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Experienced CMs, Nannies, Teachers and Parents, come and give your opinion please.

(26 Posts)
DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 11:40:16

I am just writing a hypothetical situation for my course work and need some words to complete the task.
Its about a child whose both parents are inexperienced, foreigners and work full time.
The child's carer takes them regularly to Rhyme and Story sessions, and the only input for child's knowledge of traditional English rhymes, stories and characters etc are provided by the carer.

So, which impact does this have on a child's speech and language communication if any??

I am thinking: vocabulary is obvious, but how to explain that rhyme facilitates the child's literacy learning later on? Or it doesn't?
And what else?

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Mar-14 12:50:59

crumbs. see there is a good reason why I will never further my education now, I couldn't cope with coursework any longer.

well I would say there are 2 sides. you have the positive side of vocabulary exposure, facial expressions which are often used in these rhyme and story sessions, rhyming is great for erm what is it called 'phonemic awareness'??? so will help with language development. gives the child the chance to learn the ways to make the sounds used in English, not so much of a problem if the primary language is similar but for some other languages then it is very hard to learn to make the correct sounds if not learned early enough.

but then you have the negative side which is that the exposure is a relatively small amount of time (well this depends on the hours the parents are working I suppose as if the nanny is there from 8am-6pm 5 days a week then it is a lot of time but if parents work full time but in reality their shifts are different so nanny actually only does say 4 shorter days then the child could fail to develop these skills from these sessions. You are also making the assumption that the nanny is British and speaks clear, fluent English.

that help at all? probably not.

Mrskeylime Mon 17-Mar-14 12:54:41

I was under the impression that listening to rhyme etc in the child's home language is better for the child's acquisition of language.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Mar-14 13:01:39

I suppose though it comes down to which will be the 'main' language. If the parents' hours are such that the nanny is the only one who speaks to the child 5 days a week for example then English will become the primary language as the parents' language will only be 2/7ths of the time.

DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 13:09:23

Very interesting.
I am sure that listening to rhymes and stories on the parents language are very important for the child's language development, but wouldn't it be weird that the child was born in England and will go to school in England and would reach nursery/reception age not knowing anything about 'humpty dumpty or little miss murfet' for example? Nor even the wheels on the bus rhyme?
I think I should mention socialization and feeling as taking part of the group when the whole classroom is singing?

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 17-Mar-14 13:15:41

yes socialising is a large part of communication development too. and add in body language as well as the facial expressions. most of the rhyme groups use actions and whilst yes this is for fun I am sure it is linked to gesticulation. Story telling will also include expression and character voices and so on.

I think it is quite common for children now to be starting school without any concept of British nursery rhymes, it certainly is in my daughters' classes where over 50% are EAL. most will have learned them in preschool but there are many who just haven't come across them. They also aren't familiar with a lot of the 'usual' story books.

littleomar Mon 17-Mar-14 13:24:30

My 4yo hasn't heard of little miss muffet. English is the only language spoken in our home and at his nursery. I don't understand the link between language acquisition and cultural knowledge that seems to be behind your scenario.

DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 13:56:04

If a child is born in England by foreignears parents and will grow up and be educated in England, isn't it important that the minder who spends a lot of time with the child, includes the traditional rhymes, stories etc in the child's daily activities? Won't it support acquisition and development of language plus cultural knowledge plus inclusion?

Yes I will mention non verbal language too.

Little Miss Muffet was just an example.

Mrskeylime Mon 17-Mar-14 16:12:11

'If the parents' hours are such that the nanny is the only one who speaks to the child 5 days a week for example then English will become the primary language as the parents' language will only be 2/7ths of the time'

The main language will be the child's home language and that is the language that the child needs to have fluency in primarily. Learning rhymes and songs in the child's home language may be more useful at this stage.

Mrskeylime Mon 17-Mar-14 16:16:12

info here dated 2007 -there's most likely more current info online. This was one of the first links that came up for me.

MrsJoeDolan Mon 17-Mar-14 16:18:45

but wouldn't it be weird that the child was born in England and will go to school in England and would reach nursery/reception age not knowing anything about 'humpty dumpty or little miss murfet' for example? Nor even the wheels on the bus rhyme?

Not that weird- the value isn't in knowing about the tragic demise of a Egg or Miss Muffitt per se. Child may have access to rhymes and stories in their home language. Equal value.

MrsJoeDolan Mon 17-Mar-14 16:19:33

also 'foreigners parents' sounds a bit Daily Fail to be honest.

Mrskeylime Mon 17-Mar-14 16:20:18

Absolutely agree with your post MrsJoeDolan.

Mrskeylime Mon 17-Mar-14 16:20:38

both of them!

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 17-Mar-14 16:26:04

Couple of points

1 - foreigners? what like Americans or Australians. Do you mean non-English speakers?

