language in the inner city: Studies in the black English vernacular (9th ed.).             Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Luntz, F. I. (2008). Words that work: It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear. New York:      Hyperion e-book.

McDevitt, Teresa M., and Jeanne Ellis. Ormrod (2013). Child Development and Education.                      5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2013. 98-107. Print.

Moses, A. M. (2008). Impacts of television viewing on young children’s literacy development in the USA: A review of the literature. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 8(1), 67–102.             doi:10.1177/1468798407087162

Oliver, J. (2012). Investigating Storytelling Methods in a Beginning Level College Class. The      Language Educator

Olson, C. B., Scarcella, R. C., & Matuchniak, T. (2015). Helping English learners to write:          Meeting common core standards, grades 6-12. United States: Teachers’ College Press.

Rosa, A. F., Clark, V. P., & Eschholz, P. (1986). Language awareness (2nd ed.). United States:   St. Martin’s Press.

Vogt, R., & Rushkoff, D. [Robert Vogt]. (2004, November 9). Pbs Frontline: The Persuaders      Retrieved from    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/interviews/luntz.html

Whorf, B. (1940). Science and Linguistics. Reprint from Technol. Rev., 42(2), 229–231, 247–      248.

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