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Running head:  LANGUAGE  DEVELOPMENT                                  

Language Development Interview Amy Martinez ECE 315: Language Development in Young Children Professor Milagros Marchese May 6, 2013

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Language Development Interview The purpose  of  this  interview  is  to  determine  what  level  of  knowledge  I  have  when   it   comes   to   language   acquisition.     In   this   paper,   I   will   answer   five   interview   questions   to   demonstrate   my   knowledge   for   a   future   professional   role   as   an   elementary   school   teacher.     I  will  give  my  answers  and  then  analyze  them  according  to  what  I  have  learned  from  the   course  text  and  other  sources  in  regards  to  language  development  in  small  children.     Question  One:   Interviewer:   “What   experience   do   you   have   working   with   children   with   communication   disorders?”   Amy  Martinez:    “I  have  personal  experience  in  that  I  have  a  son  who  has  Autism  Spectrum   Disorder  with  moderate  speech  delay.    I  noticed  my  son  was  not  using  as  much  language  as   other  children  his  age  when  he  was  2  years  old.    He  developed  his  own  form  of  babble  at   around  one  year  of  age,  but  he  never  progressed  past  that.    At  my  son’s  fifteen  month  check   up   the   pediatrician   asked   me   how   many   words   he   was   able   to   say   and   my   answer   was   2   or   3,  to  which  the  doctor  expressed  some  concern  but  explained  that  some  children  develop   language  at  a  slower  rate  than  their  peers  and  that  we  would  follow  up  at  his  next  visit  to   see  if  there  was  any  progress.    Needless  to  say,  my  son’s  language  usage  did  not  progress  by   the  time  he  turned  two,  so  I  had  him  evaluated  by  Early  Childhood  Intervention,  and  they   determined   that   there   was   speech   delay   due   to   the   fact   that   he   had   lost   over   40%   of   his   hearing  at  an  early  age.    They  also  noted  that  the  sounds  of  his  voice  were  very  different   and   tingey.     My   son   had   to   have   implants   to   help   him   hear   better,   and   we   began   speech  


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therapy directly   after   his   surgery.     I   sat   in   his   therapy   sessions   and   worked   with   his   therapist  so  that  I  would  know  what  exercises  to  use  at  home  between  sessions.    I  learned  a   variety  of  speech  exercises  as  well  as  the  Picture  Exchange  Communication  System  (PECS)   to   assist   in   language   development.   I   also   attended   hours   of   ASD   and   Communicative   Disorder   education   through   a   special   program   for   parents   of   children   with   ASD   at   the   local   University  as  recommended  by  my  son’s  therapists.”   Analysis:    My  answer  to  this  interview  question  clearly  demonstrates  a  situation  that  was   described  in  the  course  text  (Piper,  2012),  in  which  the  author  explained  that  if  a  child  is   showing  a  language  delay  at  the  age  of  2,  there  is  not  necessarily  reason  to  believe  there  is  a   problem.    The  text  explained  further  that  language  delays  are  identified  as  children  who  are   developing   language   through   the   normal   stages,   just   on   a   different   timetable   as   their   typical  peers  (Piper,  2012).    The  experience  I  have  with  my  son’s  pediatrician  backs  up  that   claim.        

In my   answer,   I   also   demonstrated   an   understanding   of   the   difference   between  

language delay   and   speech   delay.     My   son   had   a   speech   delay   because   not   all   of   the   mechanisms   for   speech   were   working   properly   (Piper,   2012),   however,   once   we   had   surgery   and   were   successfully   progressing   in   his   speech,   we   also   turned   our   focus   to   language  development  through  the  use  of  PECS  to  strengthen  the  intervention.           Question  Two:   Interviewer:    “After giving a language assessment, what are your next steps in planning?” Amy  Martinez:    “If  I  assessed  a  child  and  determined  that  there  was  a  language  delay,  for   instance,  the  first  thing  I  would  do  is  to  contact  the  parents  to  set  up  a  meeting  to  discuss  


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what I  had  observed.    The  purpose  of  the  meeting  would  be  to  partner  with  the  parents  to   figure  out  what  the  underlying  problem  may  be  and  how  we  can  work  together  to  help  the   child  progress  in  their  language  development.    It  would  be  important  for  me  to  gather  as   much  information  as  possible  about  the  home  life  of  the  family  to  determine  if  there  is   possibly  difficulty  due  to  having  a  different  native  language  than  what  they  are  being  taught   in  school,  or  cultural  differences,  maybe  the  child  grew  up  in  a  language  impoverished   environment,  etc.    Once  I  have  a  complete  picture  of  the  situation  with  the  help  of  the   parents  I  could  then  suggest  a  plan  of  action  that  both  the  parents  and  myself  can  agree  to.    

