Mkandawire Benson (2010) THE ROLE OF ORAL LANGUAGE IN SUPPORTING LITERACY AND LANGUAGE GROWTH. Essay form paper

Reference
Mkandawire Benson (2010) THE ROLE OF ORAL LANGUAGE IN SUPPORTING LITERACY AND LANGUAGE GROWTH. Essay form paper

1. Introduction
The principle aim of this paper is to discuss how oral language supports the development of phonological and phonemic awareness, emergent literacy, initial literacy and language growth in general. The paper will start with a brief definition of key terms and then proceed to the main body followed by a conclusion.
Oral language refer to the transfer of information and knowledge from one person to another or one generation to the next through the word of mouth. In Africa for example, Knowledge about iron smelting, farming, and animal herding has been passing on orally. In addition, greetings, eulogies (poems of praise), storytelling, proverbs, and riddles all contribute to the rich oral tradition of the African people. In all African cultures, a greeting encounter is an art in oral communication. Phonological awareness refers to an individual’s awareness of the phonological structure, or sound structure, of language. It is a listening skill that includes the ability to distinguish units of speech, such as rhymes, syllables in words, and individual phonemes in syllables. The ability to segment and blend phonemes is critical for the development of reading skills, including decoding and fluency. Phonological awareness is an important and reliable predictor of later reading ability. Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness that focuses on recognizing and manipulating phonemes, the smallest units of sound. Phonemic awareness is demonstrated by awareness of sounds at three levels of sound structure: syllables, onsets and rimes, and phonemes. For example, the word football in the General Zambian accent of English is a compound word that contains two syllables, /fʊt/ and /bɑl/. Sulzby and Teale (1996:728) state that “Emergent literacy is concerned with the earliest phases of literacy development, the period between birth and the time when children read and write conventionally. The term emergent literacy signals a belief that, in a literate society, young children between 1 and 2 years olds are in the process of becoming literate. These views are also supported by (Morro, 1997) who says Emergent literacy refers to “the reading and writing behaviors that precede and develop into conventional literacy in the life span of an individual”. Initial literacy refer to the teaching and learning of reading and writing of conventional symbols. Initial literacy is associated to conventional literacy that follows emergent literacy and this is normally learnt from in grade one of the formal schooling systems. Language growth refers to the development of language in an individual or a child both written and spoken.
2. How Oral Language Supports the Development of Phonological and Phonemic Awareness
It should be noted here that phonological awareness is not the same as phonemic awareness, while the two concepts are used in similar contexts playing similar roles, they have distinct functions because Phonemic awareness falls under phonological awareness

2.1 Phonological awareness
Oral language can lead to the development of phonological and phonemic awareness as introduces identification, segmentation, blending and manipulation of speech sounds in syllables. A rich oral or linguistic environment helps children identify the possible sounds available in a language. Children are able to associate individual sounds and matching them to meanings.
Oral language help children in phonics to know and match letters or letter patterns with sounds, learn the rules of spelling, and use this information to decode (read) and encode (write) words. Phonological awareness relates only to speech sounds, not to alphabet letters or sound-spellings, so it is not necessary for students to have alphabet knowledge in order to develop a basic phonological awareness of language.
Oral language help develop some phonological awareness as it is an auditory skill that is developed through a variety of activities that expose students to the sound structure of the language and teach them to recognize, identify and manipulate it. Songs, nursery rhymes and games are used to help students to become alert to speech sounds and rhythms, rather than meanings, including rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and prosody, McCardle & Chihabra, 2004). While exposure to different sound patterns in songs and rhymes is a start towards developing phonological awareness, the traditional actions that go along with songs and nursery rhymes typically focus on helping students to understand the meanings of words, so different strategies must be implemented to aid students in becoming alert to the sounds instead. Specific activities that involve students in attending to and demonstrating recognition of the sounds of language include waving hands when rhymes are heard, stomping feet along with alliterations, clapping the syllables in names, and slowly stretching out arms when segmenting words. Phonological awareness is technically only about sounds and students do not need to know the letters of the alphabet to be able to develop phonological awareness. Therefore, oral language help children identify the possible sounds available in a particular language, Adams etal (1998).
2.2 Phonemic awareness
Oral language can lead to the development of phonological and phonemic awareness in that since Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness, it is clear that oral language will aid listeners to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness , ( McCardle & Chihabra, 2004).
It should be noted that oral language supports both phonemic awareness and phonological awareness and these two phrases are often confused since they are interdependent. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual phonemes. Phonological awareness includes this ability, but it also includes the ability to hear and manipulate larger units of sound, such as onsets and rimes and syllables. phonemic awareness has a direct correlation with students’ ability to read as they get older. Phonemic awareness builds a foundation for students to understand the rules of the language. This in turn allows each student to apply these skills and increase his or her oral reading fluency and understanding of the text.
Oral language in phonemic awareness relates to the ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds, such as /f/, /ʊ/, and /t/ in the case of foot. The following are common phonemic awareness skills practiced with students:
Phoneme isolation: which requires recognizing the individual sounds in words, for example, “Tell me the first sound you hear in the word paste” (/p/). Phoneme identity: which requires recognizing the common sound in different words, for example, “Tell me the sound that is the same in bike, boy and bell” (/b/). Phoneme substitution: in which one can turn a word (such as “cat”) into another (such as “hat”) by substituting one phoneme (such as /h/) for another (/k/). Phoneme substitution can take place for initial sounds (cat-hat), middle sounds (cat-cut) or ending sounds (cat-can). Oral segmenting: The teacher says a word, for example, “ball,” and students say the individual sounds, /b/, /ɑ/, and /l/. Oral blending: The teacher says each sound, for example, “/b/, /ɑ/, /l/” and students respond with the word, “ball.” Sound deletion: The teacher says word, for example, “bill,” has students repeat it, and then instructs students to repeat the word without a sound. Onset-rime manipulation: which requires isolation, identification, segmentation, blending, or deletion of onsets (the single consonant or blend that precedes the vowel and following consonants), for example, j-ump, st-op, str-ong, ( McCardle & Chihabra, 2004), Adams etal (1998).
All these are phonemic awareness activities, such as sound substitution, where students are instructed to replace one sound with another, sound addition, where students add sounds to words, and sound switching, where students manipulate the order of the phonemes. These are more complex but research supports the use of the three listed above, particularly oral segmenting and oral blending and this is how oral language can support the development of phonological and phonemic and phonological awareness.
3. How Oral Language Supports the Development of Emergent Literacy
Oral language can lead to the development of “Emergent literacy in the sense that all that children do or are involved in during the earliest phases of growth between birth and the time when children read and write conventionally, involves oral language from caregivers. The term emergent literacy signals a belief that, in a literate society, young children between 1 and 2 years olds are in the process of becoming literate with the help of a rich oral linguistic environment where there are many caregivers especially those who like talking too much. Since Emergent literacy refers to “the reading and writing behaviors that precede and develop into conventional literacy in the life span of an individual”. Many candidates suggests that the factors that lead to the development of emergent literacy include; oral language, concepts about print, environmental print, alphabet knowledge, phonological processing skills, visual-perceptual skills, emergent (pretend) reading and emergent (pretend) writing, (Philips 2009:15). Other oral language activities that promote the development of emergent literacy include imitation of siblings and care givers, simulation, role play, games, singing, storytelling, interactions, scribbling of symbols in form of drawings, pictures, television and exposure to books, pens and pencils. These activities play a major role with regard to how emergent literacy skills begin to develop in early infancy and early childhood.
It is clear that through rhyme, oral instinctive responses, conversation and the other factors mentioned above, infants and children will start developing emergent literacy skills in the form of knowing the type of letters and sounds of words. This marks the development of emergent literacy. Clay (1966) first introduced the term emergent literacy to describe the behaviors used by young children with books and when reading and writing, even though the children could not actually read and write in the conventional sense. Whereas the concept of reading readiness suggested that there was a point in time when children were ready to learn to read and write, emergent literacy suggested that there were continuities in children’s literacy development between early literacy behaviors and those displayed once children could read independently. However, emergent literacy skilss develop faster when there is a rich oral or linguistic environment.

