Language Development of Young Children

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 128

       Course Name: Language Development of Young Children

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

None

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides in-depth knowledge of typical and atypical language development in children from birth to school age.  Additional topics explore language and literacy, bilingualism, and the influence of culture.  Language observations required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the end of the semester, students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • identify typical language development in young children
  • explain language development in the context of physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development
  • identify common speech problems and language delays in young children, understand factors that affect atypical speech/language development
  • collect and evaluate developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive language resources and materials for young children
  • define emergent literacy and be able to implement whole language teaching methods in the early childhood classroom
  • develop strategies for effective and culturally sensitive communication with families concerning an early childhood language program

In addition to the objectives listed above, this course also meets the following Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and National Association for the Education of Young Children Teaching Standards.

IPTS Standards

STANDARD 1 – Teaching Diverse Students – The competent teacher understands the diverse characteristics and abilities of each student and how individuals develop and learn within the context of their social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and academic experiences. The teacher uses these experiences to create instructional opportunities that maximize student learning.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
1A) understands the spectrum of student diversity (e.g. race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, special education, gifted, English language learners (ELL), sexual orientation, gender, (gender identity) and the assets that each student brings to leaning across the curriculum;
1B) understands how each student constructs knowledge, acquires skills, and develops effective and efficient critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities.
1C) understands how teaching and student learning are influenced by development (physical, social and emotional, cognitive, linguistic), past experiences, talents, prior knowledge, economic circumstances and diversity within the community;
1D) understands the impact of cognitive, emotional, physical, and sensory disabilities on learning and communication pursuant to the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) also referred to as “IDEA”) (20 USC 1400 et seq.),m its implementing regulations (34 CFR 300; 2006), Article 14 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/Art.14] and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 226 (Special Education);
1E) understands the impact of linguistic and cultural diversity on learning and communication;
1F) understands his or her personal perspectives and biases and their effects on one’s teaching;
1G) understands how to identify individual needs and how to locate and access technology, services, and resources to address those needs.

STANDARD 2 – Content Area and Pedagogical Knowledge – The competent teacher has an in-depth understanding of content area knowledge that includes central concepts, methods, structures of the disciplines, and content area literacy. The teacher creates meaningful learning experiences for each student based upon interactions among content area and pedagogical knowledge, and evidence-based practice.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
2A) understands theories and philosophies of learning and human development as they relate to the range of students in the classroom;
2B) understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, and principles; processes of inquiry; and theories that are central to the disciplines;
2C) understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning (e.g. critical and creative thinking, problem-structuring and problem-solving, invention, memorization, and recall) and ensures attention to these learning processes so that students can master content standards;
2D) understands the relationship of knowledge within the disciplines to other content areas and to life applications;
2E) understands how diverse student characteristics and abilities affect processes of inquiry and influence patterns of learning;
2F) knows how to access the tools and knowledge related to latest findings (e.g. research, practice, methodologies) and technologies in the disciplines.
2G) understands the theory behind and the process for providing support to promote learning when concepts and skills are first being introduced; and
2H) understands the relationship among language acquisition (first and second), literacy development, and acquisition of academic content and skills.

STANDARD 3 – Planning for Differentiated Instruction – The competent teacher plans and designs instruction based on content area knowledge, diverse student characteristics, student performance data, curriculum goals, and the community context. The teacher plans for ongoing student growth and achievement.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
3A) understands the Illinois Learning Standards (23 Ill. Adm. Code 1. Appendix D), curriculum development process, content, learning theory, assessment, and student development and knows how to incorporate this knowledge in planning differentiated instruction;
3C) understands cultural, linguistic, cognitive, physical, and social and emotional differences, and considers the needs of each student when planning instruction.
3E) understands the appropriate role of technology, including assistive technology, to address student needs, as well as how to incorporate contemporary tools and resources to maximize student learning.

STANDARD 4 – Learning Environment – The competent teacher structures a safe and healthy learning environment that facilitates cultural and linguistic responsiveness, emotional well-being, self-efficacy, positive social interaction, mutual respect, active engagement, academic risk-taking, self-motivation, and personal goal-setting.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
4B) understands how individuals influence groups and how groups function in society;
4D) understands factors (e.g. self-efficacy, positive social interaction) that influence motivation and engagement.
4E) knows how to assess the instructional environment to determine how best to meet a student’s individual needs.

