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Learning and Development Theories

The importance of linguistic education for the children, adolescents and adults has been recognized by numerous research institutions and international organization. To be more exact , the Millennium Declaration adopted by the United Nations Organization clearly define that the governments and the businesses shall cooperate and contribute heavily to promote and cultivate high educational standards internationally. In particular, both the scholars and the practicing pedagogues have recently acknowledged the importance of linguistic education for all age groups.

In order to elaborate the most effective and result-oriented learning methods, various teaching theories and developmental approaches shall be duly analyzed. The discussed methods can be classified into two groups: the classical ones and the post-modern methods, which although are not traditionally recognized, are no less substantiated and have greatly contributed to the development of the international pedagogical community.                 

In accordance with the international pedagogical practice and with the scholarly opinion as well, the most popular and widely applied theoretical models include the theories designed and studied includes the theories Jean Peaget, Lev Vygotsky, one of the most acknowledged psychologists of Soviet era and his American colleagues Jerome Bruner and Howard Gardner. Modern and non-traditional approaches are presented by educational neuro-scientific theory and brain-focused theory.                                                                                 

The aim of this paper is to outline the advantages and limitations of all methods, to elucidate the most efficacious ones, to outline the basics of these theories and to conclude on the most effective one for the needs of the contemporary psychological science. The research methods of the paper include scholarly references as well as the accentuation of the relevant international practical experience. Overall, the paper is focused on the development of the models of linguistic learning for the children of 5-14 years of age, although secondary sources analyze the impact exercised on the adults and adolescents.

Teaching Languages to Young Learners

This study serves as one of the primary sources for the needs of this paper. The book clearly elucidates the most conventional educational approaches, developmental theories and the way these concepts are applied in the context of modern development of the educational field. The author accentuates the studies of Jean Piaget and Howard Gardner.

Overall, the study is primarily focused over the traditional concepts and theories, whilst the modern and post-modern are regarded as the ones which are still scientifically impotent and therefore can be applied theoretically only.

Teaching Young Language Learners

Although the study does name them clearly, it mainly advocates the application of conventional methods and theories of child and adolescent, it soon become evident that the study advocates the application of conventional models and theories of learning and development, with specific accent made on the usefulness and justification of the theoretical models proposed by Lev Vygotsky and Jeroem Bruner. 

Besides, the book reveals the peculiarities connected with linguistic teaching, as these factors distinguish linguistic education from other fields of children and adolescent education, especially from the teaching of natural sciences and other adjacent academic and basic disciplines.

 In contrast to the first main source, the book is majorly based on the series of empirical studies conducted in various primary and secondary educational institutions of the United Kingdom. With regard to the research methods utilized by the composer of the study, it shall be highlighted that they were approved by the peers.                                           

Specific attention of the author has been paid to the issues connected with the evolution and growing popularity of the transformative learning theory and brain-oriented theory. Generally, alongside with the study compiled by Professor Pinter, the book serves as a primary source for the needs of this essay, since it provides the most accurate encapsulation of the works by Bruner and Vygotsky.

Teaching Foreign Language

This study seems to be one of the most solid protections of the traditional educational theories and models. Considering the authority of the author, it shall be stressed that the focus of the book is primarily on the interpretation and construction of the theoretical models and concepts elaborated within the framework of the traditional theories.               

Whilst the book was written by one of the authoritative and influential specialists of the area, it serves as a secondary source to support and to alleviate the arguments raised in the thesis sections of the essay.

Teaching Foreign Language: Grammar to Adults : A Comparative Study,

The book compiled by professor Tibor is one of the most informative and usable compilations of international psychological and pedagogical practice and theoretically elaborated models. The relevance and importance of this book for the needs of this essay is undisputed, since it serves to provide comparative analysis of the methods and theories applied to the kids and to the adults.

The Cognitive Theory of Jean Piaget

The most important aspect of Jean Piaget work was his ability to integrate and unite the concepts of cognitive theory with the epistemological  approach and the impact that is exercised on the cultivation of the child linguistic training by the so-called figurative factor.

