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GDECE103 Language and Literacy Assignment Sample

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Write a report that evaluates contemporary play-based language and literacy theories and practices for use in the home, the community and in early learning education environments and reflect culturally appropriate practice. How can teachers, families, and professionals in other fields, work together to promote the literacy growth and development of diverse young language learners in inclusive settings?


• Discuss contemporary theoretical perspectives on early years language and literacy
development (i.e. particularly focus on cognitive developmental, social interactionist). Refer to relevant literature.

• Discuss how can these theories inform the practices in home, community and early childhood settings. Based on these theories, how can family members and educators support children’s language and literacy development? Refer to relevant literature.

• Discuss how can educators and parents can support language development of children from
diverse cultural backgrounds? Please provide 2 strategies about supporting children’s language and literacy development in home and early childhood settings

• Academic English expression and referencing – APA style.

• Minimum 5-7 references.


Early childhood development

The stage of early childhood development is crucial for promoting the overall growth in young children, marking a significant time period of learning and literacy achievement and equality among all. The need for establishing a strong base in the early childhood days is often realized by the education providers as well as parents, the two elements who are in constant touch with the children. The theoretical frameworks established by conventional philanthropists and psychologists have been undergoing transformation, thus imbibing innovative and new views to early childhood language and literacy development (Powell & Smith, 2017). The need for regular involvement in various language development activities and experiences for better futuristic output is also evident in the various theoretical frameworks. Starting from the very onset of early childhood and not waiting until the child matures have been observed to implement better development of language and literacy, both written as well as oral skills (McLachlan, Fleer & Edwards, 2018).

Contemporary theoretical perspectives on early years language and literacy

The contemporary childhood practices and their perspectives regarding inculcation of languages, literacy, and cognition along with social behavior have undergone a wave of change through the years.

Cognitive Theory

Highlighting the cognitive-developmental perspective as proposed by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, who has extensively studied early childhood and implied on various developmental stages, the learning of language development is also inevitable. Piaget had thrown light on the interdependence of cognitive development and language development, both functioning amicably and developing through activities (Bormanaki & Khoshhal, 2017). Children take an active role in learning from the surrounding environment and make observations about the world. As children start interacting with the world outside and around them, the more they learn and develop various language skills and literacy. Unlike what traditional Maturist theories showcased regarding the appropriate age of language and literacy development in children as six and a half years, the contemporary theories reflect the opposite. In the middle of the 20th century, the language and literacy theories received a boost of reconceptualization, proposing that children are born with the ability to read and write (emergent literacy theory). Piaget marked the era with his modern views and proposed that children use their maturational abilities to develop and progress upon their language and literacy since early years (McLeod, 2018). Hence, it is advisable for the teachers, education providers as well as parents to offer more environmental experiences for the children to grow upon. The contemporary theorists inflict importance upon the reading readiness in the early stages of children.

Social Development Theory

Along with cognitive development, the contemporary theoretical perspectives include the involvement of the social development theory based on Vygotsky’s proposals. The main element behind this theory is the concept of how early children interact with their social environment and culture, which affects their development and mental abilities. The regular social interaction of the children with the intangible surrounding and the tangible people influences their development regarding language and literacy as well. The various forms of knowledge which are generated within the socio-cultural backdrop have a big contribution to play in early childhood learning and development (Farida & Rasyid, 2019). This concept is also entwined with the social context of play language which includes early childhood activities like playing, coloring, reading, drawing, and others. The play language involves the activity which instigates mental and physical activity with spontaneous, creative, and joyful output (Daubert, Ramani & Rubin, 2018). The contemporary theories imply the use of various literacy-related plays, shared story reading, along with other activities, enhancing early childhood progress.

Role of Play in language and literacy

The modern theories regarding language and literacy have been functioning as a helpful framework for reading instructions and related activities. The recent emergent theory has combated the concept of maturity and reading readiness in children with which they are born with. Play is a natural process of activity that children do not acquire but rather have inside them from birth and early infancy stages, which can be used as an influential tool to develop emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and cultural skills (Quinn, Donnelly & Kidd, 2018). The early stages in childhood witness the children playing with objects which leads to higher problem-solving abilities and a positive attitude towards life and the world. Creative thinking, cognitive development, and exploration can be adopted by children in their early childhood days through the medium of contemporary practices and theories of play-learning. Both Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s ideologies were similar in the platform of literacy and language development within the children during their infancy and early childhood days. The ambiance and surroundings instigate the children to form concepts and assumptions, be it either real or virtual, along with expressing their thoughts and emotions.

