Classroom Interpreters - Interpreters and Children - Cognitive/Social Development and Educational Interpreting
Cognitive development is an important aspect of overall child development. Generally cognition refers to how we think, pay attention, remember, and learn.
Children are born ready and willing to develop cognitive skills. They have been compared to little scientists. They are constantly learning new ideas, how things work, and how to solve problems. They are trying to figure out how the world works. Children are not passive learners – they actively seek out information.
Language and cognition are partners in child development. We use language to learn new ideas, to talk about our thoughts and fears, and interact with those around us. Language is how thoughts fly through the air from one mind to another. Language skills and cognitive skills are related to each other. Stronger language skills mean stronger cognitive skills.
Schools foster cognitive development. Teachers don’t just teach a list of facts; they teach children how to think. The interactions and talk that happens in a classroom are the raw material for a child’s brain.
There are aspects of children’s cognitive development that may be affected when a child has an interpreted education. In the following sections, we explore fundamentals of cognitive development at the various ages and how these skills might relate to an interpreted education.
- Preschool and Kindergarten Years – Ages 4-5
- Early Elementary Years - Ages 6-8
- Late Elementary Years – Ages 9-11
- Middle School and High School Years – Adolescence