Sunday, July 25, 2010

Language: Important to begin relationship skills

Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire during the thirteenth century, was a curious man. Some of the stories of his ranging quests for knowledge...are known as "The follies of the Emperor."
Here is one of those stories.
Frederick wondered what language had been spoken in the garden of Eden (and) reasoned that since Adam and Eve had been left to their own devices, he need only recreate the circumstances in which they had begun to speak, and he would have his answer. He determined to isolate infants from the moment of their birth, so that they would never hear human speech until they heard their own. To accomplish this, he arranged for several children to be reared by wet nurses; the nurses he instructed to maintain absolute silence.
It is tremendously difficult for a woman to be silent with a child. Nonetheless, the nurses succeeded. According to the account not one of them uttered a single word to any of the children. In other words, the experimental conditions were a success. But the children all died. (The Self In Pilgrimage, Earl A. Loomis,* Jr. M.D., 1947, p.54)
Dr. Loomis concluded that we all need others in order to live and without them we perish.
"We know that when children separated from their parents, particularly from their mothers, from the fourth to the eighth months of life, die, the cause of death is not usually conventional disease but lack of relationship. (Also) we know that children reared in foundling hospitals...have a higher mortality rate than other children.They also develop a series of physical, intellectual and emotional disorders having direct relationship to their age at the time of adoption--to the length of time, in other words, that they have been treated impersonally."
(Loomis, p. 55)
So the continuous develop of language facility is important long after the first few months of life. And that is one of the reasons why language and literature are especially important to the development of male students, both preadolescent and adolecent. And that is also why it is extremely important for educators to pay special attention to the readiness and willingness of male children to learn language, in all its nuances.
(*Note: Dr. Loomis was a Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York.)

No comments:

Post a Comment