Language acquisition is created by the human being’smind, and has many secrets yet to be discovered, but when the child starts tolearn the language? He starts earlier than most of us think, in the motherwomb, where he gets acquainted and be familiarized with the sounds surroundingthem, and it ends much later in life. There is an end for learning sound andgrammar but vocabulary learning never ends, therefore there is always somethingnew to learn. Many studies were conducted, and theories were made, whichinclude the study of sound, grammar, discourse…etc, to give perspectives tothis interesting puzzling phenomenon. All the Languages developed throughcenturies so did the English language, the change was a result of political,economic, and social reasons.
The English language has its orthography systemwhich has its upsides that help the child to learn the language more easily,and it’s downsides that delay the learning process. Knowing the advantages andthe disadvantages of the English orthography helped in creating new ways thatfacilitate language acquisition for children instead of relying on the obsoletemethods of rote learning, one of the ways that are used both in schools and athomes is to socialize and interact with children in literacy practices assinging songs, reading stories, and trying to figure out what are the best waysthat helped the children to acquire language more easily even at the individuallevel.Language acquisition is not confined to monolingualchildren of any language, nonetheless, monolingual English children.
Todaythree-quarter of the children around the world are born in a bilingualenvironment and a half-third of world’s children are born in a trilingualenvironment, in consequence, languages and dialects interaction would beomnipresent affecting language coexistence, development, and the way it istaughtNow, literacy has no limitations of its existence in schools,universities or at work, but it becomes part of our everyday life at grocerystores, in the streets, in interacting with people…
etc. Children need toexpress themselves not just to convey their persona or to prove their individuality,but also to share feelings, emotions, and opinion which integrates them as apart of the society and fulfill their needs to blend in and pursue what theywant in life Language is a mean of communicating and expressingthoughts and ideas. The need of a spoken language emerged first by makingsounds that represent letters, syllables, words, sentences that address theauditory system, then letters and words address the ophthalmic system of thehuman being. The necessity of a writing system arose from a need to recordevents and communicates it with different people across the different period oftimes. Writing began as pictures associated with words syllables sounds, thenmore complex writing systems were developed through the world. (Webster, 1806).
Learning to speak and write are intertwined, the child starts the process of learningto speak by imitating other people around him, so Speech is important indeveloping language skills, improving vocabulary, receiving and producinglanguage, furthermore, understanding the connection between spoken and writtenlanguage is essential to organize and deliver the meaning of the message in amore efficient and coherent way. (www.lob.ca.).Orthography is “the accepted way of spelling and writing.”(www.cambridgedictionary.
org) or “The art of writing words with the properletter according to standard use “(www.meriam-webster.com).Ina perfect language, letters correspond with sounds, but the English language isa syllabic language and has its characteristics, it consists of twenty-sixletters written from right to left in a sideways top to bottom. In a perfectlanguage every letter corresponds to a sound, however, some of them correspondwith more than one sound. (Webster, 1806).The inconsistencies in the English orthographymade English a challenging language to acquire even for children who aremono-lingual English native speakers, because many inconsistencies were notjust at the level of the letter and their presentation of more than one sound,but also at the level of words.
Historically the English language is a dialect;its position was elevated and became an international language spoken by manytongues as a mother language or second or foreign language, it came intocontact with English like Latin, German, French, Danish which brought manywords into the language and changing other words meaning pronunciation and use,For example: the word colonel has French and Italian origin, In French, it iscoronel, but in Italian it is colonello, now it is written in the Italian wayand spelled in the French way. Building on what is previously written thegrapheme-morpheme relationship in English is opaque due to the loan words,which were largely absorbed by the English language causing frozen spelling fora massive amount of word which makes the prediction of its pronunciation andwriting very hard.(www,youtube.com)Thereare other difficulties that face not just children but adult too, for examplesome sounds stayed or disappeared ,the/f/ sound in words like: cough, enough, through or thought, other sounds werelost at the beginning of the words in words like: wrong and knee, some lettersbecome silent when pronounced for e.
g. Psychology, Island. Daughter,furthermore words have swallowed syllables e.
g. Vegetable is pronouncedvegtable (www.thought.com), and some English letters give many differentpronunciations for the same letter for e.g.
the words bear, ear, and heart.The English orthography stabilized through thecenturies mostly because of the printing invention by Guttenberg, which helpedin the dissemination of English and the role lexicographer who document thepronunciation and writing of millions of word albeit the difference betweendifferent standard English like standard American, standard British …Etc.(www.youtube.com)The English orthography has its positive sides, the spelling system help todifferentiate homophones in words, for example: alter and altar ,morphemes likeinflections stay the same with different words e.g.
sides,derived.(allington,mayor,2012).By studying language new methods were developed tofacilitate learning and teaching English according to many perspectives thatwere adopted, one of those perspectives is social perspective, which depends onthe need and the necessity of the child to express his emotions, needs, and hissocial identity in the society. How children acquire language is contentiousbetween the anthropologist, sociolinguists, psychologists…etc, and there aremany perspectives of their studies one of them is the social perspective towardhow a child acquires literacy and what they do with literacy in their everydaylife, and since spoken and written language are closely related literacy is apart of a wider communicativepractice, and using literacy in this sense involvesexchanging knowledge with a social-network, parents or caregivers who havetheir essential role the way the children acquire language, and how they getinvolved in practices that will help the children to gain literacy in a moreeffective way like storybook reading which studies shown that it supports thechild language development, and literacy practice later in life.(www.2.sfasu.edu)There are many other reasons that affecthow child literacy evolved, which involve the culture of his parents, thesociety that he is surrounded by and the economic status of his parents, thelevel of their education, the school’s environment, the quality of learning,and social class, religion, the position of the child in the family, and how hedeals with the difficulties that he faces which is part of the childpsychology.The literacy of the child at an early ageis strongly connected to learning the alphabet it is the first predictor to hisor her reading and writing accomplishments in his first formal schooling process that isintertwined with the parent’s role in involving their children in practices ona frequent basis with multiple genres of literacy like children’s fiction oradventurous stories, newspapers adds…etc, another key role in acquiring thelanguage in children is their relationship with their parents and their parentbeliefs about literacy.Many activities are used by parents at home or in schoolthat facilitate literacy practice as a social activity like engaging childrenin songs, hymen’s books, spelling contests, flash cards and interacting withchildren in conversation to see how they understand literacy and literarytexts, furthermore the need to encourage children emotionally and physically tolearn written and spoken language alter the child perspective toward learningand make it more appealing to him(www.2.sfasu.edu).The literacy practice of English has also existed inbilingual communities that are affected by religion, social class, schoolsparent’s educational level, and the bilingual children may have someimpediments in learning English for example if their other language is writtenfrom right to left, not from left to right they may start writing English fromright to left, or they may think about the subject in one language and write itin another or they may code-switch during writing.In the end everychild has the right to have the best of his or her learning experiences,because it affects their whole life and having difficulties in learning andwriting should be treated starts as alittle human with the ability and the need to express his thoughts, ambitionand the right to define himself as somebody with possibilities