"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Phonological Awareness and Reading Acquisition
An Educational Proposal for Introducing English in Italian Preschools
Phonological awareness (PA) refers to children’s ability to distinguish or manipulate the auditory segments of any spoken language. The present work investigates PA skills in preschool children in relation to the successive development of children’s reading/writing abilities in an L1 and an L2. The first chapter explores the methodological issues that are still unsolved or neglected in the field of early foreign language teaching methodology in Italy. What follows is a description of PA skills and development in English-speaking children, and the of PA role within children’s process of L1 literacy acquisition. The next section describes the most relevant evidence-based studies supporting the role of PA as an emergent literacy skill in preschool children, and as a predictor of literacy acquisition.
In order to verify whether PA skills can be transferred from an L1 to an L2, the author successively examines the development of PA in children acquiring a language other than English as their L1, or English as a second language, and the phenomenon of transfer of PA skills across English/other alphabetic or non-alphabetic languages. The following chapters tackle methodological issues and describe the general educational environment where PA tasks in English as an L2 could be carried out in Italian preschools, as well as the main features of these activities. Lastly, a set of innovative teaching/learning tasks are presented. These tasks have been designed by the author, with the purpose of assisting Italian educators in developing preschool children’ PA skills, as well as their overall oral skills in English as an L2.