Language is an instrument that people use to communicate with each other. Language works as the helper in a cultural community to help people being together and doing things together what cannot be one individually. Linguistic diversity refers to the various types of traits that include the entire language family, vocabulary and grammar. In other way, linguistic diversity entails different languages spoken by different people in a locale or country. Linguistic diversity creates a wider context for the people. Linguistic diversity in other way refers to the cultural or regional diversity. The different languages are determined by the group of community or the different regions of the country. One of the basic importance of the linguistic diversity is the perseverance of the different languages. Linguistic diversity implies the togetherness of the people and prevents the departure of the same (Spodek & Saracho, 2014, p. 282). In addition, the linguistic diversity also broadens the knowledge and the mindset of the people and implies the communication, identity and social integration among the different communities. The implementation of the linguistic diversity in the early childhood program intensifies perseverance of the languages from the root level (Otto, 2017, p. 45). In today’s era, practice of the linguistic diversity in the early childhood program is important in order to preserve the languages. It is found that many of the languages have been extinct today and therefore the revival of the languages and perseverance of the linguistic diversity is importance. To eliminate the cause of the extinction of the languages the practice of the linguistic diversity is important from the early childhood level. There are presence of more than three types of languages in the Little Bird Centre, as children from many communities come to the centre. Therefore, to aware the children of all the languages spoken by the different children in the center, it is important to implement the practice of linguistic diversity in the centre.
The linguistic diversity is often called the bilingualism and the importance of the same in the early childhood education requires understanding of the topic by the teacher and setting philosophy on the same. My teaching philosophy on the linguistic diversity implies that the children from the very early age will be able to be introduced to the wider world perspective that is divided by the different languages. Learning another language apart from the home language will enable the children of the centre to the build connection to the outside world from the initial age of education. In other hand, the children are the future generation of the community they belong as well as the world. Learning languages beyond mother tongue will make them aware of the importance of preserving the languages. According to my beliefs and opinion, practicing the linguistic diversity in the centre not only just make the children learn new languages, but also will be beneficial for their cognitive development and the social relationship in future.
The implementation of the linguistic diversity must practice in the early childhood centre in order to make the children bilingual from a very early age is necessary. In accordance to me, the implementation of the linguistic diversity practice must include the visual image, music in different languages, different play activities and other to introduce the children to the new languages. Along with the usage body languages, classroom environment, projectors and other tools, the involvement of the family will strengthen the process of practicing the linguistic diversity in the centre (Spodek & Saracho, 2014, p. 280). Small session on the linguistic play can also be effective. According to my philosophy regarding the teaching techniques of the linguistic diversity, every teacher of this subject must use the different languages in all the activities and teaching of all subjects in order to make the children familiar with other languages.
The goal of this activity is to help student learning ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in different languages. This activity aims to enhance the cross-cultural awareness among the children and make the children learn the initial courtesy gesture in different languages.
- Start with 5 languages other than English and write all the ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in all five languages on the white board.
- Ask the students to copy the same in their copies and pronounce the same.
- Correct their pronunciation.
- Provide them enough time learn and remember the words.
- Ask them to talk to each other using these words to get accustomed with the new words.
- Make the students understand that may the pronunciation of the words are different, but the meaning of the words are same.
- Discuss the importance of learning the same words in different languages as it creates linguistic diversity.
- Discuss how it will help and make easier to them to talk to people speaking languages other than English.
- Repeat the same on monthly basis, as time span of a month will enable the children to adapt and use the words in right situation correctly.
The activity addressing the EYLF regarding diversity and difference:
EYLF Learning Outcome 4.3: “Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another.” (Leggett & Ford, 2013, p. 39)
NQS Element 1.2.1: “Each child's learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation.” (Tayler et al., 2013, p. 11)
The purpose of this particular activity is to make all the children learn the body languages and sign languages used in the different culture in all over the world.
- Take any five languages names of which are heard by the children or choose languages that children speaks in the centre other than English.
- Ask the bilingual children to demonstrate their body gesture for certain phrase, such as “I am sorry”.
- Provide the scope to the bilingual children to teach other children the gesture.
- Help the children to imitate the gesture.
- Provide colorful pictures to the children that show the gestures with title.
- Provide them a week time to learn the gestures.
- Ask them to practice the same with family members, friends and whomever they meet in regularly.
- Ask them to rectify others classmates if they are not using the gesture properly
- Discuss the importance of using gestures of the same phrase in different languages in order to know the languages deeply as well as other cultures.
- Repeat the same with another new gesture next week.
EYLF Principle 3: “Believing that all children have the ability to learn and grow whatever their cultural diversities or abilities and providing varied opportunities for all children to learn.” (Jones & Harcourt, 2013, p. 7)
NQS Elements 1.2.2: “Educators respond to children's ideas and play and use intentional teaching to scaffold and extend each child's learning.” (Tayler et al., 2013, p. 11)
The objective of the activity is to introduce the children with the different folklore of different families. The activity aims to make the children learn that families migrated from different foreign countries have different beliefs, myths, practice and folklore and each one is different from another. In addition, the activity aims to introduce the children with diverse languages from the folklore and cultural myths.
- Introduce the children with books that feature different cultural folklore and fairytales.
- Introduce the children with music of different cultures.