oral language is critical as it aid emergent Literacy development which begins before children start formal instruction in elementary school (Teale & Sulzby, 1986). For example, by age 2 or 3 many children can identify signs, labels, and logos in their homes and in their communities. Reading and writing develop at the same time and interrelatedly in young children, rather than sequentially, Teale & Sulzby, (1986). Emergent literacy skills begin developing in early infancy and early childhood through oral language or oracy from the environment. Literacy involves listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities which are provided appropriately by the environments in which children are brought up. Therefore, developing listening skills, promoting auditory memory and phonological sensitivity help early infancy and early childhood develop emergent literacy. Studies has shown that children learn faster and better by creating a language centred learning via games, cues and child play. (ICDD, 1996; Teale & Sulzby, 1986).

4. How Oral Language Supports the Development of Initial Literacy
Oral language can lead to the development of initial literacy through Sound-Symbol Association. Through oral language, children are able to associate letters and letters to possible sounds. The child’s knowledge of how letters and sounds correspond, and that one sound can be several representations of each different sounds thereby helping them know how to read and write. Learning to read and write (initial literacy) is determined by a number of prerequisite activities and these include the rich oral language environment by caregivers, emergent literacy activities and phonological and phonemic awareness. Since emergent literacy associated activities are naturally available in the environment of the child, it prudent for one to conclude that oral language help in the development of initial literacy from the environment of the learner.

Studies has shown that oral language conceptualized broadly plays both a direct and an indirect role in word recognition during the transition to school and serves as a better foundation for early reading skill than does vocabulary alone. Oral language can lead to the development of initial literacy through the block representation of Consonant or vowel sequences. This component facilitates the child’s ability to segment words into individual phonemes through developing auditory analysis skills. A single block represents an individual sound, and a row of blocks represent a string of sounds; so that the number of blocks directly correlates to the number of sounds in the sequence.
Oral language can lead to the development of initial literacy through the block representation of syllables. Once the child understands that syllables consist of sounds, they then have to count the number of sounds, the order and distinguish between phonetic features. However, reading and spelling non-words is equally critical as this aspect builds on previously learnt skills by using block representation to read and spell non-words. The child is encouraged to employ metalinguistic knowledge to describe changes. Reading and Spelling real words is another issue to consider as far as oral language is concerned. Children learn to transfer the aforementioned foundation skills to simple/regular real words, which do not require specific spelling rules.
It should be noted here that initial literacy is associated with Phonological processing and emergent literacy activities. However, what is crucial for learners is phonological processing which relates to the alphabetic principle of letter-sound correspondences.
Philips 2009 notes four key aspects in phonological processing, which include: Phonological memory – The ability to hold sound-based information in immediate memory to help with decoding of words. A good example here is that of BOXER in Animal Farm by George Orwell. Phonological Access – This refers to the ability to retrieve sound-based codes from memory. The faster and more efficiently one is able to retrieve or recall phonological sound codes associated with letters, word segments and whole words, the easier it will be to decode and to develop reading fluency. Phonological Sensitivity/Awareness – This is a much harder skill or knowledge area. This is because Phonemes do not really exist but are imbedded in words when we speak. He further notes that Phonological sensitivity develops in a progressive fashion starting with smaller units of sounds across the per-school period
WORDS
Batman – bat + man
Cowboy – cow + boy
SYLLABLES
Candy – can + dee
Donut – doe + nut

PHONEMES
Cat – /k/ + /a/ + /t/
Fast – /f/ + /ae/ + /s/ + /t/
Mop – /m/ + /o/ + /p/
Through oral language, children are able to associate sounds to letters, letters to meanings and this is how oral language help in the development literacy skills at different levels.
The Print Knowledge is one area that concretizes literacy skills and this involves understanding that it the PRINT part of a book that reflects the words and not other parts such as pictures or the spaces between words. It also involves understanding that there are 26 different letters in say, English and that letter can look different but still remain the same letters as in small case and capital letters or different print styles
Evidence shows that all these three skill areas (Oral Language, Phonological Processing, Print Knowledge) are modular, meaning that their development is distinct and should be treated and focused on independently in developing literacy skills.

5. How Oral Language Supports the Development of Language Growth in General
Oral language help in the development of language growth in general through a variety of ways like watching movies, listening to speeches, attending functions, involving oneself in dialogue including emergent and initial literacy with phonological sensitivity.

Language growth in general is associated to learning to read and reading to learn. While both of these are directly associated to oral language, learning to read involves phonological awareness and emergent literacy directly. There is a clear boarder between activities for learning to read and reading to learn for language growth. The table below shows this distinction:
LEARNING TO READ (Initial Literacy) SKILLS ASSOCIATED TO ORACY READING TO LEARN SKILLS (Consolidation and Development)
Phonics Advanced comprehension
Word recognition Fluency in both silent reading and reading aloud
Literal comprehension Ability to read a variety of texts
Basic grammatical knowledge Reference skills (advanced book knowledge) for example:
• Using table of contents
• Using an index
• Interpreting tables, maps, diagrams etc
• Skimming
• Scanning
Basic book knowledge:
• How to hold a book and turn pages
• Reading from left to right
• Reading from top to bottom
• Knowing that both text and picture contain meaning
Context
BASIC WRITING SKILLS (Early Writing Skills) ADVANCED WRITING SKILLS (Content)
Handwriting Length of text
Spelling Variety of writing
Punctuation Quality of content in texts:
• Interest
• Style
• Vocabulary
Language structure
Text structure
The aspect of language growth in general takes many forms. While its true that oral language plays an important role especially for children, it is clear that oral language is at the core center of language growth.

The role oral language plays in language growth in general involves all literacy development skills ranging from phonological and phonemic awareness, emergent and initial literacy and othe external forces like discussions, listening to good speeches and reading printed media. However, it’s important to note that the relationship between emergent and initial literacy is a kind of symbiotic relationship. It cannot be linear because literacy development is a complex activity and we cannot associated certain activities like games, singing and imitation to initial literacy of emergent literacy alone. The process can start anywhere as shown in the diagram below.

Oral language can lead to the development of language growth in general through charting, attending functions, listening to great political debate, watching movies, walking in the streets and generally all domains where oral language is manifested. There is no specific oral language instance which can strictly be associated to language growth in general because oral language is widely applied and it is at the center of human endeavor.

