Today’s news comes to us from an article by Daseta Gray of www.SabreeEducationalServices.com. Daseta is one of our specialists here on Parenting Tips with Dr. Sally. Her article explains the different areas in a child’s brain that must be stimulated for full language development to take place. There is one area for understanding (receptive language), one for speaking and writing (expressive language), and a third for some learning and memory. This article also provides many practical ways to interact with young children so that they will grow well and flourish in all of these areas.
Although this identification of brain lobes is a breakthrough and makes crystal clear much of what is going on in the brain connected with language development, there is no need to worry about remembering which area is which and exactly what happens where. Most important is that parents are the first and most important teachers and role models for their children. As such they need to speak, respond, and provide a rich learning environment right from the start.
Enjoy this article and the wonderful information it provides. We are delighted to present it.
When Does Literacy begin? –Daseta Gray
I listen to the news, read the newspapers and read the research and they are all saying that children in underserved communities can’t read. There are several literacy programs around. The question is when does literacy really begin?
Have you thought about that?
When you look at the domains of the brain there is none for literacy but there is an area for language development. In order for your child to become literate through reading as an infant she must go through the process of language development. Continuing Literacy begins the first day that you bring your baby home. This begins with the “dance”—Being in tune with your baby by reading your baby’s body language and signals that your baby uses to communicate and your response. This begins the process of language development and being in tune with your infant. You should also speak with your baby as you interpret her brain cues.
In the last ten years neuroscientists have done a tremendous research on brain development in infants currently they are able to tell us the different areas (domains) of the brain that is responsible for different functions. However, you must keep in mind that in order to have a healthy brain all areas must be developed simultaneously.
Wernicke’s area – Area located in the temporal lobe that plays a critical role in the ability to understand meaningful speech.
You should speak with your baby in whole language (use short complete sentences).You should read to your baby daily, reading helps your young infant to develop listening skills, language skills, speech patterns and memory. Age appropriate music is also good for developing your infant’s language skills, memory, patterns with rhythm. Music also introduces your infant to other cultures and teaches your infant to follow directions. You should play children’s music that have clear speech this allows your baby to hear and respond; songs that give instruction such as “clap hands” your baby will be able to do because you have been doing the motion with her.
Broca’s area –structure located in the frontal lobe of the brain that controls the production of spoken and written language
Once your infant is mobile you should have a bin of age appropriate books on the floor, this will give your baby the opportunity to expand her vocabulary. She should also have developmental toys. You should interact with her but also allow her to interact with her toys alone. Infants love to put items in and pour them out. Provide a container that will allow for this activity and you should introduce in and out, “wow! Claudette, you put the cup in the buck.” Language development must begin the first day that you bring your baby home.
Temporal lobe – part of the brain located above the ears that is responsible for hearing, speech, and some learning and memory.
Infants/toddlers love repetition because this is the way they learn. You should play the same songs over a period of time and you will observe that your infant will know what comes next. You want to develop their memory skill. Keep in mind that the areas of the brain that do not get developed during 0-3 years old will create a problem later. It is very difficult to return back to developmental stages that were missed, look at them as building blocks; when you build a house you need the foundation before building the walls. With an infant it’s the same concept.
When you don’t develop the areas I mentioned it could very well become a major issue when your toddler arrives at school. The lack of certain skills becomes a special need problem and will have your four year old very frustrated.
In order for your child to become literate, the ability to write and read language, the language center of the brain must be developed during the 0 to 3 years old. When you are born your brain is 25% developed and by the time you are 5 years old it is 95% developed.
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