- Ask the children to ask their parents about their past and discuss the same with other children to make them know the different cultural background
- Discuss how different cultures contain different belies, myths and practice.
- Make them understand the lyric and meaning of different music of different languages.
EYLF Principles 5: The Educators make the children “Continuing to increase professional knowledge and learning practices, Value the knowledge of local families and communities and gather information that supports children developmental learning.” (Jones & Harcourt, 2013, p. 5)
EYLF Learning Outcome 2.2: “Children respond to diversity with respect.” (Leggett & Ford, 2013, p. 39)
NQS Elements 6.2.2: “Current information is available to families about community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.” (Tayler et al., 2013, p. 10)
NQS Elements 1.1.5: “Every child is supported to participate in the program.” (Tayler et al., 2013, p. 10)
The learning experience on the linguistic diversity will not only help the students in learning diverse languages, but will help the children being aware on the cultural diversity. The anti bias approach of teaching in the early childhood learning sets principles and methodology that is based on values in order to support and embrace diversities and acting against unfairness or bias. It is stated previously that the purpose of the teaching linguistic diversity in the early childhood program focuses on the elimination of biasness through the different learning experience. This learning experience through different activities will help the children to sets values and principles for their future and will create a sense of respect and integration of the diversity of languages. The practice of linguistic diversity will make the children aware of the diverse languages from a very early age and accordingly will make them aware of the different cultures.
In other way, practicing the linguistic diversity from a very early age will enable the children to start thinking critically in future. Introducing them with different languages as well as with different culture will make them respectful to other cultures and as well as the values, myths, principles and beliefs of the sane. Participating in the different activities with other bilingual children will broaden the context of their knowledge. In addition, this will effectively remove the biasness among the children and grow a sense of empathy and value based ethics in them. Consequently, they will become the critical thinkers with the pace of time.
The resources of the linguistic diversity are those that present or indicate the social norms. The resources of the topic are present in the classroom. These resources are the encouraging elements on the chosen topic that reflects the source of the diversity of the languages in the centre. Culture, language barriers to the communication, family history, foreign inhabitants, occupation of the father and others can be motioned as the resources of the linguistic diversity (Axelsen & Manrubia, 2014, p. 6). These resources drive the linguistic diversity and make the way for the practice of the same in the classroom.
Culture is the prime and the major determinates that the drives the linguistic diversity. Different culture contains different languages (Axelsen & Manrubia, 2014, p. 7). Many students present in the room belong to different culture. Again, language is certainly the major resources of the linguistic diversity. For example, not all the children come from the same locality or community, and according to the locality and community, the languages are different. It often creates problems that the children coming from different communities or localities face difficulties in talking to each other. This fact indeed indicates the linguistic diversity.
In other hand, the linguistic diversity also comes from the family. There are many families that have a rich past enriched with language, cultures, myths, beliefs and practice. The children belonging to such families are enriched with diverse cultural practices and languages, therefore the children with such family history are other major resources of the linguistic diversity. Another resource can be mentioned as the occupation of the fathers of the children. Many of the children fathers have such occupations that demand changing place frequently. Every new place provides opportunity to the family to learn new practice, language, and the children acquire the same. Children with this family background are also present in the classroom. Therefore, this is another resource for the linguistic diversity.
As I have experienced, that diversity is one of the major issues in the classroom. There are children in the class with different backgrounds, which lead the children to be bilingual or multilingual. Therefore, my focus is to present the importance of the linguistic diversity and the practice of the same in the centre. I have noticed that most of the resources or determinates of the linguistic diversity come from the diverse cultural background. Apart from the children, some teachers in the centre are bilingual or multilingual. This bilingualism and multilingualism sometimes create problem in the class while teaching the children. Again, it sometimes is beneficial too. Being a multilingual, I strongly felt the need for shedding light on the topic of linguistic diversity and the practice of the same in the centre.
Linguistic diversity is one of the major issues in the present era and the importance of the same implies that there is urgent need to preserve many languages that are on the way of extinction. To introduce the children with different languages and to solve the problem of the communication problem in the class, the practice of linguistic diversity is necessary. Therefore, I found out that it would be easy for the children to introduce them with the different languages, if I implement some play activities where the children can participate together. I felt then being a teacher; I must provide necessary guidance and information to the children regarding the linguistic diversity (Leggett & Ford, 2013, p. 40). Practicing the linguistic diversity through different play activities will make the topic interesting to the children. In addition, they will be encouraged and interested to get to know different languages along with the diverse cultural background of the same. Apart from being knowledgeable about the different cultures and the languages, the practice of linguistic diversity will help growing a sense of respect and integration among the children.
According to my personal philosophy and the anti bias approach of teaching on the early childhood learning, it is evident that we, the teachers are the director and guide for the children to make them aware of the linguistic diversity and the importance of the same. I feel that, learning experience of the linguistic diversity must begin from the root level in order to enrich them with social values and principles from their initial age of learning. While teaching them the importance of the practice of diverse languages through different activities I felt that only classroom teaching is not enough for the children to be aware of the same and to adapt the idea. In accordance to me, the families of the children must participate in the process to encourage them to learn new languages and to know about various cultures. In addition, not only for the making the children aware and learn new languages and cultural practice the linguistic diversity practice is needed in the classroom, but also for the preservation of the language the implementation of the same is needed in from the early childhood learning centre.
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