The aim of of this work is to show the theoretical basis and the primary steps necessary to realize an educational software that is able to enhance the learning of English in Italian primary schools (4-7 years old). The work behind the creation of this software is the research on issues linked to language acquisition and cognition in relation to the cognitive growth, taking into account the different information given by the Cognitive Sciences and their various research approaches. From linguistic databases of native English-speaking children, taken from CHILDES, a list of of high-frequency content words was carried out according to syntactic and semantic criteria. For each high-frequency word a list of all the expressions in which it occurs in the language input (Child Directed Speech), was carried out. Precisely this list will constitute the linguistic input with which the child, at school, will interact by means of a digital reader and a set of adequate representations of the contexts of use of the expressions. Our ultimate purpose is to create an educational device that can improve the learning of a foreign language from the actual use of words, starting from the way in which the high-frequency words are perceived and acquired by children in the input that they receive.
Giuseppe Città, University of Messina, Italy
Lucia Collerone, University of Messina, Italy
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