6. Conclusion
It’s clear that Oral language proficiency supports literacy activities in many ways. For example, at the level of decoding the written word either through phonics or word recognition strategies, and the use of semantics and other language skills to predict vocabulary in reading. This explains why children are advised or it is essential that early reading or initial literacy in school is taught in the language that the child speaks in normal communication because of the role of oral language in developing literacy skills in children. Oral language skills are important to literacy development in the sense that Knowing words is key to learning to read and it is difficult to learn to read if you do not know words, i. e. what words mean and what they represent. In most cases, reading-related Oral Language skills include: Vocabulary knowledge, Syntactic knowledge and Narrative understanding (Philips 2009). So broadly, when we talk about initial literacy and how oral language enhances the development of literacy skills, we are referring to a three tier structure as illustrated below:
oral language + emergent literacy or awareness + basic skills
base stage before school school
All these activities contributes to language growth in general including those other activities in other domains like listening to speeches, conversations and attending functions or different play activities.

Bibliography

Adams, M. J, Foorman, B., R., Lundberg, I., & Beeler, T. (1998). Phonemic awareness in young children: A classroom curriculum. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Clay, M. (1966). Emergent reading behaviour. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

McCardle, P., Chhabra, V. (2004). The Voice of Evidence in Reading Research. Baltimore, MD
Teale, William, & Sulzby, Elizabeth. (1986). Emergent literacy: Writing and reading. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Villiers, J. G. & Villiers, P. A. (1981) Language Acquisition. London: Harvard University Press.
Wood, D. (1998) How children think and Learn. 2nd ed. Australia: Blackwell publishing.

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Mkandawire Benson Sitwe (2010). What does Hilda Taba mean when she claims that decisions to the fundamental curriculum elements should be made according to valid criteria.

Reference
Mkandawire Benson Sitwe (2010). What does Hilda Taba mean when she claims that decisions to the fundamental curriculum elements should be made according to valid criteria.
o Fundamental curriculum elements refer to very important aspects which hold a central place in curriculum development. When Hilda talks about valid criteria, she refers to a standard that is expected to be followed when developing a curriculum which is defined by Print (1993), as “ all the planned learning opportunities offered to learners by the educational institutions and the experiences learners encounter when the curriculum is implemented”.
o Hilda Taba in valid criteria meant that a curriculum should reflect the expectations and needs of both the learner and the society by firstly diagnosing their needs and develop curriculum in a logically organised and coherent pattern. Taba also claimed that all curricula were composed of fundamental elements which are some selection and organisation of content.
o By valid criteria, Hilda Taba means that a curriculum does not emanate from nowhere but address the real issues affecting the people in the society and therefore, its development must involve the following stages: Step 1 Diagnosis of needs – these arise from situation analysis which gives out the needs as they exist in the environment. Step 2 Formulation of objectives – objectives are formulated to address the diagnosis of needs. Step 3 Selection of content – choosing what to be included out of the so much content available. Step 4 Organisation of content – what exactly will be taught at each stage of the learner’s development and why? Step 5 Selection of learning experiences – what will the learner do in order to assimilate the content. Step 6 Organisation of learning experiences – what will the learner do in order to assimilate the content Step 7 determining what to evaluate and ways of doing it.
o By valid criteria, Taba meant the development of curriculum must follow a rationale and sequential approach to curriculum development to be rational, it meant applying a scientific approach to situational analysis , not just arriving at developing a curriculum haphazardly but curriculum development was to be arrived at following a scientific method. This means that the criteria for decisions would be derived from a study of factors constituting a reasonable basis for the curriculum. This criteria . may come from various sources such as from tradition; from society pressure were we have factors such as the learners, the learning process, the culture demands and the content of the disciples; and criteria may also come from established habits.
o By valid criteria she meant that developing a curriculum should; Reflect the needs of the society as well as that of the learners. For example, if through situation analysis, a need that grade 9 dropouts cannot read or even write properly in English arises, a curriculum development needs to find out why this is so, and why society needs these learners to have these skills at this stage, what will the knowledge of reading and writing benefit the learner at this stage.
o She meant that the development of the curriculum should be of social relevance and utility to the one going through the learning process. That is it should not just be theoretical but society must see something meaningful and relevant. For example, if a child before interaction with education had no respect for elders, after coming into contact with education, he should change this bad attitude for the better and then we would say education has scored in this individual.
o By valid criteria, Hilda Taba meant that the development of the curriculum must be flexible but yet systematic with rigidity unbound – this is to mean that it should fit in the environment in which it is to be implemented that is it should be adaptable to the learner and the teacher so that improving the welfare of the learner can be facilitated . For example, if in home economics the learners are to learn on equipment found in the kitchen, those in the urban areas will be exposed to such equipment as stoves, fridges, dinning tables and pressure cookers. The one in a rural setting should be exposed to the brazier, wood stove, umutondo for a fridge, lead mat for dinning table, inongo for a pressure cooker and so on. Therefore it must reflect the happening of society. That is, it should expose the learner to things that are real in the society where the curriculum is being implemented. For example, the child should be taught that if they indulge in premarital sex, they can get HIV/AIDS or fall pregnant for girls and not the myth that this can make them grow long nails.
o By valid criteria, Hilda Taba also suggests that the development of curriculum should also be anchored on raising some critical consciousness in the learner. That is the curriculum should impart in the learner the zeal to question the knowledge they have come across. For example, if they are taught about Zambia being a democratic nation. Looking at what they see or hear taking place such as rigging elections, violence between members of opposing parties, the learner should question as to whether this is the kind of democracy because initially they will already have on their finger tips the true attributes of democracy.
o The curriculum should be designed to accommodate the views of the learners. This is to say, while curriculum stipulates the content, the learners have input in the learning process because they may have prior knowledge of the content acquired earlier through prior knowledge of the content acquired earlier through reading, the media or colleagues, they should not be looked upon as empty buckets that need filling but as knowledgeable individuals.
o Taba’s claim for valid criteria as a basis for making decisions on curriculum elements can help curriculum developers to know what to include when seeking and organising content because they will have reflected on society’s needs and taken on board the learner needs, based on situational analysis arrived at using a scientific approach. The latter is actually Taba’s greatest contribution to curriculum development.
References
Farrant, J. S.(1980), Principles and Practice of Education. United Kingdom: Longman Group Ltd
Wheeler, D.K (1967), Curriculum Process. London: University of London Press.

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Mkandawire Benson Sitwe (2010). How theories of learning influence curriculum specialists during the development Stages of the curriculum

reference
Mkandawire Benson Sitwe (2010). How theories of learning influence curriculum specialists during the development Stages of the curriculum. Academic Paper written for educational purposes for the Zambian Arts Academy for actors.

