Technology aids in Language Acquisition

When the technology is best used it could yield huge benefits. It could reap many benefits in child’s learning.

technology connects mind and builds language

In the recent times, there has been a constant uproar on the pros and cons technology carries with itself. One side of the coin strongly advocates the advantages. To mention a few, it has made life easy, there is lesser need to move around as all is easily available on a click.

Whereas the other aspect mentions technology as biggest contributor to human’s immobility. Due to lack of movement, we have invited many illnesses like obesity , high blood pressure etc. Furthermore, it has limited family conversations . Nowadays there wont be a house with people chatting looking at each other. On the other hand, we visualize a house wherein everyone is occupied in her smart phones (deeply engrossed).

I as an individual, I am not here to take sides. I am completely aware of the pros and cons. Knowing the cons, still I would strongly emphasis on the tremendous scope it provides for language acquisition. The young minds who are inquisitive by nature would not accept hackneyed methodologies. Instead, they would want their facilitator to bring in newer technologies which will enhance their learning with fun.

Technology can aid in language acquisition. https://youtu.be/QnBm3vJWSc0 To state an instance to build my point further, my daughter requests me to video record her while she narrated a story using her finger puppets (self-created). The mother (that is me) willingly agrees not thinking much of the humongous learning opportunities it could provide. So here we started, let me take you through the complete process.

The first recording went without any practice which you could see in the link https://youtu.be/QnBm3vJWSc0. We recorded this video without any planning, scripting or characterization. This was the raw idea presented. Point to note that the language mastery (all created through conversations and interactions helped Aaliyaa move to the next step of creating a story).

Post the video was recorded, Aaliyaa and I sat and watched it through. While watching she realized that she used the word ‘so’ many times as the connecting word. Her realization was the first step towards change in her language structures. My role as her facilitator was to apprise her with the new connecting words like ‘but’, ‘although’, ‘however’, ‘furthermore’ etc. Knowing the different kinds of connecting words helped her bring the change in the language structures. She might not imbibe them instantly, however, I am certain that the changes will happen with repetitive usage in different contexts. (As guided by me)

The point I want to bring back home is that technology is a great resource and tool to learn through. As a parent, we need to invest our time and our child’s time in learning something out of it than being merely a passive recipient to whatever it provides us. Instead of allowing the cartoons to rule your child’s mind, create opportunities wherein they can interact with it (obviously under your supervision). Let them take ownership of their own learning facilitated and guided by you. Once the ownership is well taken in, the child will always want to learn and evolve in the process. A word of caution though, the access and useage should be well monitored for adequate usage. the child should never be given easy access to it , as it could lead to dangerous outcomes as well. That is why it is mentioned to be a guided and facilated process than independent.

TRY IT OUT!!!

Why Play?

Puzzled and confused she asked , one fine day

Why send my child to play?

I looked at her and smiled,

Coz that is what makes them fine.

With a pause, I spoke again

Not only does it let their energy gain

Also, helps them learn to wait

with their own age-mates.

Or else they will always want to be the ‘first’

Impulse control is a must!

Besides, it helps them to learn,

on how to take turns!

A bit settled in her thoughts, she glares

waiting patiently and wanting me to continue with my flair!

I proceeded and said,

Let them do their jobs well.

Play helps them to know how to talk

instead of being mocked.

Perspectives are learnt

and not only taught!

I concluded to say,

The child should play,

for at least some time of the day!

She smiled back and said,

Now I know

Why is it important to play!

Toy review #3 Memory Game

Here we are again! During the last week, Aaliyaa and I played another game. The game titled ‘Memory game’. The game has 10 picture cards. Along with that, there is a blue coloured cardholder, wherein the picture cards are inserted. The blue coloured cardholder has squares on them wherein the triangular holders are kept. The pictures will give you more clarity.

THE MEMORY GAME!

The blue cardholder

The cards

The tokens

We play this game by inserting the card in the blue card holder. Then we place all the tokens above all the small squares to cover the pictures. The players will have to pick up one token at one time. The same player will then pick up the second token. If the player pick the tokens with matching pictures like a clock, then that player possesses those tokens. If the player does not pick the tokens with matching pictures then he or she will place those tokens back to their original position. The players have to be very attentive to remember the position of the pictures in order to win the game. The player who has the maximum number of tokens will win the game.

