Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Fletcher, P.
8th National Conference of Reading and Literacy Education
Early spoken language development and assessment
Xi'an, China
Plenary Lecture
Optional Fields
There is a 50-year history of research on English and other European languages in the modern era. This has provided a wealth of information on pre-school spoken language development, and led to the development of a wide range of standardised tests and other assessment procedures. The research base has also demonstrated how important successful early language development is for the development of literacy, on which educational and life outcomes depend. Research on the growth of language in Chinese children has a much more recent history. In this talk we outline what we have learned so far about the development of the sound system, of vocabulary, of grammar and of pragmatics in Putonghua. We also review the assessments that are available for the evaluation of the speech and language of Chinese children. Finally we consider the implications of what we know for the roles of teachers and parents, advised by teachers, in encouraging and enhancing the language of pre-school children.