 The theories of learning as propounded by different educational psychologists influence curriculum specialists during the development stages of the curriculum in a variety of ways starting from the planning and design of the curriculum where they essentially consider ingredients in the curriculum development process based on the perceptions of learners and how they learn. Before the detailed construction of a curriculum document occurs, curriculum developers are involved in planning and designing their proposed curriculum. Curriculum planning is a process whereby curriculum developers conceptualize and organize the features of the curriculum they wish to construct. This involves a broad analysis of the curriculum intent and context (what you wish to achieve), conceptualizing the curriculum’s design (what it will look like), organizing the sequencing of developmental tasks (how to construct the curriculum) and arranging for the process of implementation and evaluation. Thus curriculum planning is an integral part of the curriculum development process which is heavily influenced by learning theories.
 Theories of learning influence curriculum specialists during the development stages of the curriculum as they determine its design. Curriculum design refers to the arranging of elements of curriculum into a coherent pattern based on the understanding that learners will easily follow the outlined items bearing in mind help they learn from the learning theories. An essential feature of any curriculum is the conceptualization and organization of its various parts. These parts are known as curriculum elements and they are the essential building blocks of any curriculum. By organizing curriculum elements in particular ways, different designs emerge.
 Theories of learning like behaviorism, constructivism and piagets stages of cognitive and intellectual development are a basis of curriculum intent and content based on studies of learners, society and the philosophical beliefs. Curriculum intent is the direction that curriculum developers wish learners to go as a result of participating in the curriculum. Curriculum intent incorporates the various forms of aims, goals and objectives found in curriculum documents, which together provide directions that will hopefully be achieved by learners as they interact with the curriculum. As such, aims, goals and objectives provide guidance to teachers and developers (as well as learners) to plan appropriate content, learning opportunities and evaluation strategies for students.
 Learning theories help curriculum specialist to sequence elements of the curriculum in the order of importance. The sequencing of curriculum elements professionally is not done anyhow. There is logic based on the order with which learners can understand the content easily.
 Theories of learning influence curriculum specialists during the development stages of the curriculum to arrange the content comprehensively and consistently for easy understanding by the intended audience or learners. If the elements of the curriculum are not arranged in a manner that they can be understood easily and consistently, it would be difficulty to understand and implement such a curriculum by both teachers and learners.
 Learning theories help curriculum specialists to come up with a curriculum that is attainable and suitable to meet the needs of both the society as well as the learners via situational analysis and needs assessments.
 Learning theories also help curriculum specialists to come up with a curriculum that is valid, specific and of social relevance. In order to be valid, objectives must reflect the reality they purport to represent. In other words the objectives must state what the developers wanted them to state. To avoid ambiguity and to be readily understandable to all concerned objectives should be phrased precisely. Objectives that lack specificity and thus perhaps clarity are likely to be misunderstood by both learners and instructors.
 Learning theories also help curriculum specialists in the selection of content. One of the first tasks facing a curriculum developer, armed with a set of objectives and recommendations from a situational analysis, is to select appropriate content to meet those objectives. When curriculum developers undertake the actual selection of content, the stance they take on what content to include may be seen in terms of a continuum based on beliefs about learners from learning theories.
 When selection content specifically for a curriculum, the developer requires guidelines to ensure that the content is appropriate. This criterion provides a framework for facilitating the selection process. They are not presented in order of merit or worth, and not all would be applied equally. Nevertheless, they provide a useful guide for the selection of appropriate content. These criteria are particularly appropriate where a group of curriculum developers must decide upon the appropriate content to meet the needs as stated by the curriculum intent.
 Learning theories also help curriculum specialist to consider the utility, interest of the learners and learnability of the curriculum to the learner based what they have head and understood about how learners learn, like and behave.
 Learning theories also help in the architectonics of curriculum. Architectonics relate to the structures needed to present a curriculum and the principles which assist the curriculum developer to organize the content of a curriculum in such a way so as to achieve maximum effectiveness for learners.
 Learning theories like Piagets stages help curriculum specialists to establish the scope of the curriculum on how breadth and depth it should be. That is, how the content is arranged at a specific point in time and the degree of depth of that content to be covered at that particular time. The term refers not only to the range of content areas represented, but to the depth of treatment each area is accorded.
 Learning theories like Piagets stages of development also help curriculum specialists to sequence the content in a defined order. It may start from Simple to complex, Prerequisite learning, Chronology, Whole-to-part learning or in Increasing abstraction including Spiral sequencing.
 Learning theories help curriculum specialists to organize the curriculum based on the cognitive abilities of learners in the grade levels. While these organisation principles have an essential role to play in sequencing content, some educators have demanded a more empirical base to help devise the arrangement of content. The cognitive development theory argued by Jean Piaget (1963) implies that the sequence of curriculum content can be coordinated with the learners’ stages of intellectual development. This position is based on Piaget’s theory that children’s cognitive growth occurs in a sequential pattern through four related stages. In this way, what and how a child learns is determined largely by the child’s present stage of development.
 Learning theories help curriculum specialists to determine which learning activities should be recommended for learning. Learning opportunities, learning activities and learning experiences are terms frequently used interchangeably to explain what the teacher does to facilitate learning within the learner. That is, how the teacher facilitates the assimilation of content by providing opportunities for learners to interact with the content. A slightly different way of expressing this concept is to see it as those opportunities offered to learners to achieve the stated objectives.
 Learning theories are important because they help in the determination of the needs of a learner in the learning process, It is essential in the adoption of learning methods which can cause motivation of the child in the learning process. It helps in the sequencing of the learning content. Helps to understand the learning styles of the child. It is essential in programming of the work from what the child knows to the more advanced. It also helps in the understanding of the learning patterns and styles of the learners.
 Learning theories like Pavlove’s conditioning is vital as it help curriculum specialists to include aspects of motivation of pupils in the learning process. e.g. a praise is given after a good answer. Children can be made to develop interest in some areas where they lacked interest. For example, pupils who disliked school can be conditioned and made to like school by giving then rewards e.g. involving pupils in P.E and Co. curricula activities which are part of the curriculum. It has influenced curriculum developers in providing conditions that increase the probability of the child’s learning. Influences curriculum developers in providing conditions that evoke performance. It has influenced the sequencing of learning. It has influenced the curriculum developers in the evoking of the learners attending in classes “I will be liked by the teacher if I try hard”.
 Learning theories like skinner’s behavourism help curriculum specialists in the bringing about a better change in the academic social and moral behavior of the child. E.g. Praising good practices. Application of negative reinforcements to extinguish unwanted behavours e.g. punishments or ignoring. Used in reshaping those in need of special education. It also emphasizes in teaching from known to unknown. Has influenced curriculum developers in the use of repetitions in learning especially in early grades. E.g. exercised certain similar questions.
REFERENCES
Barbara, M. (2005). Transforming Learning and Teaching 1st Edition. California. Paul
Champ Man Publishing.
Bruce, J. Calhoun, C and Hopkins, D. (2009). Models of Learning. Tools for Teaching 3rd
edition Glasgow. McGraw Hill, Open University Press.
McMahon, W. McMahon, B and Romano, . (1995). Psychology and You. 2nd edition
New York. West Publishing Company.
Miller, N and Dollard, J. (1962). Social Learning and Imitation. USA. Yale University Press.

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Mkandawile Benson (2010) How Literacy can enhance socio-economic Development in a Community. Article at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.

Reference
Mkandawile Benson (2010) How Literacy can enhance socio-economic Development in a Community. Article at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.

