|Better Hearing and Speech
This month's focus is "Better Hearing and Speech," an enormously complex subject involving an enormously complex organ: the human brain.
While it is true that each child's mind develops according to his or her unique experiences, genes, and environmental factors, researchers and educators can point with certainty to a few basic, universal truths. First and foremost, you cannot overstate the vital role that hearing plays in an infant's ability to learn language. Hearing is the source of nearly everything an infant learns about speech. In other words, if they don't hear it they can't say it! (Vision also plays a role in speech and language development, but that's not the focus today.)
Secondly, we know that humans are highly social creatures. This fact becomes obvious to anyone who locks eyes with a smiling six-month-old, but we sometimes overlook the fact that hearing and speech are really the basis of our long-term social bonds. Social creatures are imitators: the young learn nearly everything by observing and mimicking the adults in their lives. This is true not only in terms of facial expressions and physical gestures but also in terms of speech and language. A child's grammar, vocabulary, fluency, and tone of voice are all derived from listening.
These first two points lead to another basic truth about hearing and speech development: all caregivers need to think about what they say to children and how they say it. It is very important to fully annunciate each sound in a word and to use appropriate grammar. It is also important to use a wide variety of words, even when speaking to an infant who cannot say them, much less understand them. Most importantly, caregivers need to speak to children as often as possible. Sure, sometimes peace and quiet is important, but during daily routines and activities, it is always good to talk, from the time they are newborn infants onward. Research shows clearly that children who are exposed to more speech in early childhood go on to have stronger working vocabularies and reading skills than children raised in environments with less conversation or a limited vocabulary.
When examining a young child with an apparent speech delay or impairment, the child's hearing will almost always be the first thing a pediatrician checks. This is because pediatricians know that ear infections are common in early childhood, and many infections go undetected and may cause long-term damage. Without strong hearing, a child can easily miss those soft 'R', 'L', and 'Th' sounds, and he or she may be missing out on essential words, as well. A small percentage of children may also have congenital problems with their ears. Sometimes, these issues are difficult to detect until a child really starts trying to speak, but knowledgeable, experienced caregivers often notice early warning signs, such as whether or not an infant picks up on various words or verbal cues that infants with normal hearing would easily detect.
So, teachers and parents: remember how vital hearing and speech are for children's long-term development, health, and success. For a typical child, hearing is the most important tool for learning. And for those who have impaired hearing, it is critical to diagnose the issue as early as possible.
Typical Speech and Language Development
By: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association provides excellent background information, strategies, and other resources for parents and educators.
This section of their site features essential information about Typical Language and Speech Development, including comprehensive developmental milestones and advice for parents and educators regarding "late bloomers" and children with developmental delays.
Resource Courtesy of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3
By: Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley
During the 1960's War on Poverty, we were among the many researchers, psychologists, and educators who brought our knowledge of child development to the front line in an optimistic effort to intervene early to forestall the terrible effects that poverty was having on some children's academic growth. We were also among the many who saw that our results, however promising at the start, washed out fairly early and fairly completely as children aged.
In one planned intervention in Kansas City, Kans., we used our experience with clinical language intervention to design a half-day program for the Turner House Preschool, located in the impoverished Juniper Gardens area of the city. Most interventions of the time used a variety of methods and then measured results with IQ tests, but ours focused on building the everyday language the children were using, then evaluating the growth of that language. In addition, our study included not just poor children from Turner House, but also a group of University of Kansas professors' children against whom we could measure the Turner House children's progress.
Article Courtesy of American Federation of Teachers
Teachers Can Learn How to Improve Young Children's Speaking and Listening Skills
CCEI offers new users the trial course CHD101: Promoting Speaking and Listening Skills at no cost in May in recognition of Better Hearing and Speech Month. Speaking and listening skills are not only essential for communication; for young children, oral language forms the foundation of future literacy. In this course, participants will learn practical methods for promoting oral language development in the classroom, where every day is filled with rich opportunities to help children expand knowledge and skills related to conversation, vocabulary, and listening. Course participants will examine strategies for encouraging young children to express basic needs, ideas, emotions, and questions. Importance is placed on language comprehension in conversations and books. CHD101 is available at no cost to trial users and account holders with an active, annual individual or center-based subscription. This course is also available for purchase through online enrollment.
Congratulations to Athirai Baskaran for successfully completing CCEI's Texas Director's Certificate!
Athirai realized she could make a significant difference in early childhood education when she had her two sons, and she is now a director at a Montessori academy. Early childhood education is Athirai's passion, and she believes it is the foundation for successful learning in one's future. She enjoys teaching children practical life skills that they need to be independent. She also likes to teach sensory lessons, academic subjects, art and music. Athirai is motivated to work with children because she loves the uniqueness of each child and she feels that "children teach us patience, virtue, value of friendship and perseverance."
When she isn't directing or training teachers, Athirai enjoys spending time with family and learning about the latest developments in early childhood education. She has received her Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition and plans to continue her education with CCEI professional development coursework. While she plans to remain a teacher of children, Athirai is also interested in training and guiding other teachers in the field. Athirai recommends CCEI's training to her employees and administrators, and appreciates the following quote by Maria Montessori, "Here is an essential principal of education: to teach details is to bring confusion; to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge."
Congratulations, Athirai! CCEI is proud to call you a graduate!
|Individual Professional Development Subscriptions for only $99 per year! |
CCEI offers over 100 IACET CEU-awarded child care training online courses that meet continuing education requirements. CCEI has professional development offerings in English and Spanish, and courses are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any computer with Internet access.
Center-Based Subscriptions are a great way for directors to manage and administer continuing education for staff members. CCEI's Center-Based Subscriptions, available for small and large centers, allow directors to provide training for as little as $20 per teacher for the entire year!
|Online CDA Coursework|
CCEI's Online CDA Certificate programs of study meet the clock-hour training requirement of The Council for Professional Recognition, which is needed in order to apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CCEI's CDA Certificate programs focus on the six CDA Competency Goals established by The Council and contain the required hours in each of the eight specified content areas.
Online Director Programs
CCEI offers several online programs for directors including the CCEI Director's Certificate, the Online National Administrator Credential (Online NAC) Certificate approved by the National Child Care Association (NCCA), and the Texas Director's Certificate. These programs provide the professional development required for early childhood professionals seeking to further their skills and knowledge in the management of a child care center. Each student receives support from an Education Coach (EC).
CCEI Early Childhood Credential
The CCEI Early Childhood Credential is designed to give a basic framework of early childhood theory and application through online content-based coursework, reading assignments, practical application exercises, essays, parent interviews, classroom observation and oral and written exams. The instructional units and the 180 hours of coursework cover major topics in early childhood education including the Principles of Child Growth and Development; Safe, Healthy Environments; Social and Emotional Development; Motor, Language, and Cognitive Development; Principles of Child Assessment; Program Management, Families, and Professionalism. The credential awards 18 IACET CEUs, and is recognized by NAEYC to meet a part of the Alternative Pathways for directors to achieve educational qualifications. The ECC is a clear pathway toward higher education and raising the knowledge and skills of the early education workforce. Holders of the CCEI Early Childhood Credential can be considered qualified for Head Start positions that require a minimum of a CDA or other certificate.
CCEI coursework is eligible for college credit through articulation with one of CCEI's articulation partners, and has received college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), which has more than 1,500 schools willing to consider credit. Contact Admissions at 1.800.499.9907, or visit the ChildCare Education Institute website for more information or to enroll online.
|Miss an issue? Visit our newsletter archives!|