Teachers are often anxious about children’s inability to speak and listen during the first years of classroom. Speaking is vital to children’s development while learning plays an integral part in enhancing their level of knowledge and understanding. While growing up, it is essential to utilize listening and speaking skills. Both skills play a fundamental role in emotional, social and cognitive growth and development. Children’s learning can therefore be enhanced by excellent teaching of listening and speaking skills (Richards and Rodgers, 2001).Listening and speaking skills are fundamental to both writers and readers.
The main literacy driver for early years of the classroom is talk for Literacy. Hence, the different use of teaching and learning via drama is essential. A unique aspect of developing language and literacy a dedicated curriculum should be talk. This aspect of the curriculum is the foundation of early years of teaching and learning since oral language is the key determinant of developing writing and reading skills (Richards, 2001).The other crucial aspect in the early years of the classroom is the need for children to differentiate sounds, an essential skill in development of listening skills. The aspect is also an essential skill for children to have before developing phonic knowledge.
Some of the phonic schemes that used in the early years of classrooms in clued progression in phonics, playing with sounds and jolly phonics. Phonic learning can be applies through the use of a nursery rhyme and a related narrative. This means that phonics can be determined within the text and not the text resulting to the phonic learning (Richards, 2001).The learning objectives during the first years of the classroom should be to make use of language in imagination and creation of roles and experiences. The second objective should be to speak audibly and clearly with confidence and show an awareness of listeners.
Sustaining attentive listening and making responses to what has been heard by use of relevant comments, actions and questions are the other objective of listening during the first years of classroom. Generally, listening and talking skills are essential while growing up while reading skills are acquired from learning or education process. Reading story books and texts in classrooms enhance reading, comprehension as well as communications skills. Additionally, creative and analytical skills are acquired from the learning process (Richards, 2001).Contrary to what has been discussed on the use of phonic sin the early years of classrooms, the language method utilizes grammar translation.
Through grammar translation, a student is required to first analyze the grammar rules of a language as well as their application. This is essential in translating of a given text into a target language. This method therefore considers mastery of language to entail memorization of facts and rules with the aim of understanding manipulating syntax and morphology in order to enhance understanding (Richards, 2001).Similarly to the use of phonics in the early years of classroom, the language method also focuses on reading and writing. Little attention is also given to listening sans speaking skills. Selection of vocabulary is based on reading texts. Instructors teach words through the use of bilingual word lists, memorization as well as dictionary study.
The basic unit of teaching and language practice is the sentence. Hence, the focus on sentence is a unique feature of the language method.One of the steps that could be added to the balanced literacy paper is the use of drama to enhance speaking skills. A teacher could use drama to actively involve students in the whole learning process. Through drama, students are able to master phonics and develop communication or speaking skills. Drama could be a base through which students interact among themselves as well as with their teachers or instructions. Creativity could also be fostered through drama by asking students to come up with their own ideas on the themes and content of plays entailed in drama (Richards, 2001).
The paper should also expound more on independent reading as a way of teaching phonics in early years of classroom Independent reading enables children to understand the use of letters, pictures as well as words. As a result, children can come up with their own books, journals or notes. Teachers expect their students to have the chances of being risk takers and having the potentiality of exploring letter and sound relationships.Generally, the language method holds the view that reading is a natural procedure that children ought to master in a similar manner to the mastery of speaking skills.
Children in language classrooms are exposed to a wide spectrum of authentic learning and reading opportunities. According to the phonics approach of language instruction, children learn reading skills through utilization of explicit learning of phonic rules. All reading approaches are incorporated in balanced literacy on the premise that students require the use of various devices in order to become proficient readers. Balanced literacy balances both writing and reading instruction (Richards, 2001).
Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching (2nd Ed). Cambridge University Press.