Learning from children

"Learning from children" is a dictionary of the Italian language in which definitions of words come from children. Words (nearly 1,000) have been selected by children themselves. Each word can feature more than one definition coming from different children and each definition may come with examples of use to help understand the meaning. But with so many dictionaries, do we really need one written by children? Who is interested in consulting it? Though it may often appear inaccurate and even incorrect, children's language is a fundamental stage in the process of building a more complex and mature language. Therefore this dictionary aims at building children's linguistic skills starting from the lingustic stage they are in. This allows to overcome the typical attitude of reckoning as a mistake what actually belongs to a specific stage in the child's linguistic development and to replace the concept of "error correction" with that of "construction of the following stage". In order to give substance to this model, "Learning from children" proposes an appendix containing a collection of exercises . Who is "Learning from children" useful to? Let's answer with the words of Tullio De Mauro, author of the foreword " is important that teachers know since the very beginning, how many and which words children know and to what extent, in order to customize order to determine how many new words the child has learnt at the end of the school year...but it is also useful to prepare suitable language education programmes ... and to design textbooks based on a rational and planned approach able to enrich pupils' lexicon.

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