Most likely,  if  this  is  the  first  time  a  language  delay  has  been  identified  in  that  

particular student,  I  would  employ  a  Tier  I  Intervention  strategy  where  I  would  designate   specific  goals  that  are  measurable  over  a  specific  frame  of  time.    At  a  Tier  I  level,  this  could   be  that  I  give  this  child  an  additional  block  of  reading  or  word  identification  time  during  the   school  day,  for  example.    During  this  time  of  intervention,  I  would  also  give  the  parents   some  practical  steps  they  could  employ  at  home  as  well  to  help  reinforce  the  learning   happening  at  school.      At  the  end  of  the  designated  period,  I  would  reassess  the  child  and   communicate  my  observations  to  the  parents.    At  that  point,  either  progress  will  be  made   or  not;  if  progress  is  made  then  the  intervention  was  successful  and  we  can  continue  to   move  forward,  but  if  adequate  progress  was  not  made  we  would  have  to  move  to  a  more   intensive  Tier  II  Intervention  strategy.”   Analysis:      In  my  answer  to  this  interview  question  I  demonstrate  the  importance  of   meeting  with  the  parents  and  how  the  data  they  can  provide  can  make  a  big  difference  in   how  you  go  about  intervention  (Piper,  2012).    Obviously,  if  a  delay  is  identified,  it  must  be   addressed  through  intervention  strategies,  but  it  depends  on  the  unique  situation  of  the  


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child as  to  what  interventions  are  used.    In  this  example  I  discussed,  the  child  was  not  an   English  as  a  Second  Language  Learner,  so  my  intervention  strategies  were  pretty  basic.     However,  if  this  child  was  an  ESL,  I  might  have  chosen  to  seek  the  assistance  of  our  district   ELL  Teacher  who  could  implement  specific  ESL  strategies  in  the  classroom.        

I also  demonstrate  an  understanding  of  Response  to  Intervention  in  my  response  

and the  importance  of  assessment  in  the  classroom,  even  for  language  development.    If  this   child  went  on  to  Tier  II  Intervention  strategies  and  was  still  unresponsive,  I  would  then   have  to  refer  the  child  for  an  evaluation  for  eligibility  of  Special  Education  services.    At  that   point,  all  of  my  observations  and  assessments  would  be  used  by  a  team  of  professionals   and  the  parents,  along  with  evaluation  tools  to  determine  eligibility  for  services.    So  it  is   important,  as  a  teacher,  to  document  observations  and  assessments  as  well  as  all   communication  with  the  parents  so  that  the  appropriate  decisions  can  be  made  for  the   child.     Question  Three:   Interviewer:    “What  techniques  would  you  use  to  help  support  language  development  in   children?”   Amy  Martinez:    “There  are  many  different  strategies  I  could  use  to  encourage  language   development  in  my  classroom,  depending  on  the  background  of  the  class  population.    In   any  case,  the  first  thing  I  would  do  is  to  include  a  lot  of  language  and  reading  centers  and   activities  in  the  classroom  environment.    A  lot  of  language  development  happens  through   children  simply  being  read  to  and  then  being  exposed  to  and  using  language  in  various   ways  to  reinforce  their  learning.    I  would  have  a  daily  story  time,  but  I  would  also  allow  the   children  free  time  everyday  where  they  can  choose  to  do  things  such  as  listening  to  books  


