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Language Development and childhood

Hausarbeit 2019 13 Seiten

Psychologie - Lernpsychologie, Intelligenzforschung

Leseprobe

Table of Contants

INTRODUCTION

DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

THEORIES AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

NATIVIST THEORY

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY

INTRATIONIST THEORY

BRAIN RESEARCH

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHERS AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Infants
Toddlers
Preschoolers

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
How parents promote language development
Talking with your baby:
Responding to your baby:
Everyday talking:
Introducing new words:
Reading with your baby:

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND TRACHERS IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

INTRODUCTION

Language since inception has been hailed as the hallmark of humanity, the ability that separates humans from animals (Berko-Gleason, 1997)."Language development is a process starting early in human life". Young children acquire language through significant others by interaction in their immediate environment, through responding to sounds, sentences and experiences expressed by their parents, family and other carers.

They begin by absorbing, listening and then imitating and practicing. Their responses are reinforced by these significant others and patterns begin to emerge, even for the babies, as they try so hard to make sense of what is happening around them. Gradually they learn to reproduce sounds and words and establish an understanding of how language works, the structure and grammatical sense of putting these sounds and words together. Infants start without language, yet by 4 months of age, babies can distinguish speech sounds and engage in babbling. Some research has shown that the earliest learning begins in uterus when the foetus starts to recognize the sounds and speech patterns of its mother's voice. Usually, productive language is considered to begin with a stage of preverbal communications in which infants use gestures and vocalizations to make their intents known to others. According to a general principle of development, new forms then take over old functions, so that children learn words to express the same communicative functions which they had already expressed by preverbal means (Kennison, 2013).Language plays an important role in an individual development; children use speech not only for social communication, but also to help them solve tasks.

Language can be defined as an organized system of arbitrary signals and rule-governed structures that are used as a means for communication. Language occurs both receptively and expressively through reading, listening, writing, and speaking. In order to become fully functioning members of school and society, children must learn the elements, the rules, the structure, and the conventions of this system. Language is crucial to young children’s development; it is the essential key for learning, for communicating and building relationships with others as well as for enabling children to make sense of the world around them. Language, according to researchers encompasses five structural components: phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology, and pragmatics. There have been several theories about how young children acquire language, but no one perspective on language acquisition tells the whole story. In our subject matter, we are going to look into these theories and their contributions to language development. Likewise, the subject matter will cover the roles played by teachers and parent toward development of language from the toddler to pre-school age and beyond.

DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

- Phonology: involves the rules about the structure and sequence of speech sounds.

- Semantics: consists of vocabulary and how concepts are expressed through words.

- Grammar: involves two parts.

- The first, syntax, is the rules in which words are arranged into sentences.
- The second, morphology, is the use of grammatical markers (indicating tense, active or passive voice etc.).

- Pragmatics: involves the rules for appropriate and effective communication. Pragmatics involves three skills:

- using language for greeting, demanding etc.,
- changing language for talking differently depending on who it is you are talking to;
- Following rules such as turn taking, staying on topic. Each component has its own appropriate developmental periods.

THEORIES AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Many theories have been propounded by several researchers but none have been able to really explain the process of language development.

NATIVIST THEORY

Nativists argue that children have an inborn desire to make sense of the world. With their natural drive to attend to the spoken word and sort out meanings, children can use language as a way to make sense of their world. Waddington (1957) explains that certain behaviours are learned easily or canalized by members of a species. These canalized behaviours are genetic; the members of a species are prepared to learn them with little effort. In humans, canalized behaviours include learning to use tools and language.

Noam Chomsky (1972) took the nativist explanation a bit further. He proposed that there is an inborn language acquisition device (LAD) somewhere in the brain that facilitates language acquisition. Because young children learn language so effortlessly, yet lack the mental ability to analyze the rules and structure of the language logically, he proposed that there must be a mechanism that allows children to acquire the structure of language naturally. Anyone who has studied a second language understands the difficulty of mastering the complexities of grammar, usage, meanings, and word order that are part of any language system. Though Chomsky's LAD has never been located, it is generally accepted among the experts that the brain comes hardwired for language to develop and biologically human beings are programmed for learning language (Bickerton, 1984; and Slobin, 1985). When children are born they have the ability to differentiate any sound in any language system (Werker & Lalonde, 1988). By the end of the first year the unused sounds tend to drop out of the repertoire so that babbling tends to take on the sound of French or the sound of Russian or the sound of English. The babbling, however, ends up sounding like an English sentence even though meaning is missing (Boyson-Bardies, 1989).

SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY

If children have a desire to learn and that learning comes without great difficulty is that all there is to the development of language? Social learning theory explains that children imitate the words and language patterns they hear by watching and listening to the models, caregivers, and family members in their life (Bandura, 1989). Some children imitate German words, others imitate Japanese words, and still others imitate English words. They repeat those sounds that are rewarded with smiles and praise (dada and mama) and drop out those sounds that are not rewarded (Skinner, 1957). But this explanation creates a problem. If human beings simply imitate what others around them have said, what accounts for the ability to speak novel sentences, create an original poem, or write new lyrics to a song? In addition, if human beings only imitate what they have heard, doesn't that mean that they memorize everything they hear and then repeat it back at the appropriate time? Do young children have the ability to memorize that great amount of language?

INTRATIONIST THEORY

Proponents of the interactionist theory argue that children need more than a desire to speak, more than an inborn LAD, and more than a model to imitate. Interactionists suggest that children need to interact with others (Bohannon & Bonvillian, 1997). They need to speak and be spoken to. Neither one, alone, is enough. A normal infant born to deaf and mute parents provided scientists the opportunity to observe a child's attempts to learn language in an environment where spoken language interaction was not possible. Could a child learn language by listening to TV? If a child only needs models to imitate, he or she should be able to learn to speak and understand the spoken word by watching TV. If a child needs to interact (speak and be spoken to), then watching TV would not enable him or her to learn language.

BRAIN RESEARCH

New advances in brain research have allowed scientists to understand how the physiology of the brain enables human beings to learn language. It appears that the brain is most plastic, or flexible, in young children. This plasticity is connected to a critical period for learning language easily. This critical period makes it easiest to acquire language before age eight or nine, when the ability begins to shut down.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEACHERS AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

The ability to read and process information is a necessary part of our educational experience. The teaching of reading and writing is key for the formation of literacy as young children attend school, through adolescence, and finally as they emerge as competent and educated adults. Literacy is now, more than ever, essential for basic survival on a day-to-day basis. The student that struggles to read will struggle in all subject areas, affecting and perhaps perpetuating a negative attitude towards reading and school in general. An early introduction to reading before the elementary school years can greatly increase literacy development and reading comprehension. Literacy scholars advocate that reading to preschoolers helps prepare them for greater success in school (Anderson & Cheung, 2003).

Teachers can promote the speech and language development for appropriate goals for behaviourial management, social interaction, and developmental play.

A child's environment is the most critical component to language development. An environment free of abuse and excess stress frees the brain to create the necessary language connections. In such an environment, adults need to provide a language-rich, nurturing world in which attentive caregivers encourage a child's language efforts, however primitive. The following suggestions help you encourage language development in infants as well as toddlers and preschoolers.

Infants

- Infants are engaged by rhymes, simple word games, and songs like "So Big," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," or original songs and games made up by the caregiver. Rhymes and songs that are repetitive and involve moving the infant's body easily and rhythmically are particularly good for feeling the words.
- Books are for babies, too. Books with either black and white or colourful pictures of familiar objects stimulate infants. While the infant cannot follow a story line, he or she is neurologically stimulated by the flow of the language that accompanies book reading.
- Family snapshots are favourites of older infants who love to have family members pointed out, named, and talked about. Ask parents to send small photo albums to childcare for such purposes. Snapshots taken at childcare could be posted on walls, as well. As children are carried about, take a moment to stop and talk about the photos.

[...]

Details

Seiten
13
Jahr
2019
ISBN (eBook)
9783346081537
ISBN (Buch)
9783346081544
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v508902
Note
A
Schlagworte
language development

Autor

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Titel: Language Development and childhood