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Effects of Schooling on Language Development

People's lives are conducted in spoken language—listening and speaking. Human beings constantly converse, negotiate, discuss, and debate the issues and decisions of their lives; the ability to speak and listen effectively often makes the critical difference between success and failure. Speaking and listening together constitute the oral language arts. Lev Vygotsky in 1978 wrote that language is a primary mediator of learning that has both intellectual and social significance. Fundamental understanding related to literacy is that listening and speaking serve as the foundation for students' reading and writing abilities. Students develop their knowledge primarily through language. Yet for the most part, instruction often fails to recognize that students come to their classrooms with varied language backgrounds. Landmark research of preschool children conducted by G. Hart ...

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