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Pre-schoolers Support Program

To develop a program for rich language and literacy development for preschoolers, it is vital to develop activities that aligns with the diverse language backgrounds of each child and aligns with their stage of cognitive development (Drewry et al., 2019). The program below focuses on the use of different activities for developing oral language, reading skills, writing and text creation skills within an inclusive educational set up. The pre-schoolers are attending a service in North Strathfield, Sydney. Among them are two kids, one of whom is an aboriginal child and another is a Hispanic child who recently migrated to Australia and can speak only Spanish. The support program will have a specific focus on the Theory of Cognitive Development Theory, Social Learning Theory and Behaviorist Theory.

Language Plan

Oral language

For the development of oral language a multilingual storytelling circle activity (Activity 1) will be implemented. In this activity each child will be given a turn to share a story of their liking in their own native language to establish a linguistically diverse environment of learning (Flynn et al., 2021). The aboriginal child can be encouraged to share traditional tales like Dreamtime Stories to develop their cultural connection. For the Spanish child they can engage in famous Spanish stories such as Three Little Pigs which can be interpreted by the instructor to the general class. This will create social interaction with guidance and support among the children through sharing of stories (Hirsch & Macleroy, 2020). The different stories will harness the imagination power of the children.

Reading

For the development of reading skills the activity would include exploration of cultural picture books (Activity 2). The books will try to showcase and exhibit the Australian culture to the children through colors and images. The instructor will engage the children in stories and guided discussions about the cultural elements and characters in the stories, Each child will take turns to name the different elements in the Cultural picture book (Zsoldos-Marchis, 2020). Suggested picture books can include The Rainbow Serpent and Possum and Wattle that illustrate Australian culture, animals and elements. Because there is a generic pictorial understanding amongst different languages, this will encourage the Spanish speaking child to interact with the peers while learning about Australia. This activity will support the development of cognitive skills by allowing active construction of knowledge as the child interacts with the cultural picture book(s) and the classroom service environment (Evans, 2020).

Text creation

Language rich crafts and art (Activity 3) will be used to develop creative expressions and writing skills. Here children will be encouraged to draw and create visual narratives (using child-safe Play dough) to represent the cultural experience and promote storytelling. Aboriginal culture related materials like Dot-painting tools and vibrant cultures (representing Spanish culture) can be used to create the visual narratives. This activity will improve the sensory motor development considering the cognitive development age of the preschoolers (Majumdar, 2020). 

Exploration of English alphabets (Activity 4) to promote cognitive and language development would include Big and Bold letters from the English language. The instructor will begin with the capital letters and gradually move to lower case letters. Simultaneously, the phonic sound for each of the alphabets will be introduced to the children. This activity will enhance the accommodation and assimilation that will allow all the children in the set up to write new linguistic vocabulary (Pecenkovic & Delic, 2023).

A collaborative story building (Activity 5) will help in text creation and composition skills. This activity would involve the children working in small groups to develop a collaborative story that incorporates words from English, Aboriginal and Spanish languages. The instructor will give story starters that are inspired by folklore or fairy tales that will be relatable to the children. This activity will promote collaborative learning through group activity where the children are given a high level of support that can speed up language learning (Taylor et al., 2019). 

Literacy Plan

Oral language

Exploration of animal sounds (Activity 6) would involve the children imitating and mimicking sounds of various Australian animals. This will help in oral language development and articulation. The activity would use pictures, toys and props that the children will handle to identify and imitate animal sounds. Each child will be assigned with a specific prop such as models of vehicles (like trains, cars, boats, planes) and animals. The children will be encouraged to create the sound of the specific prop assigned to them. It will improve the auditory discrimination skills and thereby cognitive development (Alam & Mohanty, 2023).

To introduce the children to new vocabulary, rhyme and singing (Activity 7) can be used that incorporates day to day activities. Visual placards would be for a routine “Morning Magic” that would represent activities of the morning like waking up, brushing teeth, bathing, eating breakfast, getting ready for school and so on. Aboriginal rhymes (like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Rolypoly) and Spanish rhymes (like Sana Sana, Arroz Con Leche) will also be sung. Simple rhythm props can be used to maintain the rhyme. The children will be asked to repeat along with the instructor that will help them understand and memorize new words and their application. This activity can be supported by the Behaviorist Theory that shows repetition reinforces the development of language as a learning behavior (Atoofi, 2019).

