Source: Book and Language
Asnat Fefferman is educated in Psychology (B.A., Extended Department, Bar-Ilan University) and specializes in the development of educational programs for preschoolers and their parents (M.A. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Schwartz Program), Lecturer at the Achva Academic College for Kindergarten teachers in Psychology, Professional Ethics and Creative Development.
The program “Book and Language”, is designed for educators of young children. Its aim is to enrich the dialogue between educators and young children through recitations and songs that accompany the young child’s everyday activities with the best that Israeli literature has to offer to young children. The website contains easy-to-understand explanations for using the program, including short video clips that demonstrate and explain how to adapt and connect the texts to the young child’s life.
The “Book and Language” website is divided into several sections, each containing a collection of ideas for activities that can be implemented “as is”, but can also constitute the first stage of an entire educational program which the teacher can develop by adding original ideas of her own to enrich the existing materials presented on the site. Using the site makes the teacher’s work easier as the materials are integrated, accessible and arranged according to daily routines.
The website is appropriate for kindergarten teachers in Israel and overseas as well as for Hebrew teachers who wish to teach Hebrew to young children. The collection of literary materials on the website can be readily integrated into the child’s everyday life, thus enhancing the child’s acquisition of language.
The “Book and Language” method focuses on developing the child’s language skills, as acquiring a language fosters the child’s development in all areas: cognitive, social and emotional. Children who learn a language learn much more than just new words. They learn to utilize their abilities with others by using words to make requests, to articulate desires and feelings, and to relate painful experiences.
Anyone who works with children knows that the process of acquiring a language is a remarkable one. At about the age of 18 months the child’s vocabulary increases at an accelerated pace. The child learns between six and ten words a day. It is especially important to utilize this “window of opportunity” to grant children the gift of high-quality language and of a rich vocabulary which will accompany them throughout life.
Young children in Israel spend most of the day in groups within educational institutions. Hence, the “Book and Language” program, based on up-to-date research, is aimed at teachers. It is their task is to create appropriate materials for this special age, to promote and encourage language acquisition, and to exploit the natural tendency for acquiring a language.
The website contains ideas that are easy to implement, as well as demonstrations on how to create illustrative materials, with a focus on reusable materials that emphasize the element of surprise, movement and colorfulness. These elements create an enjoyable experience for the child and teacher alike. Their shared enjoyment not only facilitates language acquisition but is also an end in itself.