This paper explains the belief that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community. It will start by defining key terms in the question and then proceed to the main body discussing the belief as asserted in the question and then end with a conclusion.
UNESCO (2000:1) defines literacy as “the ability to read and write”. Looking at the etymology of literacy (litteratus – one who knows letters) in Latin, this definition was okay as it referred to a person who can write and identify written symbols into meaningful referential objects in real life situations. However, defining literacy as the ability to read and write in this contemporary world is quiet narrow because currently, literacy is a complex terminology with a wide range of application. It cannot be reduced to mare reading and writing skills. Literacy is manifested by individuals in different disciplines such as in computer literacy, critical literacy, cultural literacy, political literacy and others. This view is supported by Mkandaŵile (2010:3) “literacy is the ability to manifest a skill in a particular field in order to adapt to the environment”. This includes a wide range of skills including the conventional literacy of reading and writing. In a normal society, all human beings are literate and illiterate at the same time. The question is being literate in what and for what? Literate professor in linguistics may be illiterate in computer science, web designing, cultural awareness, computer programming, wizards, political, economic know how, sculpture, craft, social and artifacts. This suggest that everyone is literate and illiterate in some fields and therefore, looking for a precise definition of literacy in present day’s world may be an impossible task if so, there is need to specify which literacy is being considered. Socio-economic development on the other hand refer to a situation where there is progress or change in a community from one level to a better level in terms of social and economic improvement normally in the form of life expectancy, literacy levels, levels of employment, personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society. Socio-economic development may also include new technologies, changes in laws, changes in the physical environment and ecological changes, ( Becker & Murphy, 2001).
While it’s true that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community, it is erroneous to attribute economic prosperity of a community to literacy alone because there are many factors that determine socio-economic development in a particular community. What one can point out without much controversy is that in all these factors, there is an aspect of literacy involved. For example, these factors are in form of resources the community has and generally these are natural resources, financial resources and Human resources. Natural resources comprise of fertile land, ideal topography, abundant forests, sufficient mineral resources and excess water supply. Financial resources include the capital needed for the economic activities. Human resources where literacy is attributed to include the population, its growth rate, skills, standard of living and working capacity of the labour force. Modern economists says a country leading in natural resources has more opportunities to develop than that of a country lacking in such resources. But only abundant availability of natural resources does not make sure the economic development of a country, these resources need to be utilized at their optimum. And this is only possible when efficient manpower utilizes these resources. Therefore, socio-economic development only occurs when Natural and Financial resources are maintained properly by efficient Human resources which are literate in the manner of handling and managing these resources.
Literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community in the sense that it enlightens people and help them see or read things in a particular direction and apply them widely. It encourages divergent and rational thinking thereby raising some kind of critical consciousness in the lives of individuals. Literate citizens can be applied to a wide range of phenomena in the society anchored on development. It can go from the mechanical uttering of news readers to the innumerable levels of interpreting any text or symbols with a view of understanding meanings.
Conventional literacy of reading and writing can also enhance socio-economic development in a community. Writing can be very helpful in implementing the planned ideas by suggesting best ways of sticking to the plan. Literacy (writing) help by fixing the ideas in the mind on paper objectively and consciously. Reading on the other hand is very important. It may include reading of letters, symbols, reading of facial expression, barometers, tea-leaves, interpretations of a poem, novel, film and the environment. This suggests that a person who can read his or her environment but cannot read a word should not be deemed ignorant and illiterate. An illiterate person should be he /she who, even with more than enough schooling cannot read his/her environment, identify the wealth it has and protect that wealth, multiply it and enhance his/her own quality of life. Therefore, reading of mare symbols or letters in a book is not good enough for one to be called literate. “You do not need to have books in order to have literature and to have literacy. The term literacy includes survival knowledge. Stories, proverbs, sayings of the wise, riddles, beliefs, poems, fairy tails, myths, taboos, legends were books and not only books but theatre. My family, my home, and nature around my home were my libraries. My literary events took place in our cowshed as we were milking cows” (Vuolab, 2000:15). In this context one would fairly indicate that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community.
Critical and functional literacy can help communities in a variety of ways in order to enhance socio-economic development. Zambia is one country with abundant natural resources but fail to materialize them due to lack of literacy skills. Literacy can make Zambians realize that they are rich by conscientising them to realize that the development of Zambia, cannot be facilitated by some external forces like America, Britain or sourth Africa and Malawi but the Zambians themselves. This can be done by allowing local minerals and natural resources to be produced or finished locally. For instance, making copper bullets from copper, guns, vehicles, computers and others into finished products. This can lead to boosting up the socio-economy in Zambia. Most African countries have sufficient mineral resources but due to lack of skilled manpower or low literacy levels in different fields, it cannot utilize all those resources, and as a result of such, it is difficult to boost the socio-economic development.
Literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community by enhancing the skills of workforce, which result as a positive influence on work behavior. Gary and Murphy, (2001) says that by enhancing skills in individuals, one can earn more which brings economic prosperity at both Micro (individual) level and Macro level by rising in gross domestic product (GDP) making the workforce more efficient. Literacy is a phenomenon by which one can enhance his communication, professional and social skills, (Arnove and Graff, 1992). The impact of literacy on economic development is positive and can be easily determined by comparing the standard of living, per capita income, GDP, industrialization and development of infrastructure within a country. Literacy enhances the working capabilities of people by providing them with developmental skill.
Literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community by developing a sense of responsibility and imparting technical skills among the common man, by which one can become a good citizen. Increasing rate of literacy brings about a state of competition among different firms, industries and sectors of production, which helps an economy to grow on strong bases of competition, Gary and Murphy, (2001). Increasing rate of literacy also helps to control and maintain population growth. Hence qualitative population is found with increased standard of living and more access over basic needs. Increased technical education helps to develop new and sophisticated methods of production and distribution, which can reduce the cost of production and increase the rate of return. Educated and skilled workers are the assets of a country, which may have demand not only within the country but are highly demanded in other countries also.
Literacy can help in planning and this is an important aspect of the society. Proper and planned allocation of resources brings increased and qualitative production. Increased production leads to more employment opportunities. Thus the level of unemployment reduces from the country. If literate people come to run the government along with the economy, the country will have a great benefit in such a way these people will allocate the resources at their best and hence the chances of misallocation and misutilization of resources will diminish or reduce by a wider margin qualifying literacy as an aspect which can enhance socio-economic development in a community.
Literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community by controlling inflation and deflation. Inflation is one of the major problems of today’s economics. According to the research reduction in inflation is directly related to the reduction in unemployment level. As literacy and skill development helps to reduce the unemployment it leads towards the control over inflation. And hence economy rides on the strong horse of development and social skills. Along with the development of professional and communication skills, literacy and education develop social skills by which an individual learns to move in the society as they realizes the importance of society, as no one can live in isolation.
Literacy can help individuals to think independently than being object or being regulated by others. This is done by affirming individuals that they can do it on their own without massive help from others. Citizens and workers can also be urged by literacy to do what others can thereby enhancing the skills among the workers and the organization can get maximum productivity resulting in enhanced socio-economic development in a community.
Concisely literacy has great importance in the economic development of a country. Literacy brings all the positive changes in variable factors of production as well as in infrastructure development; it also minimizes or may wipe out negativities. No one can deny the importance of literacy as it is a pillar on which the major part of an economy stands, if the pillar is strong enough to hold the economy, the anomalies can be reduced very easily and the economy will multiply but if the pillar of literacy is weak and fragile the anomalies may push the economy downward and the economy may fall down.
An Educated country is a developed country. Literacy level plays a major role in the economic development of a nation. If people are literate, then there will be minimum violence in the country. Literacy leads to good employment opportunities, (Gary and Murphy, 2001). If literacy level is high in a nation, then there will be more number of entrepreneurs and the flow of money will be huge. If new enterprises come up, the economy of the country grows with the amount of tax collected. New enterprises lead to more employment generation and in turn reduce the unemployment rate. A Nation with a low unemployment rate will develop very rapidly.
Literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community in the sense that literacy leads to rise of entrepreneurs and new enterprises which in turn provide employment and there will be huge demand for employment. When there is demand for employment, there will be a huge rise in the number of schools and colleges, (Qurratulain, 2006). When there is more number of schools, public can get easy access to schools and colleges at affordable costs. In this manner all will get education and the literacy level will go up. The demand in the industry is directly relational to the demand in the education sector and in turn directly related to literacy level and vice versa.
Literacy has to do with correct interpretation of symbols and applying them for communication and survival in the real life situation. A symbol may be picture or a letter in form of words or it can be both to have more impact whereby to a picture, a text is included to clarify the symbol. In a classroom setting, the learner may incidentally learn some of the words that are paired with the symbol. However, the words are there mainly as a support for the communication partner. This association entails that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community as individuals will be enlightened with conventional literacy skills thereby uplifting their lives just from a simple symbol of a picture and a word. Take for instance, consider the pictures below accompanied with some words to demonstrate the role symbols play in constructing meaning in the society.