STANDARD 5 – Instructional Delivery – The competent teacher differentiates instruction by using a variety of strategies that support critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and continuous growth and learning. This teacher understands that the classroom is a dynamic environment requiring ongoing modification of instruction to enhance learning for each student.

Knowledge indicator – The competent teacher:
5A) understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning.

STANDARD 6 – Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication – The competent teacher has foundational knowledge of reading, writing, and oral communication within the content area and recognizes and addresses student reading, writing, and oral communication needs to facilitate the acquisition of content knowledge.

Knowledge indicators – the competent teacher:
6C) understands communication theory, language development, and the role of language in learning;
6D) understands writing processes and their importance to content learning;
6E) knows and models standard conventions of written and oral communications

STANDARD 7 – Assessment – The competent teacher understands and uses appropriate formative and summative assessment for determining student needs, monitoring student progress, measuring student growth, and evaluating student outcomes. The teacher makes decisions driven by data about curricular and instructional effectiveness and adjusts practices to meet the needs of each student.

Knowledge indicators – the competent teacher:
7B) understands that assessment is a means of evaluating how students learn and what they know and are able to do in order to meet the Illinois Learning Standards.

STANDARD 8 – Collaborative Relationships – The competent teacher builds and maintains collaborative relationships to foster cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social and emotional development. This teacher works as a team member with professional colleagues, students, parents or guardians, and community members.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
8A) understands school as organization with the larger community context;

STANDARD 9 – Professionalism, Leadership, and Advocacy – The competent teacher is an ethical and reflective practitioner who exhibits professionalism; provides leadership in the learning community; and advocates for students, parents or guardians, and the profession.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
9H) understands the importance of modeling appropriate dispositions in the classroom.

NAEYC Standards

STANDARD 1. Promoting Child Development and Learning
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.

Key elements of STANDARD 1
1A) Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8
1B) Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning
1C) Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.

STANDARD 2 – Building Family and Community Relationships
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.

Key elements of STANDARD 2
2A) Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
2B) Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
2C) Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning.

STANDARD 3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.

Key elements of STANDARD 3
3A) Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment – including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children.

STANDARD 4. Using Developmentally Effective Approaches
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.

Key elements of STANDARD 4
4A) Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children
4B) Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology

STANDARD 5 – Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaning Curriculum
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.

Key elements of STANDARD 5
5A) Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
5B) Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines

STANDARD 6. Becoming a Professional
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members or the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

Key elements of STANDARD 6
6A) Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
6B) Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines
6C) Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource
6D) Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.

STANDARD 7. Early Childhood Field Experiences
Field experiences and clinical practices are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age group (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Key elements of STANDARD 7
7A) Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3-5, 5-8).
7B) Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early childhood setting s(early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Language Development
    • how language is acquired
    • receptive and expressive language
    • theories of language acquisition
  2. Understanding and Assessing Language Development
    • understanding typical and atypical language development
    • working with parents and other professionals to respond to children with special needs
  3. Cultural Implications for Language Development
    • individual variations
    • the role of culture in language acquisition
  4. Issues in Theory and Practice
    • value systems regarding language development
    • bilingualism
    • first and second language acquisition
    • literacy
    • children with special needs
  5. Curriculum
    • planning developmentally appropriate language activities
    • developing materials and resources
    • phonemic awareness
    • print awareness
    • emergent literacy
    • whole language

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Active class discussion, lecture, text and professional journal readings, small group projects, videos, observations, lesson plans, quizzes and exams.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance:  except in unusual circumstances, students must notify the instructor prior to an absence.  Students are required to read text and a selection of relevant handouts from professional and popular journals.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Written observations, lesson plans, quizzes, exams.

OAKTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM
Departmental Grading Guide

This guide is intended to be used for written assignments and essay questions, as they apply, on exams.

Grading Scale: Based on Percentage Points

90 100 = A
80 89 = B
70 79 = C
60 69 = D
Below 60 = F

A – Exemplary Mastery

Careful, thoughtful, often original consideration of issues.

Additionally:

  1. All of the appropriate material is included.
  2. No unrelated or irrelevant material is included.
  3. The organization of the paper or essay answer reflects a clear understanding of the material and the interrelationship of the various parts of the paper/answer.
  4. The paper is typed. The paper is also grammatically and typographically correct (does not apply to in-class exam answers, which are hand-written).