It is often observed that the children who lack the ability to use inter-communicative language and have a poor literacy base, often make use of physical movements and objects to express themselves. Hence, the concept of adopting a vital language skill along with literacy abilities will help children to grow into fully developed human beings, having competence and all-rounder abilities or skills. Successful reading and literacy can be derived in the later stages of development if the base of the language development is strongly instilled within the young minds (Hà, 2020). On the other hand, children having a lack of language skills or delayed literacy often face risk in the social gathering and communicative spheres along with poorly developed cognitive, empathetic, physical, and emotional stringent.

Theories helping in-home or community practices for children’s development

The various contemporary preaches and theories discussed earlier have been guiding the development of children within the family or home literacy movement as well. The home environment is equally important to the educational or academic environment, both influencing the growth and uprising of the children. Sensitivity is imbibed within the family environment, educating parents and other family members to be aware of the language skills and development of the children (Piasta et al., 2017). Teaching and implementing various literacy activities and abilities within the children becomes an agenda of the family members, teachers, school staff as well as the community as a whole. The peer and community, irrespective of their knowledge of the various theories proposed by popular psychologists and theorists in the pre-modern and post-modern era, automatically tend to undertake activities for the betterment of the children and their development. The social environment which the adults try to create and recreate in the presence of children has its links with the social development theories.

The education providers understand the importance of experience and witnessing incidents to gain skills, hence the classroom or school environment is built likewise. The involvement of various literacy and language activities is observed which bear resemblance with play language, including writing, drawing, playing, story reading, drama, singing, and dance. The idea of language acquisition is proved accurate when the heterogenous mix of children is observed in a class (McLachlan Fleer, & Edwards, 2018). Each child has a different background and is hence a byproduct of various environmental confluence. The concept of babies being born with language skills is supported by the fact that children tend to differentiate between their mother’s language from the rest of the family members. They can also discriminate between various sounds and phonemes which are included in every kind of language. The cultural environment of the family and classroom also shapes the language development of the children. Before a child gets admitted to the school, it is wholly the influence of the family and house that molds the literacy skill of the child, thus we see a variety of differentiation within a class, with one child varying from the other.

Support of family members and educators by using contemporary theories

Social pragmatism has a pivotal role in influencing language and literacy development in children. As literate citizens of the country and wanting a better future for the upcoming generation, it is essential to support and provide encouragement to the children during their early learning days. The parents, members of the families as well as educators in various educational institutes can take up the responsibility of helping the children to develop their language and skills (Sainain et al., 2020). The parent involvement in the various non-academic, as well as academic activities of the children, can prompt a heightened increase in the acquisition of literacy and language development within the young minds of the early school children. Several studies have also observed that there is an intimate connection between the various literary resources in the home backdrop which has been helping in the development of language acquisition and children’s reading skills. The parents and educators equally play a vital role in inspiring and pushing up the level of language and literacy skills.

The teachers are encouraged to adopt various practices which will bring transformation in the developmental stages of the children based on the conventional theories and frameworks. Deriving an elaborate idea about the individual child’s cultural and family background will keep the teachers informed about the various aspects involved in their individual development (Piasta et al., 2020). It is the duty of the teacher to comprehend the abilities of the child according to their own pace of development and develop upon that. Enhancing the partnership and mutual understandability between the home and the school is crucial for the betterment as well. Children who do not possess any formal education or belong to the lower rungs of society are like a blank canvas that the teachers need to fill up. Taking remedial classes and providing extra help has always led to better results for such children without much background. The teachers, as well as the parents, can also include certain exercises in the daily activities of the children to infuse more language abilities (Piasta et al., 2020). Helping children to read aloud, irrespective of the themes and faults made, making use of literacy-based prop boxes and role-plays, having extensive conversations on various topics with the children, playing with poems and rhymes, making them read signals and labels, introducing vocabulary and various words, and providing modification and prompting helps when stuck are few ways in which help can be provided.

Providing support by Parents and educators in diverse backgrounds and two strategies

Often classrooms and schools witness the presence of a heterogeneous mixture of students or learners belonging to various diverse backgrounds and families. Culturally diverse backgrounds are often seen in our community as a society as well, due to the increase in globalization and intercultural communication (Witty, 2021). There is a rise in the admission of bilingual students in various schools, where English can be used as the common language for regular communication and interaction. To promote the ability of interaction and language skill development in the children who often belong to various backgrounds and not just to English language backdrop, the parents and teachers can indulge the children in adult conversation, communication, child-caregiver and various mediums of imparting education. In the modern era of technology, making use of various learning applications, translation apps, and YouTube platforms has been empowering children to learn various languages and linguistics skills on their own without much supervision.