The perfect family board game is one that can be played each time with fewer pieces

Robert Breault

The game includes 5 types of picture cards which are graded well. The first card is about look-alike pictures. A picture of the boy has to be matched with another picture of the same boy. Likewise, a picture of the candle has to be matched with the picture of the same candle. The first level is to strengthen my working memory of the child without any other variable.

The same pictures of the objects in the picture card.

The second level of picture card is wherein the picture is broken in two pieces. The players have to pick up the token for parts of the same object. For example, the cake is divided from the center and placed at two places. The players have to pick the token with those pieces of cakes. The players with a maximum number of tokens will win the game. This card will strengthen the child’s working memory as well as visual perception skills. You may read more about visual perception skills in the link below. https://www.swft.nhs.uk/application/files/9514/6158/0965/4_visual_perception_and_memory.pdf

The pictures of the object broken into two halves. The players have to pick tokens with those pieces.

The third level is to strengthen the perspective skills along with the working memory. The pictures are shown if clicked from the front side and reverse side. The child has to remember two variables here. One, the picture of the same object, along with that the angles it is presented. The picture of the card is below for reference. So the child tries to relate and remember information presented on the front side to match with the reverse side.

Pay attention to the front and back view of an elephant. You might need to train children who struggle to understand perspectives visually.

The fourth picture card has pictures of the ‘young ones’. This card strengthens the working memory and the visual memory of the animals and their young ones. Visuals help children remember better. The pace of learning improves when the visuals are accompanied with the words. This helps to build the receptive and expressive language of the child. Please refer to the pictures below:

The picture of animals and their young ones. As parents you might replace pictures with words to give vocabulary to your kid.

Finally, the last card is for higher order thinking. This card strengthens the working memory and helps in understanding the functions of those objects. The objects are related to each other based on the function. So a lock and key are connected because we use the key to open the lock. We can play the game as the process and when the child picks up related objects, we could ask them to explain the reason for them to be connected and related. We are not only strengthening their memory and understanding of objects. But also building on their language skills to explain the reason. It is very crucial to encourage our learner to verbalise their thinking through words.

Each time, I write toy review blog I feel delighted and thrilled. As I could be a medium for all the parents out there, who might have been unaware of the productive material for their child.

PS. I do not propagate any manufacturer or seller. These are my personal experiences and views. You may think differently and I would love to hear your views. Please do not hesitate to share.

Toy Review #2 Wiggle N Giggle

Here we are, with another toy review! This time it is the game named Wiggle N Giggle. It is a card game which involves three colored cards; red, blue and green. The red colored card will have an action to perform for example chomp like a crocodile, the blue card with add to the previous action ( as stated in the red card) like with a fish face. The green card will let you know the duration of the action to be completed like till you touch a plant.  You may refer to the link to find the game https://www.amazon.in/Trunk-Works-Wiggle-Giggle-Travel/dp/B076P8YQ1F

demonstration of the game played with cards.

It is a fantastic game which works on player’s working memory as it encourages the player to hold on information in their head and then perform the action. Working memory is the part of short-term memory which is concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing. It is very crucial in a child’s academic success. So when the child is asked what will be 8+2? the child has to hold ‘8’, ‘+’, and ‘2’ in his head and then perform the addition. Concerns with working memory could affect his/her phonic development, language building and acquisition of mathematical skills.

Furthermore, the game builds upon the vocabulary of action words like make a fish face. A child should have a very strong receptive and expressive language repetoire as it strengths the development of thinking skills and cognitive abilities. Language builds upon my thinking and vice versa. The similar connection was observed in the study file:///C:/Users/upasana/Downloads/Talking_Understanding_Thinking_2-14-2017.pdf

Also, the game is a wonderful time for the child to have a family time wherein all are away from the gadgets from their hands and play cards. It encourages giggles and wiggles in the family members as well! We seriously enjoyed playing this game. I hope you too! Please remember I am not propagating any particular game or manufacturer. This blog is started only with the intention to introduce more games to our little minds and enhance their thinking skills. So do GIGGLE AND WIGGLE WITH YOUR CHILD and make their world a beautiful place to be!

P.S The blog written is my personal view and you may have a different view altogether. There is no harm to share the different perspectives and I would be really glad if you put your views on the blog.

