Providing an appropriate and challenging academic environment for gifted children seems to be difficult for most schools. Part of the problem is that not everyone believes that there is any such thing as gifted children. Another part of the problem is that the term “gifted” has no single clear definition, so even those who recognize the existence of giftedness do not agree on just what it is. While most everyone recognizes that not all gifted children are gifted in all areas and believe that we should challenge these children in their area of strength, such as math or language, they still do not always recognize all the strengths and interests of those gifted children whose strength lies in language, the verbally gifted. The types of programs usually offered to these children consist of creative writing and foreign language learning. Some verbally gifted children, however, are most interested in the study of language itself. They want to know how language began, how it works, why words are spelled as they are. In other words, they want to study language scientifically, as linguists do. Very little is offered to these children, beyond a study of word etymologies. One reason is that few teachers, including English teachers have much background in the study of linguistics. This study investigates whether teachers with no background in linguistics could teach basic linguistic principles to verbally gifted children. The conclusion is that, yes, they can.

Table of Contents | Chapter One

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