This indicates that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in the community
by uplifting people’s status on the manner and how they interpreted symbols in relation
to the community as in the diagrammed below.

In literacy and economic development, proper interpretation of symbols has a strong
bearing to the community. A symbol is often used in a communication board to express
a complete thought or a partial phrase and a society without proper communication, symbols or
language cannot face development.

It can be concluded that the paper has shown that literacy can enhance socio-economic development in a community by enlightening individuals to act and realize what is right and how to handle their resources effectively as explained in the paper. Literacy help individuals gain some critical consciousness and thereby act in a manner that would help them protect and defend their resources, use them appropriately and defensively.

REFERENCES
Arnove, R.F. and Graff, H., J. (1992). “National literacy campaigns in historical and comparative perspective: legacies, lessons, and issues.” In: R.F
Gary S. Becker and Kevin M. Murphy, 2001, Social Economics: Market Behavior in a Social Environment. Description and table of contents. Harvard University Press.
Mkandawire, B. (2010, July). Understanding Literacy from the Zambian Perspective. Paper presented at the Conference organized by the university of Zambia – Ten Years of Primary Reading Programme.
Qurratulain Akhtar (2006) Literacy and economic development. August 26, 2006.
Vuolab, K. (2000). Such a Treasure of Knowledge for Human Survival. In: Phillipson, Robert (2000). Rights To Languages . Equity, Power, and Education. London: Lawrence Erilbaum Associates, Publishers.

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Mkandawire B. (2010). How Nature and Nurture Determine Cognitive development and Language Acquisition. Article written at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.

Reference
Mkandawire B. (2010). How Nature and Nurture Determine Cognitive development and Language Acquisition. Article written at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.

It is impossible to describe how normal human beings become both linguistically and cognitively without considering the existence of nature and nurture. The conspiracy between these two aspects is very strong that they can hardly be neglected in determining what a normal human being becomes linguistically and cognitively. This paper aims at describing how nature and nurture conspire in determining what a normal human being becomes both linguistically and cognitively. A description of how nature and nurture influence cognition and linguistic development will be given independently while reflecting on the other to justify the conspiracy.
Evidence to show that linguistic and cognitive development in normal human beings is determined by both nature and nurture is manifested in different ways. From nature’s point of view, it is the biological foundations of language and cognition that support language development and thought patterns. Human beings are naturally born with abilities to process and store information in the memory particularly in the brain. In 1969, Chomsky introduced the concept of language acquisition device (LAD) arguing that humans naturally have a facility that facilitates language acquisition. From nurture’s point of view, it can be pointed out that it is the social foundations of language and cognition that make our thought patterns develop into maturity. The environment help us develop our vocabulary, know rules of the language through the experts our neighbors. In acknowledging the significance of the environment, Vygosky developed the language acquisition support system (LASS) to justify that the development of language and cognition requires a rich environment.
A normal human being becomes linguistically and cognitively firm by the support of nature. Cognition and linguistic development would not be possible if the biological foundation of language and cognition like the brain and the vocal organs or speech apparatus are not supportive.
The basis of the biological foundations of the human language and cognition are based on physiological system, neurological system and the pulmonary system. In the physiological system and the pulmonary (respiratory) system, the physical oral cavity of the human being, the lips, nasal cavity, larynx and the lungs in coordination with the brain naturally supports the articulation of the human language and thereby helps an individual develop linguistically. The brain plays a critical role in the neurological system. It facilitates language and cognitive abilities and virtually controls everything a human being does. This view is supported by Encarta as explained in line with the brain below.
Human Brain. Source: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. “The brains of all mammals, including those of humans as shown above are dominated by a dome-shaped cerebrum (top). The cerebrum, which is responsible for intelligence and reasoning, varies in size among different mammals. It is most highly developed in the primates, which are considered to have the greatest cognitive abilities”. Linguistic and cognitive abilities develop in human beings due to the presence of the brain. The brain has certain parts like the brocas, cortex and the hemispheres, portion of the central nervous system contained within the skull supports language and cognition. The brain is the control center for movement, sleep, hunger, thirst, and virtually every other vital activity necessary to survival. All human emotions including love, hate, fear, anger, elation, and sadness are controlled by the brain. It also receives and interprets the countless signals that are sent to it from other parts of the body and from the external environment. The brain make us conscious, emotional, and intelligent. “The frontal Lobe is part of the brain in the cerebral cortex responsible for motor control and higher mental processes like reasoning, decision making and problem solving”, Raven and Johnson (1999:1007). Raven and Johnston (page 1010) says the left hemisphere is the dominant for language. This demonstrates that linguistic and cognitive abilities depend heavily on nature.
Based on biological foundations, One evidence showing that linguistic and cognitive abilities are determined by nature in normal human beings lies in the contrast between humans and animals. Some researchers selected the chimpanzee to be studied because they said it is closer to a human being in many ways. The table below shows the details of the studies carried out.
Year of study Name of the researchers Aim of the study and named Chimpanzee under study Results
1930s A couple called Kellogs To teach Gua how to articulate a human language Gua did not try to articulate even a single word
1950s Professor Hayes To teach Vick to articulate a human language After serious lessons, vick made some progress by uttering four words; mama, papa, up, cup. The conclusion for this study was that the chimpazee’s oral cavity was not mearnt for language articulation.
1960s Two Gardeners To teach Washoe the American sign language The study was successful. Washoe used American sign languages creatively.
1980s Premarck To teach Sara how to use some metal baked plastic chips to communicate on a magnetic board The project was also a success. Sara was able to use particular symbols to communicate but Sara could not use them creatively.
These studies suggests that nature plays a big role in cognition and linguistic development. The teaching from the environment would be meaningless like the study of Gua and Vick above if nature (The genetic makeup of the human brain and the oral cavity) does not support those teachings from the environment. Above all, human brains are biologically different from the brains of other animals and part of this difference is due to innate, inherited differences in phylogenies. Cognition and language development are dependent on the brain which should support and coordinates most human processes.
Linguistic and cognitive abilities are not entirely taught or dependent on the environment. Human beings have a natural facility that help them interpret messages from the environment cognitively and acquire a language naturally. This perception is in agreement with Wood (1998:120) “a child knows that the speech signal is a product of another similar system which generate sentences, words and so no. Thus, the child does not have to learn that speech is belt out of words and sentences that posses’ components like subject and predicates or verbs and objects”. This suggests that children cognitively process the linguistic elements they hear in their daily lives without necessarily being taught. Chomsky’s (1959) theory indicate that all normal children acquire language in the same way. They have a language acquisition capacity that act like a mental organ in the brain called Language Acquisition Device (LAD) because he sees this process as a maturation of the language faculty just like the growth of a heart or kidney. Gardner (1983) also agrees that children have a natural facility that helps them acquire language.
Infants begin babbling not too long after birth, and the sounds produced
during this period contain the basic sounds they hear spoken around them
as well as phonemes not present in their native tongue. This is strong evidence
for an innate language faculty. By the time the child turns two years old, he or
she will speak single words in the native language, and soon thereafter, will
begin to form very simple, two-word “sentences.” These word pairs are
meaningful and often novel combinations of words known by the child.
Examples may include “drink milk,” “byebye Daddy,” and “doggy run.”
By the age of three, these two-word utterances grow in length and complexity,
so that the three-year-old child can utter sentences of several words long, even
including questions, negations, and clauses. These sentences often have
grammatical errors (which can be explained by overgeneralization and remain
consistent throughout speakers of a single language), such as in the example,
“I no watch T.V. no more.” By the time the child is four or five years old,
he no longer makes these grammatical mistakes; and he “can speak with
considerable fluency in ways that closely approximate adult syntax”
(Gardner, 1983:79).