Toy review#1 Kaleidoscope

I plan to post the review of the toys and games I play with my daughters. Being in the teaching profession opens me to many more such educational toys. Thus, thought to spread the word about it to other parents. I will be more than happy to hear from you, your critical inputs in those games.( or others that you played or came across)

My elder daughter has just turned 8 this January. She received this game Kaleidoscope from smartivity from her maternal uncle (ordered from Amazon.in).

This game engaged my daughter no bound. She was able to follow the simple instructions independently after following the manual. The manual was self-explanatory as it depicted the instruments pictorially as well. Each item was packed very well and could easily be dismantled. The joy of being able to place the mirrors triangularly (to get that impact) was eureka for her!

The reflection of three mirrors…

beautiful pattern formed after reflection of the beads in the mirror

Thus, as a parent I would definitely give a ‘yes’ to this game wherein it engages the child with hands-on and mind-on. Also, a relief to be away from the screen time! what a relief!!!

the final product…

Strike the iron when its COLD!

The world has always paid attention to the noise created through the wars and fights. However, the media has never paid heed to the peaceful measures being propagated through different spiritual leaders. The reason seems to be simple to me! Fights and arguments catch our attention more than the sereneness of the calm river flowing by. It is striking for everyone. The louder it is, but might not be better.

A similar kind of approach is witnessed when a parent or a teacher handle a child either at home or in a classroom. Each day, that child might give ample of opportunities to the adult to look and appreciate the good deads. He or she might have helped in daily chores or might have set the bed right or might have not engaged in an argument. But sadly no one bothers to smile when he waits for a pat on his back. No one literally bothers! On the contrary, if that child takes a ride, indulges into a fight or spills the milk, then all the adult suddenly wake up from their dream and pay attention to the child through scoldings, shouting. How surprising, isn’t it? Now, I personally am feeling bad recollecting moments when I scolded my 8 years old daughter on misbehaviour she had exhibited. While I reflect back, I ponder, was that misbehaviour so huge that I had to shout? Was it a matter of life and death that I could not have waited for my anger to settle? More important is what exactly happened when I shouted at my child? Did she change her ways or did she just freeze to what I said?

The answer is she simply froze to my shoutings, her thinking mind had stopped working due to which she could not register my instructions. Whereas, if I would have explained her calmly (without raising my voice) she would have heard me better and understood me better. She might have altered her behaviour in that situation. Now, the question arises, what else could I do as a parent? How else can I approach my child so that he listens to me? There are two ways to approach or deal with it. One is the long term way and the other is the short term method.

As a part of the long term strategy, the parent or the adult need to ensure that the child has high self-esteem. That is the child thinks and feels good about himself or herself. To make the child trust his own abilities the parent needs to trust the child’s abilities. As a parent show your interest in the child and CATCH THEM DOING RIGHT! Appreciate them when you see them keeping a plate in the kitchen. Cuddle them and tell that you really liked when he carried the grocery bags at home. These ways the child will exactly know of the ways which make you feel happy. The verbal praise will stay with the child and will go far with him. Certainly, they would repeat those behaviours and would look with those little eyes and waiting for you to smile at them. For us as humans, appreciation is a basic psychological need which when not fulfilled leads to unacceptable behaviours.

Many parents ask me that they understand the long term strategy, but what should they do AT THAT moment when the milk is spilt. At that moment take a deep breath and count till 5 in your mind (slowly). This will help you settle down the immediate reflex or reaction. If you could curtail that immediate impulse to shout, your mind will then train itself to think and respond. Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying of not showing your disappointment to your child, nowhere do you have to show that you are happy when the milk spilt. It is not at all like that. Instead, you should show your disappointment but in a way which makes the impact to the listener. Gandhi ji in his book My experiments with truth shared his first encounter with Ahimsa was when his father did not scold him knowing that he had stolen the money to buy cigarettes. Instead, he just went away from the room. The lesser the noise the more impact it makes. You are also teaching the child of the ways to respond to conflict situations when they encounter with their friends. Remember, you are and will always be their ROLE MODELS! So you will have to live up to it each day!

Thus, each day the child will give us many opportunities to appreciate them and scold them. Now what you do with those opportunities is in your hands. The more you fill your child’s bucket with appreciation and unconditional love, the more will your child blossom. The more will you become the wind under his wings. So each day, find those little moments of REAL appreciation so that the world becomes a better place where the silence makes more noise and fights sound like chaos. The country wherein the child is filled with love and compassion, success and happiness can not keep away. so how will you appreciate today and strike the iron when its cold!