Reading

Scavenger hunt in an outdoor space (Activity 8) would be organized which involves elements commonly found in the Australian environment such as native plants, Australian flag, paintings, boomerang and so on. It will also include everyday objects such as stationary, cutlery, clothing etc. Post the hunt, the children will keep the objects in categories and name them loud. Thereafter, the instructor can narrate spontaneous stories on the objects found. These stories will focus on categorizing the different objects found to improve the environment and general knowledge of the children helping in their cognitive development (Aguayo et al., 2021).

Using Lego building blocks to make simple words, a Word Building Activity (Activity 9) can be organized for phonic skills development. The children will create small words such as “Sun”, “Dog”, “Bat”, “At” and so on that they see around in their everyday lives. There will also be small words in Spanish which are also used in English such as “Chilly”, “Breeze”, “plaza” etc. The children will be given small cards with the words and they will use different colored Lego blocks to create and name the words aloud. This activity will promote a collaborative and hands-on participation to construct and read the common words which will incorporate cognitive sensory motor experience (Bryant & Frazier, 2019).

Text creation

Writing on the sand activity called “Magic letters on sand”(Activity 10) would be organized to develop writing skills. The activity will give a sensory experience of writing letters on a surface. This will develop fine motor control and formation of letters. The children will be given sand filled trays and small brushes and sticks to write letters. The instructors will give guidance on how to etch letters on the sand using visuaL cues and pictures that are phonetically related to the letters. The children would repeat the letters. This repetition will promote phonetic awareness and reinforce their writing skills as supported by the Behaviorist theory (Chen et al., 2022).

Activity (1-10)

Skills developed

Theory

Multilingual story telling

Guided Oral language development

Social Interaction Theory

Exploration of cultural picture books

Reading skills and cultural recognition

Cognitive Development Theory

Language rich crafts and art

Motor skills and writing skills

Cognitive Development Theory

Explorational of alphabets

Textual writing development and phonic sound recognition

Cognitive Development Theory

Collaborative story development

Text creation and creative collaboration

Social Interaction Theory

Animal sound exploration

Oral language, auditory discrimination, articulation

Cognitive development theory

Singing and rhyme

Oral development and vocabulary development

Behaviorist Theory

Outdoor space scavenger hunt

Reading and categorization

Cognitive Development Theory

Building words using lego blocks

Reading and phonic skills

Cognitive Development Theory

Writing on sand

Writing and fine motor control skills

Behaviorist Theory

Table 1: Template for Support Plan. Source: Self

Strategies to communicate with families, communities and agencies

Communicating with Families: Families can be engaged on a regular basis through workshops, newsletters and meetings between parents and instructors to highlight and communicate the literacy development activities for the children. Take home materials can be given to the families for the continuation of the activities at home. Instructors can also share useful tips and instructions on how to create and maintain a conducive environment for learning though day to day activities (Lakkala et al., 2021). The focus should be to inform and empower the families to actively participate in the learning process.

Communicating with Communities: Collaboration can be developed with cultural organizations, libraries and community centers to host various activities for the children for developing literacy and language skills. The community can be involved in showcasing and celebrating the achievements of the children through rewards and certificates (Klaw et al., 2023). Social media can be used to share highlights of the program and establish a community partnership to encourage the children.

Communicating with Agencies: Partnership can also be developed with educational bodies where program outlines and methodologies can be shared. Participation with forums and workshops for professional development can help in sharing best practices and gain access to important learning resources (Dittert et al., 2021). The partnership can also focus on advocacy for early literacy and language development during networking events and educational conferences.

