Effective Strategies for Language Acquisition

Language Acquisition Strategies: Importance for All

Effective strategies to support language acquisition are needed for children. Using technology for learning has really changed the way I teach. The technological world we live in today is a great tool for so many reasons. I am able to personalize learning with additional support enrich student learning. I can also bring in other resources from around the world.

However, the downside of using technology has impacted language development for many children. Why? More parents engage in phone conversations instead of with their child. Students spend more time “on the screen” instead of conversing and playing.

I’m sure you can see how technology has had a negative impact on language acquisition for our children. This is evidenced in lower reading scores and writing challenges across many regions in our world.

Language Acquisition Strategies: What is it?

Language acquisition is the ability to learn language to communicate to others. When I think about the four language areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, each of these areas are part of the overall concept of “language acquisition”.

The important years for language acquisition are birth to age 4.

Do you remember Gardner’s multiple intelligence? Individuals who are strong in the linguistic intelligence acquire language more easily compared to others who favor one of the other eight intelligence.

As a result, individuals that are not strong in linguistic, may have difficulties acquiring language compared. Reaching these individuals with instruction that supports their intelligence (learning style) is paramount for success.

For a quick review of multiple intelligence, review this video.

Language Acquisition Strategies: Brain Work

Did you know one of the best ways to support a child in language acquisition is to engage in conversations about a variety of topics? Conversations to encourage critical thinking and problem solving strategies, but also conversations allowing the child to share information relevant to his/her circumstance are important.

Both conversational and academic language should be a part of conversations to promote language acquisition. Without getting in to a lot of brainy discussion, these language experiences help build dendrites in the brain that allow connections for further learning to build upon. However, if you’d like to get “brainy”, check out this video.

Language Acquisition Strategies: Top Tips

As I mentioned above, building upon the student’s learning intelligence and providing opportunities to acquire language at a very young age will help the student to acquire language. Therefore, when planning lessons, it is important to prepare a variety of lessons that cover the various learning intelligence.

I’ve prepared a resource to support all educators seeking to ensure they are providing a variety of language acquisition opportunities throughout the day for their students. Keep in mind, regardless of students who are English learners, receiving speech support, or have an IEP (Individualized Education Program), the strategies that I share are great for ALL students.

Get this free resource and use these tips to support all your students’ language acquisition.

Language Acquisition Strategies: Related Resources

Providing a variety of resources to support language acquisition is the key to success. I’ve pulled together some additional resources to assist you in this goal.

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For those of you looking to acquire a second, third, or fourth language, using the same strategies shared in my FREE resource will aid you in this goal. Additionally, here are more strategies.

Best Way to Learn a Language

Language Acquisition Strategies: Final Thoughts

Putting the technology down, engaging in conversations, and reading books and discussing books are the first steps to supporting language acquisition for all learners.

Layering additional instructional acquisition strategies that target a variety of intelligence is another way to support learners.

Finally, providing consistent practice by coordinating opportunities for listening, reading, speaking, and writing throughout the day will allow students to practice the learning they have experienced to fully master the language. These steps will improve literacy and result in an increase of learning and achievement.

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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for 29 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, English learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

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