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Student learning process (Essay Sample)


A discussion on readings about Language Acqusition and the interrelatedness of social, emotional, and intellectual influences on student learning. Number of sources: 2

Language Acquisition and Various Influences on Student Learning
Insert Name
Insert Grade Course Insert Tutor’s Name 13 November 2013
Language Acquisition and the interrelatedness of social, emotional, and intellectual influences on student learning
Language development in human beings occurs as a biologically controlled behavior in an individual; the individuals are genetically predisposed to learn some language. Three different theories (imitation, reinforcement, and active construction of grammar) have been advanced to explain the language acquisition process. Of the three theories, the active construction of grammar theory seems to be flawless and suffices to explain the learning process. It holds that children invent the learning rules through making initial mistakes and correcting themselves as they develop. Various aspects of language acquisition have been identified by theorists that make it a biologically controlled process. Two of these aspects are significant for language educators in creating an environment that promotes learning among students. Firstly, it has to be stressed that language acquisition is innate and it is not generated by external events. However, its development requires a rich environment that exposes the learner more to the language. Secondly, it is also noted that direct teaching and intensive practice do not have significant positive effects on the language acquisition process. These aspects imply that a proper language acquisition will then be enhanced through creation of some classroom environment that favors interaction between the students themselves.
Developing such a climate will involve examination different factors affecting learning and their mutual relations. The influence of social and emotional factors on the learning process can no longer be ignored. Such negligence results in the development of some instructional gap and the students attempt to fill this gap in their devised mechanisms that do not support the learning process (Love & Love, 1996). Some degree of mutual relationship occurs among intellectual, social, and emotional processes as they affect the learning process.
There is significant relation between the intellectual abilities of the learners and the social processes. The learning process occurs in some social context that is dynamic in nature so that an individual with complex cognition will be able to learn and adapt to the changing needs of the social contexts of learning as opposed to the less complex individuals (Love & Love, 1996). Aspects of the social setup such as the culture of a community may affect a student’s beliefs, attitudes, or motivations towards the learning process. These are detrimental to the learning process if carried into the classroom environment. On the other hand, the individuals with complex cognition have better skills of understanding the perspectives of other people. This implies that good cognition can help students adapt to new social settings, which is essential for learning. The relationship between cognition and the social process is also evident in classroom discussions. A good proportion of learning in students occurs in the classroom discussions, where students share their experiences that they feel the other individuals need to learn. Through the discussions, a student is able to learn more of the concept or determine if it is well understood
Emotions also have effects on the learning and development processes in students since the feeling states, and thinking states cannot be separated easily (Love & Love, 1996). The emotional and rational minds of an individual often act in a balanced manner to guide the individual through life decisions. While emotions will strive to inform and guide the rational operations, rational mind will try to refine the input from emotional mind before initiating an operation (Love & Love, 1996). Negative emotions such as depression, when carried into the classroom, will suppress the learning process. The students will not be able to figure out the application of what they learn in class. On the other hand, positive emotions such a love and self-confidence will promote the learning process. The educators have to understand that the students are complete social beings with these feelings and thinking abilities. Good management of emotions is essential for an effective learning process; the emotional skills can improve the cognitive abilities of an individual, which eventually improves the academic achievements
Finally, different psychosocial theories of development indicate that there is also a strong relation between social and emotional processes. Some studies do indicate that the faculty will have significant effect of the students’ participation in class through the design of a given course (Love & Love, 1996). There is need for social interaction among students for a successful learning process. Enabling a positive emotional climate will improve interaction and cooperation among the students. The students get the opportunity to know and understand each other, and share their experiences. Helping a student develop self-confidence will also enable them to develop ability and willingness to participate in class discussions and other social activities
To this end, it is evident that there is mutual relationship between the intellectual, emotional, and social processes in student learning. Cultivating all these factors is essential in helping language development in a student. Besides, the factors interact and influence each other so positive cultivation of one of the elements will have positive impact on the other to elements. Similarly, dysfunctional elements in any of the processes will also affect the other two
Cultural responsiveness in classroom
Cultural diversity exists among students in the current learning institutions and into the classrooms. The current classrooms draw individuals with diversity in terms of language, culture, ethnicity, race, or physical abilities. This implies that the educators should provide a differential approach in responding to these differences. Some of the organizational culture developed and adopted in the school setup such as the sitting arrangements as well as some language discourse may be different from a student’s home cultural and linguistic practices (Richards, Brown & Forde, 2006). The teachers have to respond to this diversity. To enable the students achieve their learning objectives, the educators should strive to bridge the discontinuity that exists between the home culture and school practices by developing a classroom culture that welcomes, support, and provides for needs of all cultures. Such an intervention enables the students to adjust to the new setting. An institution’s cultural responsiveness is manifested in three different capacities. The first is institutional dimension that is reflected on the cultural values and policies developed by the administration of the learning institution (Richards, Brown & Forde, 2006). The administrators need to develop policies and values that provide a balance for the different cultures. The second dimension is personal responsiveness to cultural diversity. This refers to the teachers’ cognitive ability and emotional skills in the management of culturally diverse classroom (Richards, Brown & Forde, 2006). The last is instructional dimension; the learning materials and instructional approaches used by the educators.
The last two dimensions...
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