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According to Brian Cambourne, there are some conditions that should be available in the environment surrounding children. These conditions facilitate acquisition of oral as well as written language at an early age (Brace, Brockhoff, Sparkes & Tuckey, 2006a). It is noted that the seven conditions have various implications on the classroom teacher. A teacher who applies the seven conditions should conduct themselves in a different manner from a teacher who uses conventional teaching methods in class.
The first condition is immersion. The implication here is that the teacher is expected to provide the children with exciting and stimulating things such as books related to children (Brace, Brockhoff, Sparkes & Tuckey, 2006b). This is as opposed to a conventional class setting that may not insist on the use of stimulating materials. The teacher can also read aloud for the children as opposed to letting them read on their own (Cambourne, 1988).
The second condition is demonstration. The teacher should demonstrate to children through reading and writing (Brace et al., 2006a). The implication here is that the classroom teacher should demonstrate to the children how to take notes or how to carry out different kinds of writings (Neuman & Dickson, 2002). This is as opposed to a traditional class setting where the teacher may not demonstrate to their learners.
The third condition (engagement) helps children to become not only active learners but also potentially oriented readers, speakers and writers (Bee & Boyd, 2010). Throughout the day, a teacher using engagement technique engages their learners in many activities involving group settings. This is to enable children to try things out in a process known as experimentation (Lilly & Green, 2004). The teacher should adorn the environment with all forms of literature materials for this condition to be met (Lilly & Green, 2004). This may not be the case in a traditional class setting.
The fourth condition has to do with expectations. A teacher applying this condition in a classroom should have realistic expectations for the learners. This will make it possible to assist the children accordingly (Brace et al., 2006b). In the classroom, there should be structures that show that learning is expected. This includes the presence of materials that coincides with the learner’s independency (Neuman & Dickson, 2002). Many materials such as computers can be used to this end. It is noted that this may not be the case in a conventional class setting.
The fifth condition is responsibility. Here, children are provided with options to select what they want to read (Brace et al., 2006a). This is unlike in a conventional class setting where the learners may not be provided with options. The classroom teacher can achieve this by setting up an environment that facilitates self-direction.
In approximation (condition 6), children’s mistakes should be taken as a mode of learning. This is unlike in a traditional class setting where mistakes may be shunned. A teacher applying approximation should reward the learners for efforts made. Instruction as well as learning is structured in a way that encourages all students to succeed (Brace et al., 2006b).
The last condition is response. Here, teachers should expand the oral as well as written language of their learners by listening and responding to their comments when necessary (Neuman & Dickson, 2002). In the classroom, the teacher and student share the responsibility of improving learning. This responsibility may not be present in a conventional class setting which is not learner-centered.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the seven conditions of learning are very important in learning. This paper showed that the seven conditions have various implications on the classroom teacher. A teacher who uses these conditions should conduct themselves in a different manner from a teacher who does not use them in class.
Bee, B., & Boyd, C. (2010). The developing child: 12th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Brace, J., Brockhoff, V., Sparkes, N., &Tuckey, J. (2006a). First steps: Speaking and listening map of development. 2nd ed. Port Melbourne: Rigby.
Brace, J., Brockhoff, V., Sparkes, N., & Tuckey, J. (2006b). First steps: Speaking and listening resource book. 2nd ed. Port Melbourne: Rigby.
Cambourne, B. (1988). The whole story: Natural learning and the acquisition of literacy in the classroom. Auckland: Ashton Scholastic.
Lilly, E., & Green, C. (2004). Literacy development: Cambourne’s conditions. Web.
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Neuman, S., & Dickson, D. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of early literacy research. New York: The Guilford Press.