Sounds are the raw materials of spoken language. These sounds come together to form words, combined and brought together in special and complex ways to form sentences. The meaning in a sentence is communicated by the way in which words are combined. For most children, the ability to pronounce words correctly and to use appropriate grammar are acquired in the same way as other language skills. Children require good role models, the opportunity to use their language skills and positive feedback to adjust and refine these skills.
There are times, however, that some children have difficulties in pronouncing words which may require help from speech therapist. These childrens needs are greatly important and to seek help for the child language is the main tool that human beings use for thinking. Thinking can be done without language, such as recalling pictures, images and tactile sensation but these are just considered as simple level: These ways of thinking and recalling information are not complex enough for all that is demanded of human beings (Beaver 139). First language acquisition
Most researchers have the same opinion that typically, developing healthy babies go through the same language acquisition stages no matter what their first language is. Newborn infants cry, but they do not make speechlike sounds until they reach 3 months old, when they begin to make what are called ooing vowel sounds. During six months of age, babies start to babble and make consonant-vowel combination sounds like ba-ba-ba and da-da-da. They practice these sounds leading to intonation patterns development similar to whatever language they hear and is spoken in their environment.
They keep trying out varieties of consonant-vowel combinations until they utter the first word which is the next stage in their development. The name of a family member is usually the first word or it could be a favorite food or toy, or an action word, such as bye-bye, down, or no. New words are gradually added and babies usually over generalize words such as mommy to represent all women, or doggy to mean all four-legged, furry creature. Very soon, the one-word utterance is extended to have sentence meaning: the holophrastic stage.
In these stage, the one-word such as more means I want more, or up means Pick me up. Most linguists believe that children at this stage understand more language than they can produce. Children begin to put two words together and form two-word sentences between one and one-half and two years of age. Children already can recognize and even produce many words, but it is here that we witness the beginning of syntactical and semantic relations. Give me. All gone. Daddy home. Bye Mommy. Children do not mark the words with inflections for tense, number, or person.
At this stage, they do not usually use pronouns, except for me referring to themselves. The next stage is the telegraphic stage, when children start to form sentences that sound like telegrams because these three-, four-, and several-word sentences are made up of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and some pronouns sequenced in the correct word order, but without inflectional endings or function words such as the, a, or prepositions. Sentences like: Doggy play ball, Chair fall down What her name? Me want that.
are often times heard (Seymour, Luria and Smoke 5). Biological, or innate, theory of Chomsky and Slobin The theory of Chomsky (1957) is based on the principle that the brain has an inbuilt facility for language and that human beings are genetically programmed to develop language. The theory sought to provide an explanation for the means by which a baby develops language skills. Chomskys theory thus links language skills to the process of maturation. It emphasizes the biological control of language development and declines contextual factors.
However, Chomsky does not point out that in order to trigger this innate capacity for language, children need to hear language spoken. The importance of language as an activity is given emphasis, rather than the specific language spoken by those in contact with the child. Slobin, added ideas to Chomskys approach, explained that babies and very young children respond to language sounds and sound consequences, which he called operating principles and research supports this view. Babies do initially respond to sound, tone, intonation and rhythm regardless of the language spoken.
This would appear a logical answer to the question of how language develops; however, if we were preprogrammed to learn language then all children would learn language in the same way, regardless of the culture in which they were born. But this is not the case (MacLeod-Brudenell and Maclead-Brudenell 176). Cognitive models of Vygotsky and Piaget While the biological models of language development stress the innate ability of children to acquire language, cognitive models, on the other hand, focus more on the relationship between the developments of childrens cognitive skills and language development.
In terms of language, the approach taken by Piaget differs from Vygotsky in one important facet. Piaget considered language development to be primarily an egocentric activity and to provide a challenging environment is the role of the adult which would stimulate the childs learning capabilities (MacLeod-Brudenell and Maclead-Brudenell 176). To Piaget, language was quite independent from actions that lead to reasoning. For Piaget, talking to children in order to explain things before they were at an appropriate stage of understanding is pointless.
Vygotsky, on the other hand, believed that language takes place within a social framework and adults have vital role in actively stimulating the child in order to support and extend the childrens learning. Vygotsky noted that in the earliest stages of speech, children talk aloud to themselves and practitioners who work with very young children confirms in this case. Vygotsky sees this inner speech as an important link between language and thoughts in the young child.
As children become more aware of what they are thinking, this inner speech becomes internalized (MacLeod-Brudenell and Maclead-Brudenell 179). Bruners approach to language development Bruner is also considered as one of the most influential theorists in the field of language development. Bruner focused his early research on the relationship between adult scaffolding, learning and childrens language. He emphasizes the linkage between language and communication and the encouragement of childrens understanding of how language works.
The holistic approach to language comprises visual cues, gestures and body language, turn-taking and the conventions of social use of language (MacLeod-Brudenell and Maclead-Brudenell 179). Monitoring childrens language development Effective child-care workers informally monitor childrens development through their daily interactions with the children. Their intimate knowledge of individual children allows them to identify such progress or development, or if a child may need support. There are some establishments that also monitor childrens language development in a more formal way.
They may use a checklist, developmental chart or diary in which, each childs development is recorded and made available for future planning and interaction. It is important to take note that when assessing childrens language developmental level, there is sometimes a difference between a childs actual language ability and their ability to use expressive (spoken) language (Beaver 157). Factors affecting language development Successful language development of children needs a rich, stimulating environment that offers the opportunity for experiences suitable to their level of development.
These are a number of factors that influence the quality of the language development: 1) the presence of positive role models 2) the opportunity for the children to practice their language skill 3) positive feedback to enable the children to pick up language and to adjust and refine their language skills (Beaver 158). Supporting children with language delay All children come to a care setting with different experiences and this includes their experience of language. Because the experiences that a child has had are so influential in their development, not all children develop language in the same pace.
Within any group of children there will be a wide range of proficiency in language. This could include children who have delayed language development in relation to the expected range of norms. It is important that each child is treated as an individual and that their needs are assessed and met. When a childs language development is delayed, there are a number of agencies who may be involved are health visitor, speech therapist, portage worker, language unit, nursery staff, individual classroom report, support form charitable organizations (Barnardos, NCH Action for Children), local initiative (self-help groups) (Beaver 159).