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on an  MP3  player  while  looking  at  the  illustrations,  playing  in  the  play  kitchen  with  their   peers  where  they  have  an  opportunity  to  listen  and  communicate  with  each  other  in  a   social  context.  Allowing  children  to  choose  from  various  activities  where  they  can  use  their   language  or  experience  language  supports  language  development  in  the  classroom***.”   Analysis:      Here  I  demonstrate  an  understanding  of  how  the  classroom  environment  and   the  types  of  activities  incorporated  in  that  environment  work  to  support  language   development.  I  could  also  go  on  to  explain  how  I  would  set  up  time  during  the  day  to   conduct  various  intervention  strategies  for  those  students  needing  either  Tier  I  or  Tier  II   intervention.    I  might  choose  to  set  up  a  time  where  I  differentiate  the  lesson  assignment  so   that  there  are  groups  working  in  different  centers  or  activities  specific  to  their  level  of   language  level  or  need.    I  could  have  one  group  sitting  in  the  reading  area  working  with  a   felt  board  to  act  out  a  story  together  while  I  focus  on  another  group  by  conducting  picture   and  name  games.   Question  4:   Interviewer:    “When  it  comes  to  working  with  children  who  are  learning  a  second   language,  which  method  do  you  think  works  best?”   Amy  Martinez:      “Personally,  I  think  Pull-­‐Out  Programs  are  very  effective.    I  worked  at  a   school  that  used  this  method,  and  we  had  our  ESL  students  in  the  mainstream  classroom   for  most  of  the  day  where  they  learned  content  in  English,  but  they  would  also  attend  a   specific  class  for  ESL  students  during  the  day  to  focus  on  their  learning  English  (Piper,   2012).    I  think  there  is  a  lot  of  benefit  from  learning  alongside  English  speaking  students   because  they  learn  to  communicate  with  their  peers  and  get  practical  practice  and   experience  communicating  in  this  way.  However,  I  think  the  Pull-­‐Out  class  is  a  great  


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supplement for  those  ESL  students  who  need  additional  support  with  their  language   development  in  English.”   Analysis:      This  is  where  I  have  to  be  honest  and  admit  that  although  I  do  have  some   knowledge  of  ELL  programs  and  have  completed  hours  of  training  in  this  area,  I  have  never   actually  worked  with  ESL  students,  so  I  do  not  have  a  lot  of  specifics  to  share.    However,  I   demonstrate  here  that  I  importance  of  ESL  students  learning  alongside  their  English   speaking  peers  and  how  it  can  support  their  learning  English.     Question  Five:   Interviewer:      “How  do  you  work  to  meet  the  language  goals  of  all  children  in  your  class   individually?”   Amy  Martinez:      “All  children  have  their  own  strengths  and  weakness,  and  that  includes   when  it  comes  to  language  development.    They  all  have  different  needs  and  learn  in   different  ways,  and  because  of  this  we  have  to  give  students  an  opportunity  to  demonstrate   their  learning  in  various  ways.    There’s  not  a  one-­‐size  fits  all  for  learning,  so  I  would   differentiate  my  instruction  for  the  individual  needs  in  my  classroom.    Like  I  touched  on   earlier,  I  might  divide  up  my  students  into  pre-­‐determined  groups  that  will  have  specific   learning  experiences  already  prepared  specifically  for  them  and  their  collective  goals,  while   establishing  completely  different  activities  for  other  groups.    Differentiation  can  be   accomplished  through  groups,  or  on  an  individual  basis  depending  on  assignment  and   individual/group  goals.    I  would  also  employ  the  support  of  resource  aides  and  other   support  staff  to  help  with  interventions  and  differentiation  during  the  school  day.”  


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Analysis:    My  response  here  shows  that  I  understand  the  importance  of  addressing  the   individual  needs  of  students  and  know  how  to  use  several  different  strategies  to  do  so   successfully.    I  can  also  refer  back  to  my  response  detailing  Response  to  Intervention  with   this  question,  because  RTI  has  to  do  with  addressing  the  specific  goals  and  needs  of   individual  students  according  to  their  specific  needs.    

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Reference: Piper,  T.  (2012).  Making  Meaning  Making  Sense:  Children's  Early  Language  Learning.  San          

Diego, CA:  Bridgepoint  Education,  Inc.  .  

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Language Development Interview  

Language Development in Young Children

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