Free Essay Sample «Nursery Rhymes and Language Mastery»

«Nursery Rhymes and Language Mastery»


Teaching children is a process that requires a lot of patience and determination; this is because unlike the older people, children take considerably more time to learn and master a concept. It is therefore important to come up with various learning methods; these methods ensure that a child finds it easy to learn from the various concepts that are presented using the simplest learning methods. By doing this the children are able to learn very fast and they are also able to remember more often what they have been taught. The children’s ability to learn nursery rhymes is not similar; it depends on a number of factors that this study seeks to analyze. This proposal concentrates on expounding on all the practical methods that have been used on different children; these children are between 0 and 5 years. Different results have been realized depending on the age of the child and their intelligence. Interest has been growing in the role of the linguistic routines such as nursery rhymes, action rhymes, and word games in children’s development. By the end of this proposal; it should be possible to establish the effect of the nursery rhymes in children. Chukovsky (1963) explains that nursery rhymes are an important part of the young child’s experiences.


A child’s development is highly dependent upon the kind of basic educational background that the child will receive. As a matter of fact, a good background will bring about stability in a child’s educational journey; thereby presenting him or her with an opportunity to understand the process of education better. In this research project, the writer intends to carry out a study on nursery rhymes; and its relationship with a child’s ability to master language related to educational background. Broad as the subject of the study may be, the purpose of the study will be broken down into five major topics; explaining what the literature has to say that will be addressed in the final concept paper. These are as indicated below; the topics include mastery of rhymes, linguistic development, reading and spelling, among others. There is a direct relationship between the children’s early knowledge of nursery rhymes at 3; and their developing phonological over the next year and a quarter. Since skills are known to be related to children’s success in learning to read; this result suggests the hypothesis that acquaintance with nursery rhymes might also affect a child’s reading. There is a strong relationship between early knowledge of rhymes and success in reading and spelling; over the next three years even after differences in the social background. Cantor, 1981 notes that children learn this sensitivity long before they go to school.

This research proposal seeks to establish the impact of nursery rhymes on nursery school children; this seeks to prove how nursery knowledge enhances the phonological sensitivity which in turn helps them to learn how to read.

Nursery rhymes are related to the child’s subsequent sensitivity to rhymes and phonemes. Moreover, the connection between knowledge of nursery rhymes, and readings and spelling ability disappears when controls are made for differences in subsequent phonological skills.

Literature review

Both primary and secondary sources of data are going to be used to gather as much information as possible; this is to ensure that the information is accurate and represents the actual situation. The primary source of data will be by use of sampling, administering of both closed and open ended questionnaires to the parents, and direct observation of the children when performing the given tasks. The secondary sources of the data will be the various books, journals, newspaper article, historical records, government reports, theses and dissertations that give detailed information on the behavior of children of that age. The data will also explain the behavior that is expected from each child at a certain age and their level of intelligence.  

Research methodology


Ages: this study will use 66 children in this subject; but data is collected on 64 children. All the children are from native English speaking background; with the exception of a boy whose mother is Swedish. However, he can speak english perfectly.

Social background

Social background: the children come from a wide range of backgrounds; these measures include the social class and the educational level of the parents.  The questionnaire given to the parents at the end of the first and the second year on the amount of linguistic on a child; states the social background of each child.


The project is longitudinal and the measures used will be predictive; the aim will be to analyze the following sub-topics:

i.            The children’s knowledge of nursery rhymes.

ii.            Phonological sensitivity

iii.            Reading and spelling


Mastery of rhymes

Rhyming skills make it very easy for children to understand various pronunciations and sequences of letters that sound the same. For instance, a child who is able to pronounce rhymes that end with –ight will be able to comfortably read words that end with the same. In the final concept paper, the writer will show more details and evidence that support the concept of understanding rhymes as a key in developing mastery of language in children.

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Linguistic Development

The writer also intends to look at how best children understand rhymes; this is with the intention of helping them develop their phonetic skills. An understanding of such basic skills has been argued will go a long way in helping the child develop better spelling and writing skills (Maclean, Bryant & Bradley, 1987). A child’s linguistic development is heavily dependent upon his ability to understand linguistic basics, such as, nursery rhymes. Parents therefore play an important role from earlier stages in the life of children to develop dialogue; that will help the child to enhance his or her phonological skills.

Reading and spelling

There is a correlation between reading and spelling, and an understanding of nursery rhymes. According to Bradley (1980), children who have an understanding of rhymes have the ability to develop proper reading and spelling skills; although the latter will in many occasions prove challenging to an extent (Bradley and Bryant, 1985).  Although there are other various factors that will determine a child’s ability to read and spell; it is apparent that mastery of nursery rhymes plays a major role in their ability to read and spell. From the target population; the writer will look at the various factors that go, hand in hand, with a child’s development of phonological skills.

The evaluation plan

The sample population consists of American natives; this means that English is most definitely their first language. However, it cannot be assumed that all the children have a strong background in as far as English speaking is concerned. Some of the factors that determines a child’s ability to understand the rhymes and consequently phonology may include; a child’s background, IQ level, a child’s age, and educational level of a child’s parents inter alia. Having established the above factors; the writer seeks to establish deeply the possible ways of helping a child with such limitations, to overcome and develop interest in mastering language.

The results of the research are specifically very exciting because, this is because they are expected to show a strong relationship between informal experience on the child’s early life; and the former education skills which the child must acquire some years later. Prior knowledge by the child on nursery rhymes makes them better in reading and spelling in school; this prior knowledge comes from the introduction to nursery rhymes by the parents at an early age. Bryant and Bradley (1987)  states that there is a considerable evidence that the sensitivity to rhyme and alienations which children acquire before they go to school; this is because they do play a casual rule in their reading several years later.

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Nursery rhyme scores predict success in phonological tasks over two years or more and even more after their initial levels of phonological sensitivity have been controlled.

The results are also expected to prove that the relationship between nursery rhymes knowledge and reading and spelling; disappears when subsequent rhyme scores.

Spelling however has a different result;

The rhyme detection measures accounts for the connection between the nursery rhymes and spelling; but the detection measures do not. Therefore, the results should indicate that there is a connection between nursery rhymes and spelling.


All the results to the different categories of the study are expected to show the connection between the child’s early knowledge of rhymes; and aspects of their linguistic development later on. The nursery rhymes scores are connected to the development of phonological sensitivity over the next three years; and this sensitivity is connected to the children’s ability to read and spell. The writer also intends to complete the research that expounds the developing child’s phonological skills in order to help a child develop fully.

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Having developed an understanding of the major ways in which phonological skills are important in a child’s development; the writer seeks to determine some of the solutions to the problems that face children as they develop their reading, writing and spelling skills. Some of the solutions to helping these children overcome the problem include; helping the children with low IQ practice more in order to enhance their understanding of the rhymes.



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