Paper Example: Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Teaching and Learning for Maths and English in the Early Years

Published: 2023-09-13
Paper Example: Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Teaching and Learning for Maths and English in the Early Years
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  Learning Mathematics Child development Language development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1825 words
16 min read


Education is a life-long process that depends on several aspects of its effectiveness in the life of a child. Teaching and learning are the key components of formal education or schooling. The quantity and extent to which learning has taken place are determined by the appropriate assessment method. Learners enter classrooms with diverse backgrounds, termed individual differences (Helm & Katz, 2016). To assess learners effectively, it is important to take into account the ability of every individual learner and adopt the most effective assessment tool.

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There are several indicators of success that are encouraging, but still, there are some areas of concern. In Maths, illiterate children living in economically disadvantaged families and who belong to the ethnic and linguistic minority groups show a low level of achievement significantly. If the progress in developing proficiency in Mathematics and English among children aged 5 to 7 years is to continue, more attention needs to be given to early English and Mathematics experiences (Dean, 2019). The increased effort and awareness have occurred recently with respect to the early literacy foundation. Basically, wide-scale commitment, time, and increased energy in the early years will enhance great progress in learning Mathematics and English.

Many young children are in early education settings and child care where they can obtain significant early experiences in English and Mathematics. It has been confirmed that early experiences have a great impact on the life of a child when it comes to learning English and Mathematics (Dean, 2019). Even though knowledge is still far from the end, there is a fuller picture of the English and Mathematics young children are in a position to acquire and the approaches to boost their understanding. Such knowledge, however, is still not in the hands of various early childhood teachers in a manner to effectively guide their teaching (Thomas & McInnes, 2017).

The environment in which a learner is raised also plays a role in the manner in which they master and retain any imparted content. Such a piece of work addresses reading as an assessment tool to determine the depth of learning since reading makes it possible to observe any slight change in behavior the learner displays (Dean, 2019).

Reading as an Assessment Tool

Several research works have provided adequate evidence that literacy concept acquired at the early learning stage determines learner's future reading ability and comprehension. Based on this fact, learning instructors have always relied on reading as the best tool of assessment for learners in the age bracket of 5 to 7 years and even above depending on the learner's ability to retain any given concept (Moss, Bruce & Bobis, 2016)

The reading components which have been of use include letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Articulation of all these in the learning environment has a positive impact on learners. The main reason for using the reading components is to enhance the identification of skills that require constant review. Reading assessment equip instruction facilitators with crucial information on what skills are well taken by learners and where necessary adjustments would be made (Thomas & McInnes, 2017)

The assessment also enables teachers to monitor the progress of their learners. When learning is closely monitored, the facilitator gets an opportunity of knowing whether the skills have been correctly mastered before more and new content is added on the same learner (Thomas & McInnes, 2017). Any learning instructors should always review whatever has been learned in the past to be able to get the time factor of learners by gauging their mind content and keep a well-detailed progress record to be able to make necessary adjustments where necessary.

A reliable learner's progress information creates a baseline along which the teacher's instructions are aligned. Regular assessment enables a teacher to make a rational decision concerning the instruction to be used and that which suits every learner in the same learning environment. Lastly, assessment demonstrates the scope to which learning instruction should cover having revealed their potential or cognitive ability at the early stages of the adoption of instruction in use (Dean, 2019).

Teachers should also be much more concerned about what their learners are willing to learn and able to learn at any given time; improvement is that which human beings is aiming at. The assessment also enables teachers to improve on their mode of instruction as far as reading is concerned about (Moss, Bruce & Bobis, 2016)

What Reading Manifest about Learners

Formal learning entirely relies on the ability of a learner to read. Reading enables a learner to acquire a new language or the language of instructions. Regardless of whether learning is simple or complex, the learner must be conversant with language acquired through reading. Reading is one of the ways in which the human mind can be read. At the early stages of learning, the reading ability of a child reveals the child's memory, which is the ability to learn and retain as well as match mental pictures with reality (Thomas & McInnes, 2017).

Fluency and comprehension of a child are also embedded in reading. Regular reading and mastery of content also determine the phonemic awareness of a child in the learning environment or later in a lifetime. Categorization of letters and symbols enhances the learning of English and mathematics that require memorization and matching of mental pictures to reality.