Growth, maturation and the genetic makeup of a normal human being greatly determine the linguistic and cognitive abilities. For example, both cognitive and linguistic development will need the brain to mature and grow reasonably. The crying of babies when they are born immediately cannot be attributed to change in the environment from the womb to the outside physical environment. It is naturally innate because they do so to allow air enter into their lungs physically for the first time so that they can start breathing. Their crying is a symbol and manifestation that they can learn any human language due to their physiological and genetic makeup. This crying can be attributed to growth and maturation from feotus to a baby and therefore, it would be erroneous to attribute this crying to the environment because allowing lungs to take in air or breathing is not nurture but nature.
The sacking babies do to their mother’s breasts is not taught by the environment. It is inborn. The crying and sacking babies experience clearly suggests that humans are born with some cognitive abilities suggesting that some cognitive abilities are inborn while others are learnt from the environment.
It is true that a normal human being becomes linguistically and cognitively by the support of nature but the role played by nurture cannot be ignored for empirical reasons because nature and nurture conspire in influencing human behavior. Cognition and linguistic development would be complete with both the biological foundations and social foundations of language and cognition. This is because nature and nurture are the critical factors that constitute culture which in turn help us focus on linguistic and cognitive processes.
The social foundation of language and cognition greatly determine nurture. The basis of the social foundations of cognition and language start with care givers in the environment by implanting their own world into the children making them imitate and repeat after the care givers. For example, a mother enforcing words for a baby to repeat after her is a typical social foundation of language. Similarly adults, siblings and parents are critical in the social foundation of language and nurture in general.
Learning cognitive and linguistic abilities requires some support system in the environment to strengthen individual’s capabilities. Vygosky refers to this support given by the environment as the Language acquisition support system (LASS). However, there are a great conspiracy between nature and nurture as it is difficult to plainly discuss the influence of nature or nurture without highlighting on the other. Language acquisition are of interest in light of Chomsky’s theory who says that all children follow this development regardless of the language they speak supports Chomsky’s claim of an innate language organ that is maturing through this process. During the babbling stage, babies produce phonemes they have never heard, from a variety of different languages spoken around the world. Chomsky believes that this is due to the fact that the “language faculty” already contains knowledge of all the sounds that can be produced in any natural spoken language, more evidence for extensive innate language knowledge.
John Dewey in his book ‘How We Think’ indicate that language and thought patterns can be taught. This suggests that there must be an environment for these processes to take place effectively. Linguistic and cognitive development is associated to nurture because knowing levels of linguistic analysis like phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax are learnt from the environment created by someone. Cooking, dressing, dancing equally are learnt from the environment. Environment plays a critical role in the development of human beings. A person who has been brought up in monkeys environment, their cognitive abilities and language are likely to resemble that of monkeys. Knezeki (2005:7) says “Humans speak a wide variety of different languages, and very young children of any race or ethnic background can learn to speak and understand any of these if exposed to appropriate models at the proper time in development”. This suggests that it is very difficult for a human being to learn to speak a public language without this critical exposure to the environment.
The crying and sacking babies manifest immediately they are born demonstrate that humans are born with some cognitive intuitive abilities (how do they think that they are suppose to sack in and not out or cry and not smile) and a facility for learning any human language. If babies know that they are suppose to sack in and not out, John Locke’s idea of “tabula rasa,” which proposes that the minds of newborn infants are blank slates that will be differentiated and altered only through sensory experience would be ruled out because it is very difficult to associate sensory experiences to sacking and crying. These acts are purely cognitive and children are born with some cognitive abilities and a facility for language learning. Sacking and crying cannot be attributed to the environment (nurture) but they are naturally inborn (innate). Such behaviors are inherent and innate, resulting from the expression of genes.
It should be noted that language and cognition like other aspects of human behavior are a product of nature and nurture working together. The biological foundations and social foundations of language and cognition as in language acquisition device (LAD) and language acquisition support system (LASS) respectively influence linguistic and cognitive abilities in normal human beings. This amazing human ability to communicate through language is both the result and the cause of our uniqueness as human beings. Language and cognition are basic tools for humanity. They look simple enough for a child to effortly grasp, yet so complex that we may never completely understand just how genetics and experience interact to produce this most integral human trait rich both linguistically and cognitively.

References
Chomsky, N. (1996). Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Socail Order. Boston: South End Press.
Dewey, J. (****) How We Think. New York: Dover Publishing Inc.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Harper Collins.
Knezeki, M. (2005). Nature VS Nurture. The miracle of Language. Article.
Raven P. H. and Johnson G. B. (1999). Biology. 5ed. New York: Mc graw Hill.
Villiers, J. G. & Villiers, P. A. (1981) Language Acquisition. London: Harvard University Press.
Wood, D. (1998) How c

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Mkandawire Sitwe Benson (2008) Why school facilities and equipments are important for effective implementation of a curriculum

Reference
Mkandawire Sitwe Benson (2008) Why school facilities and equipments are important for effective implementation of a curriculum.
 A facility is something designed or created to provide a service or fulfill a need. These include library buildings, play grounds, classrooms, toilets, laboratories, recreation halls and many others. While Equipment in this context is referring to what is housed or what is put in the facilities. These may include balls, computer, apparatus, books, rulers, maps and desks.
• It would be very difficult for a particular curriculum to be implemented with books, libraries, toilets and classroom due to the fact that learners for example, would be lining up to use one toilet or go very far to help themselves thereby wasting a lot of time for learning. Facilities can help foster teaching which is effective because they enable learners involve themselves in a variety of stimulating activities.
• Better facilities affect the quality of education in schools. For example if the classroom has facilities for the physically challenged, they can feel accepted and so they can learn freely.
• Learner’s physical environment affects their study behavior. The library should be made in such a way that learners are not disturbed by noise and must be stoked with different types of books which appeal to their individual needs. If this is done then there will be active forms of learning which in turn will reflect the curriculum.
• Play grounds are places were children begin to develop their social skills. They learn how to deal with other people. They learn how to associate with friends as they communicate when playing games. They learn games and follow rules of such games. Play provides a stable foundation where bricks are added until they mature. Minds and imaginations grow.
• Many schools don’t provide adequate space resources for children. This can have a negative effect on learners and on the curriculum implementation. This means that classrooms have to be spacious and quiet for pupils to read properly. Poor ventilation, heating or lighting problems and poor physical security can make learning very difficulty for pupils.
• Offices are also important for teachers to create more time for special need learners. This can prepare what to teach pupils and mark the work. If the teacher has no office where they can sit and relax, it can have a negative effect on their work and so learners will suffer the consequences.
• Facilities and equipment should suit the environment and should help in implementing the curriculum. For instance computers cannot be supplied to a school where there no electricity or any source of power. Just as water borne toilets cannot be provided where there is no permanent source of water. If these are just provided any how then learning will not take place.
• It is therefore important that school authorities make proper decisions when building and designing learning facilities. How buildings are designed, can have serious implications for health and learning of children and this in turn may affect the curriculum.
• Note that: School facilities and equipment therefore can have a negative impact on the implementation of the curriculum if they are not available or if they are in deplorable state. Conversely, if school facilities and equipment are in good state and in correct supply, all the planned experiences to be offered to the learners can be adequately implemented and learning would take place effectively. Thus school facilities and equipment are vital if the curriculum has to be implemented.