2 - I don't remember teaching my children many traditional rhymes when they were young and I am indigenous British with PG level education.

DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 19:27:05

By foreigners I mean non - English speakers.

And they are from different non English speaking countries and none of them are fluent in each others language so when they are together as a family they speak in English and when each of them are alone with the child they speak in their own language.

I can see my case is not strong enough.
Better choose another scenario.


NomDeClavier Mon 17-Mar-14 19:32:59

Tbh it's likely to make no difference at all. The impact is more likely to be from having most family time spent speaking a language foreign to both parents.

For example DS went to nursery in France not knowing any French nursery rhymes, despite DH being French (he just doesn't know any). He's picked them up fine.

LydiaLunches Mon 17-Mar-14 19:41:54

What is your brief?

DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 20:02:43

But if the carer didn't take the child to Rhyme and Story sessions and didn't do it at home, no one would.
Isn't it supporting the child's language and communication?

NomDeClavier Mon 17-Mar-14 20:23:28

Rhyme and story will regardless of a child's first language though. I second the question what exactly is your brief?

DrOwh Mon 17-Mar-14 20:26:25

The brief is to explain a scenario/activities where a childcare supported a child's Speech and Language Communication and the impact it had on the child.

LydiaLunches Mon 17-Mar-14 21:33:09

Child of Deaf parents using BSL going to nursery? Or look at the rationale for offering earlier free childcare to children in low income households - is that intended to impact on language acquisition/ development? Sounds like an interesting assignment smile

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Mar-14 07:27:21

I think you gave yourself too many languages to work with. EMT nanny working in a non English speaking household would work, as would EAL child at nursery. Or an EMT child who refuses to speak or has speech delay.

Do you have anything in your experience that you can draw on that's simpler than the scenario outlined?

cory Tue 18-Mar-14 07:32:07

It's a funny thing about speech and language acquisition, but it seems as if any linguistic stretching of a child in any language they happen to speak will support their overall language development.

My dc's CM always used to comment how much their English improved during the summer holidays. Always amused me as I knew for a fact that they hadn't heard a word of English during the entire 6 weeks. But they had been in an intellectually stimulating environment, they had had new experiences and talked to new people about new things- and all that supported their general language development.

Learning "Bro, bro breja" instead of "Little Miss Muffet" was no different from learning "Humpty Dumpty" instead of "Little Miss Muffet"; you wouldn't consider your child linguistically deprived if the nursery never happened to get round to Little Miss Muffet but did other nursery rhymes instead. "Bro, bro breja" and "Humpty Dumpty" were still manifestations of the same thing and did the same job of developing rhythmic ability and the ability to act out a story.

I think with this foreign language thing, you are in danger of suggesting that an education in another language is somehow inferior and less developing. This doesn't match the education statistics which seem to show quite clearly that the highest performers in British education are children from Asian families, many of whom do speak another language(s) in their home environment.

fwiw I arrived in this country in my late twenties and still have a pretty good knowledge of English nursery rhymes, popular culture and childhood. I had the general idea from my own home language and it was easy enough to learn a few extras in my new language. fwiw dh who was born in England knows very few nursery rhymes. But he never struggled with fitting in anywhere, either.

I'd cut out the foreign language aspect here and concentrate on a family that for whatever reason (depression? illness?) did not support the child linguistically in any language.

IMo whether you do it in English or Japanese or sign language is a bit of a red herring.

DrOwh Tue 18-Mar-14 09:38:07

Ok I will tell the truth.

It is not a hypothetical scenario at all blush I just didn't want to have the risk of being outed.

So the scenario is real and it has to be and that is why I have to justify the choice I made for the assignment or find another example in my practice, however the work is nearly done and I don't want to start all over again.

So the father is from a non English speaking country, so is the mother and myself, (I am from the mother's country too, so the child has exposure at our language at her home and mine) and exposure to English in the outside world, his house and my house when needed.

The parents do support the child's language and communication on their own way, but as I look after the child from a very early stage (2 mo) for a very long time, I was the only one who actually had enough time for, singing, rhymes...then came groups, story time, etc.

I noticed that as the child learnt new songs and stories, he was reproducing at home and parents had no knowledge at all of anything that is done in England and were always asking me about it.

When the child started his nursery education they couldn't support the Christmas concert as they didn't know the songs etc.

And maybe I unconsciously picked this particular subject because I remember my daughter's reception TA giving me printed papers with nursery rhymes as my daughter didn't know them properly.
I was mortified because even before I became a nursery nurse assistant and CM, I always took my daughter as a baby and toddler to rhyme time, story time, playgroups etc and had books and CDs at home, but she still didn't learn all the words properly (she has very bad memory) and I felt judged and patronised by the reception's TA who was probably trying to help anyway, but hit a nerve due to my insecurities as a mother and foreigner non English speaker.

Sorry for the lie on the OP. I didn't even imagine I would have such amazing answers.


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