Relevance of Reading on Learner's Stage of Learning

Any educator should be in a position to note that learning is an observable change in behavior. The changes occur in phases depending on an individual place of origin and cognitive ability. Learning of Mathematics and English requires an application or well-articulated skills. Reading as an assessment tool equip a learner with identification and matching of mental pictures and the reality. It also enhances memory and retention in learning set up, learning begins from simple to complex, concrete to abstract (Moss, Bruce & Bobis, 2016)

One can gauge and determine the stage of learning, depending on what the learner is able to do with the letters and symbols. Mathematics, in particular, is abstract in nature and require good mastery of concepts from simple to more complex. A learner can only achieve effective learning of Mathematics is adequately equipped with necessary reading skills through close monitoring of learning progress.

Reading as an assessment tool is done bit by bit and there is depth to which learning is expected to occur considering the fact that there exist individual differences among learner perpetuated by the environment of origin, cognitive ability of the learners and also learner's willingness and readiness to learn (Stephen & Edwards, 2017).

The Usefulness of Reading as an Assessment Tool

Reading major covers the cognitive domain of learning, which is extensively explained by the cognitive model. The adoption of this tool has always enabled teachers to make an accurate choice of strategies to use in teaching and learning. The most common of the strategies are phonic, grammatical, and graphic, which are necessary and essential in the learning of English and Mathematics (Thomas & McInnes, 2017). The cognitive model leads to the development of skills of reading into word recognition as well as linguistic understanding.

It is evident that the approach, reading as a tool result in gains in word reading and spelling. Language is essential in learning, as it is the only instructional tool. Due to the fact that learners suffering from dyslexia and autism - spectrum majorly depend on visual strategy, reading proves to be most suitable and effective for such a category of learners. Generally reading is a tool for assessment has been adopted by most teachers and learning facilitators because it is cheap to administer and effective to learners with no visual impairment which forms the larger segment of any learning environment (Helm & Katz, 2016)

It also does not require a lot of teaching aid and can be applied to a larger group of learners at a time. Another concern is that reading builds a sense of confidence in learners and prepare them for the leadership role that requires effective and efficient communication.

Planning for the Learning of Phonics

Phonics requires adequate planning and consideration of some factors in learners. Developing a teaching order that involves rhyming skills helps children to read by assumption, which best suits the irregular orthography of English. It is also essential to note that at an early stage of learning, the learner's coding shift from small to large bits when learning English, which also relies on the kind of wording given by the learning instructor (Thomas & McInnes, 2017).

It is, therefore, necessary that in the planning to teach phonics, one should adopt multiple approaches that are essential in the learning process and also develops the skills of word recognition. Word spelling in English is inconsistent that therefore requires the use of indirect instruction to minimize. The confusion elements which may arise during content delivery or learning process, immature readers of English, are equipped with basic skills of graphemes and how to blend them in order to develop a stronger foundation of word reading skills (Helm & Katz, 2016).

A reverse segmenting is also emphasized at this stage. Learning facilitators should also administer letter sounds at a relatively faster pace. Finally, learners are taken through on how to comprehend basic phoneme, not in isolation.

Strategies to Support Children's Comprehension

Comprehension is a process in which a reader attempt to get information being communicated in any piece of work provided in writing. For a learner to effectively comprehend any work, the learner must be subjected to a series of reading strategies so as to be able to develop basic reading skills necessary in comprehending a given work.

The following are basic strategies; the most basic strategy is visual skills. In reading, the learner should be able to recognize words and match them with actual objects they represent in real life. A learner that is able to recognize objects corresponding to the word given effectively will be able to form a series of mental pictures that flow and make sense. The next aspect of learning is an adequate interpretation of the vocabulary used. Readers should be in a position to have a visual memory and sharp memory of words and give contextual meaning. Such a learner will have or develop high comprehension ability in any given context (Stephen & Edwards, 2017).

Good phonological awareness is also a component to be considered. A reader with well-blended consonant-vowel-constant will be in a position to read through a text fast and grasp information at a relatively high pace compared to one with little blending. Fluency also matters in such a case as it sharpens memory. A learner fluent in English will always form clear mental pictures that are well stored in memory and retrieved with ease. Comprehension depends so much on reading and clear recognition of wording and putting them in the right context to give a meaning that is relevant to a context.

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