Cognitive educational strategies were deeply explored by professor of Harvard university . His scientific endeavors are majorly focused on the issues connected with the linguistic development of the children in their early childhood. The first assumption made by this author is the fact that in the course of the child development several factors of internal and external nature shall be taken into consideration by the researchers. Generally, cognitive theory of this author explicates that the linguisteic, as well as an other integral development of a child is influenced by the parental and pedagogical intercourse ( external influence), peers' pressure ( external influence) and by the individual proclivities of the targeted child. Specifically, the cognitive approach of Bruner is reflected through the models of representation.  The professor acknowledged that those models could be applied with equal efficacy for mastering of almost all skills and capabilities, including the linguistic ones. However, it shall be accentuated that in accordance with the general theory of cognitivism, the individual mental peculiarities shall always be taken into consideration by the pedagogues, before the educational strategy is devised and launched.             

Bruner's model of representation include three stage approach to the construction of the problem. It encapsulates enactive representation , iconic representation and symbolic representation which shall be reviewed as sequential steps of language comprehension and ultimate dominance thereof. The pledge of linguistic efficacy implicates that enactive representation of the educational material shall be followed by iconic and then by the symbolic one.  Moreover, the scholar has argumented that these stages are hierarchical in their nature and the one which is newly mastered supersedes the previous one.            

Overall, there is a convergent standpoint of the practicing pedagogues that the cognitive approach is widely utilized for the needs of the applied linguistics and for the children linguistic education in particular.

The Cognitive theory of Lev Vygotsky.

With regard to the scholarly opinion of one of the most outstanding and distinguished Russian children psychology developers, it shall be stressed that professor Vygotsky strongly arguments  that the major impact on the formulation of effective strategy of linguistic education is the culture and the nature of the community.                                               

A number of holistic studies enabled this outstanding soviet pedagogue and theoretician to design two methods which could effectively work in conjunction.                       

As far as this educational strategy is concerned,  it is natural to assume that the learning process under the postulates of this theory contributes mostly to the intellectual development of the targeted children groups.  The key assumptions of this theory are that the memory of the targeted groups is the key element as well as the condition that prior knowledge is integrally essential to succeed in the accomplishment of the designed educational goals. 

Having encapsulated his positions it can be inferentially concluded that in order to succeed in children language education the individual peculiarities of a targeted child shall be taken into consideration as well as the cultural influence must be considered. 

Jerome Bruner’s and Cognitive Educational Model

The model of Bruner  implicates active involvement of the stakeholders (the targeted children) and the educators. An important principle of this theory is that the teachers must be fully aware of what knowledge do the children possess before they appear in the classroom.  Besides, under the guideline of this theory, individual peculiarities of each child shall be accentuated in order to design and individual educational approach for him .  Children of all age categories with poor memory are strongly advised to be educated under the principles of other educational theories due to the fact that this learning model is primarily based on the ability of the targeted group to memorize effectively and to make associative connections on the subliminal level.      

Moreover, the model of Bruner is equally applicable for the adults.  Both the opinion of the scholars and the international foreign language pedagogical practice clearly demonstrate that this theory is indeed the most suitable, since it relies majorly on the subliminal perception of the educational material.

Gardner’s theory of Mental Multiple Science

One of the most outstanding united states developmental psychologists Howard Gardner has contributed significantly to the development of the cognitive scientific approach and to the methods and techniques this method is applied. He regarded the language acquisition process as the one which is closely connected with the intelligence of the targeted student. To be more specific, this outstanding researcher elaborated a highly intricate theory of multiple intelligence. In accordance with the postulates of this theory, the one who is taught can acquire different skills and capabilities separately. In other words, it is specifically accentuated that the individual can master linguistic skills separately from mastering math or other sciences. Following the basics of cognitive theory,  it was proposed to organize separate   vocational education. Specifically it  is found reasonable to identify personal proclivities of the children and to choose an educational curriculum in full conformity with those personal traits, or with the intelligence of a child. Contemporary cognitivism identifies nine levels of intelligence – linguist, logical, spatial etc.

With regard to the multiple intelligence theory, it can be inferred that the author of the theory arguments that linguistic education of a child requires full concentration of the supervising authorities on the issues connected with the language development and cultivation exclusively and children, especially in their early childhood shall not be distracted to do other activity. Following this approach, it can be safeguarded that the targeted child will master the linguistic skills successfully.

Summary

Having explored the topic, it has become evident that the process of language learning for the kids can be effectively exercised under various research approaches and techniques. The above discussed educational and development theories have their advantages and disadvantages and the convergent scholarly opinion is that the most effective strategy is the combination of those methods, i.e. the alteration of the theoretical models and approaches proposed by the analyzed scholars. Provided that they are used in conjunction, it can be safeguarded that the highest results will be achieved by the one who practice them.

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