Language is processed in the frontal lobe in the brain’s left hemisphere.
When you combine language with creativity from the right hemisphere,
you create permanent connections in the whole brain.
In a brain-based learning environment, we are counting on children
bringing what they know to the experience and building on that knowl-
edge. With language, as with everything else, we are welcoming what the
children bring to the learning process.
In her book Poems to Learn to Read By: Building Literacy with Love, my
dear friend Betty S. Bardige and her mother, Marilyn M. Segal, discuss the
concept of “outside-in” language development (Bardige and Segal 2005,
166). Inside-out language development focuses on words and how to trans-
late the sound from the printed word. Outside-in represents what children
know outside of the printed word that supports their understanding of the
printed word. When children learn language from the outside-in rather
than the inside-out, they are able to bring learning context to the actual
meanings of words.
Typically children learn “concrete” words fi rst: an example of outside-
in learning. Concrete words are those that already have meaning to a child.
When a child brings prior learning to something new, he is more able to
make it stick.
Supporting Language in the Environment
Be as creative as you possibly can when providing language support in the
environment. Everything you include will be used by children to build their
language and literacy skills, so choose wisely. Below is a list of some ways
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