B – Exceeds Acceptable Mastery

Organized presentation and discussion of material. Ideas appear clearly understood in student’s own terms. Shows high academic standards of work.

Additionally:

  1. Some of the appropriate material is missing; or
  2. some unrelated or irrelevant material is included; or
  3. the organization of the assignment/answer does not reflect a clear understanding of the material and/or the interrelationship of the various parts of the paper/answer.
  4. The paper is typed with nor more than 3 grammatical or typographical errors (does not apply to in-class exam answers which are hand-written).

C – Adequate Mastery

Meets all requirements at a basic level of understanding. Work may be somewhat sketchy in some areas and not thoroughly thought out. There is little evidence of involvement at the personal or intellectual level. There is some question about whether the student fully understands the material.

Additionally:

  1. Some appropriate material is missing; and/or
  2. some unrelated or irrelevant material is included; and/or
  3. the organization of the assignment/answer reflects a misunderstanding of the material and the interrelationship of the various parts of the paper/answer.
  4. The paper is typed with no more than 5 grammatical or typographical errors (does not apply to in-class exam answers, which are hand-written).

In other words, a “C” assignment/answer is one in which there are problems in two of the above areas.

D – Minimal Mastery

The assignment/answer partially meets the requirements. The student demonstrates little understanding and/or effort to understand the material.

Additionally:

  1. Some, or a lot of the appropriate material is missing; and
  2. some, or a lot of unrelated or irrelevant material is included; and
  3. the organization of the assignment/answer reflects a misunderstanding of the material and the interrelationship of the various parts of the assignment/answer.
  4. The paper is typed with numerous grammatical or typographical errors, which contribute to a lack of clarity (does not apply to in-class exams, which are hand-written).

In other words, a “D” assignment/answer is one in which there are problems in three of the above areas, or serious problems in two of the above areas.

F – Inadequate Performance

The assignment/answer fails to meet minimal requirements. The student demonstrates a lack of understanding and/or effort to understand the material.

Additionally:

So much appropriate material is missing that the assignment/answer reflects no real understanding of the material.

Revised December 2010

XI.   Other Course Information

Oakton’s Early Childhood Education Program prepares students for a range of teaching positions at the early childhood level, from infancy through preschool.  Whether pursuing an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees, one of several certificates, or a state-recognized credential, all ECE students must:

  1.  Achieve a minimum grade of C in all ECE courses; and
  2. Successfully complete field experiences in an ECE setting.

Students pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree must also successfully complete two semesters of practicum experiences – one in an Oakton ECE Center classroom and one in an approved early childhood center in the community.  To apply for a state credential, ECE students must complete corresponding Certificates or the AAS degree.

All ECE students are expected to satisfactorily perform the following essential functions in field and/or practicum settings:

  • Provide care for (i.e. diapering, dressing, feeding, soothing, interacting) and supervision of children.  The provision of care and supervision involves the following physical skills:
    • to work for prolonged period at various heights including standing, sitting, bending, kneeling, and crawling heights; to easily lift/move young children; to quickly reach an endangered or injured child.
    • ability to observe children and consistently keep track of activity in the physical environment
    • ability to monitor activity, interactions, and environmental sounds
  • Plan, direct and conduct programming for children which meets their developmental needs. Planning, directing, and conducting such programming involves the following cognitive skills:
    • application of developmental theory and curriculum to field/practicum interactions, activities, planning, and assessment
    • use of organizational and time management skills to carry out multiple tasks in the field/practicum setting
    • effective written and oral communication with children, families, co-workers, and program visitors.
  • Demonstrate the skill and competence necessary to contribute to each child’s physical, intellectual, personal, emotional, and social development.  Factors contributing to the attainment of this standard include:
    • emotional maturity when working with children;
    • cooperation with the purposes and services of the program;
    • respect for children and adults;
    • flexibility, understanding and patience;
    • physical and mental health that do not interfere with child care responsibilities
    • good personal hygiene;
    • frequent interactions with children;
    • listening skills, availability and responsiveness to children;
    • sensitivity to children’s socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and individual needs and capabilities;
    • use of positive discipline and guidance techniques; and
    • ability to provide an environment in which children can feel comfortable, relaxed, happy and involved in play, recreation and other activities.
  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment for children consistent with state licensing standards.
  • Understand responsibilities as a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse and/or neglect.


If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.