Reference

Aguayo, B. B., Ruano, C. A., & Vallejo, A. P. (2021). Multiple intelligences: Educational and cognitive development with a guiding focus. South African Journal of Education, 41(2), 1-10. https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.15700/saje.v41n2a1828

Alam, A., & Mohanty, A. (2023). Music and Its Effect on Mathematical and Reading Abilities of Students: Pedagogy for Twenty-First Century Schools. In Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainable Development (pp. 342-346). CRC Press. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781003457619-67/music-effect-mathematical-reading-abilities-students-pedagogy-twenty-first-century-schools-ashraf-alam-atasi-mohanty

Atoofi, S. (2019). Reconsidering repetition in language education: an edusemiotic approach. Social Semiotics, 29(5), 670-683. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10350330.2018.1514777

Bryant, C., & Frazier, A. D. (2019). Developing visual-spatial thinking in youth using sensorimotor experiences: Approaches from a Piagetian cognitive framework. Journal of Pedagogical Research, 3(3). https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10179181

Chen, M. J., Yin, G. J., Goh, H. S., Soo, R. S., Nor, R., Harun, S. R., ... & Wong, W. L. (2022). Theoretical review of phonics instruction among EFL beginner-level readers in China. Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 11(2), 449-466. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chen-Min-Jie-2/publication/360313805_Theoretical_Review_of_Phonics_Instruction_among_EFL_Beginner-level_Readers_in_China/links/6285deb7e487bf5a92ca30ae/Theoretical-Review-of-Phonics-Instruction-among-EFL-Beginner-level-Readers-in-China.pdf

Dittert, N., Thestrup, K., & Robinson, S. (2021). The SEEDS pedagogy: Designing a new pedagogy for preschools using a technology-based toolkit. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 27, 100210. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212868920300325

Drewry, R., Cumming-Potvin, W., & Maor, D. (2019). New Approaches to Literacy Problems: Multiliteracies and Inclusive Pedagogies. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 44(11), 61-78. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/aeipt.225861

Evans, J. (Ed.). (2020). Talking beyond the page: Reading and responding to picturebooks. Routledge. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kg4HEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=cognitive+skills+development+picture+books+for+children&ots=o_0oxHGLy_&sig=k_Jio4n-ZGghWBBFko2levKLvc8

Flynn, E. E., Hoy, S. L., Lea, J. L., & García, M. A. (2021). Translanguaging through story: Empowering children to use their full language repertoire. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 21(2), 283-309. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1468798419838569

Hirsch, S., & Macleroy, V. (2020). The art of belonging: Exploring the effects on the English classroom when poetry meets multilingual digital storytelling. English in Education, 54(1), 41-57. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/04250494.2019.1690394

Klaw, E., Ngo, A. T., Mejia, A., Sandy, M., & Levisohn, J. A. (2023). The Tensions and Rewards of Community Engagement for Faculty Members. In Reframing Community Engagement in Higher Education (pp. 177-212). Routledge. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nI7hEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=RA2-PA2021-IA1&dq=community+collaboration+reward+and+recognition+pedagogy+preschool&ots=NHOiNPqG92&sig=wFRfuOxYRd2dmsGelnbpnaK1Xd4

Lakkala, S., Galkienė, A., Navaitienė, J., Cierpiałowska, T., Tomecek, S., & Uusiautti, S. (2021). Teachers supporting students in collaborative ways—An analysis of collaborative work creating supportive learning environments for every student in a school: Cases from Austria, Finland, Lithuania, and Poland. Sustainability, 13(5), 2804. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/5/2804

Majumdar, A. (2020). Role of play in child development. International Journal of Technical Research & Science, 5(4), 1-8. https://www.ijtrs.com/uploaded_paper/ROLE%20OF%20PLAY%20IN%20CHILD%20DEVELOPMENT.pdf

Pečenković, V., & Delić, N. (2023). Inclusion of Migrant and Refugee Children in the Education System: Exploring and Overcoming Language and Social Boundaries in the Una-Sana Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 38(2), 247-264. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08865655.2022.2104339

Taylor, K. M., Taylor, E. M., Hartman, P., Woodard, R., Vaughan, A., Coppola, R., ... & Machado, E. (2019). Expanding repertoires of resistance: Teachers cultivating critical English language arts pedagogies through collaborative narrative inquiry. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 18(2), 188-203. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ETPC-11-2018-0114/full/html

Zsoldos-Marchis, I. (2020). Children stories for teaching mathematics in preschool written by primary and preschool pedagogy specialization students. In INTED2020 Proceedings (pp. 8434-8439). IATED. https://library.iated.org/view/ZSOLDOSMARCHIS2020CHI

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