Is your child fascinated by words? Word use? Word history? Does your child ask questions about where language came from or who spoke the first word? These are just some of the indications that you have a verbally gifted child who is interested in language – a child who might enjoy linguistics for kids.
Up to now, these children haven’t have many opportunities to study language scientifically, like linguists do. But now your child can learn what it’s like to be a linguist and get a sampling of what it’s like to explore language as a science.
For more than twenty years, I have been interested in verbally gifted children and their needs. In fact, they were the focus of my dissertation, which I have made available here. Part of what I did for the dissertation was to create a “Junior Linguists” course for verbally gifted children. Children who attended this 9 week course were introduced to the different branches of linguistics, such as phonology, morphology, and syntax. But they started by thinking about just what language IS. They also learned a bit about the history of the English language and more.
What Kids Themselves Say About Linguistics for Kids
According to the evaluations of the course, the children not only enjoyed the course; they also learned about language. From the dissertation:
Every student either agreed or strongly agreed that they had a better understanding of what language is and learned things they didn’t know about language. None of the students found the material too hard or too confusing. All the students agreed or strongly agreed that the class made them think more about language. … Some of the students also wrote some comments on their evaluation sheets: “I ♥’ed this class,” “It was awesome,” “This class was really fun,” “I learned a lot and it’s a fun class,” and “It was fun.”
If your child is interested in taking this course, please sign up to be notified when it is offered again.