The strategies which can be used by the family members as well as teachers to develop the language and literacy skills within preschool children are of various types. Since visual and interactive methods tend to have a long-lasting impact on the young minds of children, the strategy of interactive storytelling classes and reading exercises will help the children to ton up their skills (Saracho, 2017). Children belonging to various backgrounds can be given the same medium of instruction that is English, for sustained uniformity within the classroom environment. At home, the parents can conduct the same exercise in the second or bilingual medium, thus helping the child to develop a bi-linguistic approach to life. Another activity of playing games of ‘recognizing letters and alphabet at the very tender age will help in the cognitive development of the children, thus enhancing the future social interaction.


Bormanaki, H. B., & Khoshhal, Y. (2017). The Role of Equilibration in Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development and Its Implication for Receptive Skills: A Theoretical Study. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 8(5). From: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/266996457.pdf

Daubert, E. N., Ramani, G. B., & Rubin, K. H. (2018). Play-based learning and social development. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. From: https://www.ceril.net/index.php/articulos?id=849

Farida, N., & Rasyid, H. (2019, April). The effectiveness of project-based learning approach to social development of early childhood. In International Conference on Special and Inclusive Education (ICSIE 2018) (pp. 369-372). Atlantis Press. From: https://www.atlantis-press.com/article/55917585.pdf

Hà, T. A. (2020). Pretend Play and Early Language Development—Relationships and Impacts: A Comprehensive Literature Review. Journal of Education, 0022057420966761. From: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022057420966761

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation. Cambridge University Press. From: http://digilib.stiem.ac.id:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/362/Claire%20McLachlan%2C%20Marilyn%20Fleer%2C%20Susan%20Edwards-Early%20Childhood%20Curriculum_%20Planning%2C%20Assessment%2C%20and%20Implementation-Cambridge%20University%20Press%20%282010%29.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

McLeod, S. (2018). Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Simply Psychology, 1-9. From: https://www.fwsolutions.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cognitive-development-theory.pdf

Piasta, S. B., Farley, K. S., Mauck, S. A., Soto Ramirez, P., Schachter, R. E., O'Connell, A. A., ... & Weber-Mayrer, M. (2020). At-scale, state-sponsored language and literacy professional development: Impacts on early childhood classroom practices and children’s outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(2), 329. From: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED597343.pdf

Piasta, S. B., Justice, L. M., O'Connell, A. A., Mauck, S. A., Weber-Mayrer, M., Schachter, R. E., ... & Spear, C. F. (2017). Effectiveness of large-scale, state-sponsored language and literacy professional development on early childhood educator outcomes. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 10(2), 354-378. From: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1210&context=famconfacpub

Piasta, S. B., Park, S., Farley, K. S., Justice, L. M., & O'Connell, A. A. (2020). Early childhood educators' knowledge about language and literacy: Associations with practice and children's learning. Dyslexia, 26(2), 137-152. From: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED593434.pdf

Powell, S., & Smith, K. (Eds.). (2017). An introduction to early childhood studies. Sage. From: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WDI9DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT49&dq=early+childhood+development+theories&ots=pn0DRy3E0z&sig=ui0KfNacFsOTEkEPGzm2J2GJEV0

Quinn, S., Donnelly, S., & Kidd, E. (2018). The relationship between symbolic play and language acquisition: a meta-analytic review. Developmental review, 49, 121-135. From : https://pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_2602612_9/component/file_3001229/content

Sainain, N. S. N. M., Omar, R., Ismail, H., Mamat, N., & Abdullah, R. (2020). Parental knowledge and development of languages and literacy, communication and socializations in the early childhood education. Master of Education in Sultan Idris Education University. From: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hazhari-Ismail-3/publication/341579315_Parental_Knowledge_And_Development_Of_Languages_And_Literacy_Communication_And_Socializations_In_The_Early_Childhood_Education/links/5fd4e0e5299bf14088042e3a/Parental-Knowledge-And-Development-Of-Languages-And-Literacy-Communication-And-Socializations-In-The-Early-Childhood-Education.pdf

Saracho, O. N. (2017). Literacy and language: new developments in research, theory, and practice. Early Child Development and Care, 187(3-4), 299-304. From: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2017.1282235

Witty, E. A. (2021). EDUC 2134 Language and Literacy in Early Childhood. From: https://repository.yu.edu/handle/20.500.12202/7628

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