REFERENCES

Merritt, J.(1972).Curriculum Design and Implementation. Bletchley: Open University Press.
Nicholus, A.(1978). 2nd ed.Developing a Curriculum Practical Guidance. London: Allen &
Oddie, G.(1966) School Building and Resources and their Effective Use. Paris: Organization
For Economic Growth and Development.
Schiefelbein, E. (1983). Concept of School Resources in Chile. Washington: World Bank.
Scott, F.(1968). Problems and Issues in Contemporary Education. London:
Unwn.

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How the sociological foundations of school curriculum affect the development of a curriculum.

Reference
Mkandawire B. (2008) How the sociological foundations affect the development of a curriculum. Article presented at the Academy of Arts, Acting and film production seminar in Zambia.

Curriculum foundation refer to basic forces that influences and shapes the minds of curriculum developers to decide what to include in the curriculum and how to structure it. There are certain forces that provide a background of information upon which are the curriculum developers depend to make future decisions. These may include philosophical foundations which are studies of nature and value, Psychological foundation are studies of learners and the learning theory and sociological and cultural foundation which are studies of life and that is where our discussion is based.
The sociological foundation of the school curriculum affects the development of the curriculum in the sense that there are certain factors which intervene in the curriculum development process due to cultural beliefs, societal expectations, values, norms and traditions emanating from the background of stakeholders. Society is a general body of people, communities or nations constituting civilized mankind. It is a body of processes associated with one another for common objectives. Therefore, curriculum should be designed in light of the main trends and development of society. Any curriculum worth of it’s safe should try to reflect the cultural and social needs of that particular society. Culture is simply the way people live including their intellectual, discipline, dressing and training. Therefore, curriculum developers should look into moral and artistic development of its society [Taba 1962].
Cultural and social changes and expectations of the school can affect the implementation of the curriculum. However, this includes major changes to society such as unemployment patterns, societal values, economic growth and family relationships. Parental, employer and community expectations of schools. This is also affected by the educational system requirements and challenges. This includes systemic influences such as policy requirements, inquiry reports, external examinations, major curriculum projects and significant educational research.
The school’s ability to changing the nature of content in the curriculum can affect it. The subject matter taught in schools requires constant revision to update it with developments in the outside world. Examples include new knowledge acquired, technological development and new literature. A variety of external systems can contribute to enhancing teaching/learning strategies, content updates, evaluation techniques, institutions, educational institutes, local teacher centres, curriculum consultants, advisory teachers, in-service courses and subject associations.
School appropriate Resources: Curriculum developers need to be aware of the availability and flow of resources into the school. These may come from state education departments, the community and business organizations. This may in turn affect Pupils. Significant data that may be gathered on students include abilities, physical and psychological development, aptitudes, emotional and social development and educational needs. An accurate understanding of the nature of students allows for effective curriculum planning.
Teachers and school ethos can affect the curriculum. What are the skills, experience, teaching style, values and special strengths and weaknesses of a school teaching staff? Special strengths may broaden curriculum offerings and allow for curriculum enrichment and extension. School ethos include the school climate/environment is a significant factors influencing curriculum and includes principal involvement, power distribution, social cohesiveness, operational procedures and professional cohesiveness. Material resources also have a bearing in that what exactly the school possess in terms of buildings, equipment, resources (books, curriculum materials), land and vehicles as well as financial resources for future purchases may determine how the curriculum will be fulfilled.
Perceived problems within the school and the immediate communities can heavily affect the curriculum. Major stimulus for curriculum change emanates from a perception of needs or problems. Curriculum planners ascertain these from parents, teachers, students and the community. Needs-assessment techniques may be used.
Society and culture plays an important part on the formation of the school curriculum .It is infact society that devised schooling to ensure the survival of the cultural heritage which is the transfer of what society/people feel is good from one generation to the other. Curriculum developers serve the function of translating traditional assumptions ,ideas, values, knowledge and attitudes into curriculum objectives ,content, learning activities and evaluation .Of these elements, sociological sources have their greatest influence on content. Acting in this way, curriculum developers both transmit and reflect their own cultural heritage of which they are part of and this sociological foundation affects the development of the curriculum.
When curriculum developers devise the curriculum, the cultural back ground of those developers may be well aware of societal and cultural influences and have the deliberate intention in mind of reproduction aspects of that culture in the curriculum. These forces greatly affect the way curriculum is developed.
The introduction of new break through to literacy [NBTL] to lower grades by curriculum developers has worked in the school curriculum. Cross-cutting issues like HIV/AIDS, child abuse and gender violence has also affected the development of a curriculum. The school curriculum is seen as an important vehicle in promoting and consolidating the new values and attitudes. it has moved away from gender to stereotype where females were portrayed as being passive and males as active ,aggressive and leadership oriented and they would follow appropriate occupations. Boys in primary, secondary, college and university level are now taking up home economics as part of a personal development component, girls are also taking up technical drawing, wood work and carpentry .Society has also introduced technology in the school curriculum on the use of cell phones ,internet computer as well as fax machines. However, we need to be careful when dealing with society and culture because they bring in cultural induced biases.
As societies perpetuate themselves through implanting values in the learners through institutions such as schools, it is distinctly probable that some of these values will be culturally based. For example, a girls place should be in the kitchen whilst a boy should be left playing and discovering the environment. Then no ability to feminine roles as a male. A male child is not allowed in the kitchen to do the cooking, helping in washing clothes for younger ones even bathing them. In career choosing, girls are portrayed as passive who would undertake occupations similar in nature such as nursing, teaching, secretarial while occupations such as of that of a doctor and other top management jobs will be for males. Then there is an issue of the curriculum favoring urban children and neglecting rural child. In urban areas, technology has reached so fast that they have even introduced computer lessons from as early as grade one. Also issues of banks having Automated teller machines (A T Ms), use of cell phones etc has disadvantaged the rural child. There is need for curriculum developers to look into such matters for the benefit of the rural child as all these are factors for curriculum specialist to take into consideration.
Social and cultural forces have a profound effect upon curriculum both indirect and direct ways. The exact degree that a society and its culture should influence the education system through the curriculum is a more debatable issue. Curriculum developers should not forget that they are a product of their own culture and that every decision that they make will be culturally related.
References
REFERENCE
Kelly, M .J.(1999).The Origins and Development of education in Zambia. From pre-colonial Times to 1996.Lusaka:Image Publishers Limited
Ministry of Education . (1996). Educating our Future. National policy on Education . Lusaka : Zambia Educational Publishing House
Internet sources

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