Children’s language development and second language acquisition Sandra Morales
Texas Woman’s University
Children’s language development and second language acquisition
The paper investigates how children develop their cognitive and language skills in a context that is influenced by social and biological factors. The literature review discusses the Cognitive and Social Constructivism theories and their influence on the education field. In addition the author presents how children develop their language at different stages and how those stages influence the growth and development of a second language. Language acquisition is one of the most important topics in cognitive development. In the study of language development it is necessary to consider all the factors that affect cognitive development and their influence on child development. Many theorists investigate how children acquire language skills and how heredity, environment, culture, and biological factors influence language development (Meadows, 2006). Rationale
It has been said that language is a characteristic that establishes a difference between animals and humans. It is the ability to communicate with others, transmit and receive information gathered through symbols, gestures, facial expressions or other ways to express thoughts that others can understand what has been said (Jones, 1972). What is language? According to Bochner (1997) language is a form of communication. It involves a system of signs and symbols that are used by a group of people to communicate. The symbols include but are not limited to written symbols and sounds. The language may be diverse in different cultures in terms of how the symbols system is used, the formal properties of the language, and the way people use that language to communicate with others in the same culture. Every culture has its own language system. As a matter of fact all languages have four main components (Bochner, 1997): Pragmatics (use) – learn to use the sounds, gestures, words, and body language. Meaning (semantics) –understand the messages, represented in words, or written. Rules (syntax and morphology) – use the grammatical system of the language, combine words to convey a meaning. Sounds – Are the words intelligible enough that others can understand them.
Throughout this paper the author will discuss various theoretical perspectives associated with the language development of children at different stages of their development. Some scholars such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner and Chomsky have revealed common ideas between the language acquisition and the cognitive development that are being discussed in this paper. The purpose of this paper is to present the process of how children develop their language through the lenses of those four theorists and their contributions in the early childhood field. In addition the reader will find information regarding how children learn and develop a second language and the implication during the development. The primary consideration about language development is immersed in a controversy concerning the roots of language acquisition, and how people communicate their thinking processes, feelings and ideas.
According to Meadows (2006) language development involves different processes that include but are not limited to physical, emotional and cognitive development. Having an understanding of the differences between individuals, their experiences and their contact with other adults and significant ones, will help to understand how the language is developed. All this provides the opportunities for growth and development in different areas that complement the life of the person. In relation to the development the contact and relation with others start influencing the baby in his mother's womb. During the gestational time the fetus can hear the voice of their mother, and other sounds (music, etc), and after their birth they can...
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