Language Acquisition of Children

Topics: Language, Linguistics, Language acquisition Pages: 23 (6177 words) Published: October 19, 2011
1.1) Chart the language development of children between the ages of 0 – 5 years old.

From Birth – 6 Months

Vocalisation accompanied with intonation .
Most babies are able to respond to their name as well as being able to distinguish between tones by responding accordingly. Some babies can react to human voices by turning their head and eyes without the aid of visual cues.

6 – 12 Months

By now infants are using holophrastic speech ; conveying one word with meaning. The baby is able to understand simple instructions particularly well if they are given with vocal or physical prompts. The baby is aware of the social value of speech furthermore it is practising inflection.

1 – 3 Years

Has vocabulary of approximately 20 – 1000 words. In this stage the child’s vocabulary will have expanded from acquiring various words in addition the child is able to respond with prepositions, verbs and nouns. In this stage the child makes the transition from echolalia to being able to construct simple sentences. As a result this progress is reflected in the child’s receptive and expressive language and moving away from telegraphic speech. Moreover the child also has the ability to change their behaviour in response to comments made to them as well as being able to comprehend simple commands.

2) Read the article on Speech and Language Developments in Infants and Young Children by Caroline Bowen and answer the 10 questions.

What does “language acquisition” mean?
Language acquisition is the method by which humans acquire the capability to learn and use words to understand and communicate. Some of it is partly learned and some as witnessed in babies is inherent like babbling which although has no meaning they are able to convey thus communicating which will be followed by language.

How does language acquisition happen?
Children’s learning and understanding language happens gradually by way of interacting with people and their surroundings.

What is the meaning of “innate”? What is the opposite of “innate”? Quality such as being a good listener is something that could be seen as innate, something that you are born with whereas the antonym of innate would be something that one learns or acquires. A skill such as touch typing or a child learning to ride a bike would be perceived as learned behaviour.

Quote a definition of language from the article.
“Language has been called the symbolisation of thought” (Bowen)

How can a parent help his/her child’s language development? The parent or the care giver are the significant people in the child’s life, and how they interact and engage with the child will determine how the language will develop in the initial five years. The most important thing is to enjoy interacting with the child and be at ease and be natural.

Moreover give more emphasis on eliciting and listening to sounds and responding accordingly to the child’s level of language and understanding. So s/he, knows that the adult is listening to them thus making the child feel confident in their journey of language acquisition.

One thing that is very important to know for parents and caregivers, with all the best will in the world, some children learn at different paces so it is vital as parents that they do not compare their child to another child. As long as the child’s learning is consistent then there is nothing to worry.

What are the two divisions in language development given in the article? As shown in the article one can see that language falls into two main divisions. Receptive language is the understanding of what is said, written or signed whereas expressive language can construed as speaking, writing or signing.

What’s the problem with Milestones chart?
The problem arises when they are followed religiously. When parents see that their child has not achieved what has been outlined by the chart they will naturally feel anxiety about the child’s development. What...
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