Language Acquisition

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  • Language Acquisition - Theories.
    • Skinner (Imitation)
      • Suggests children learn from what they hear
      • Children develop regional accents and so supports that they imitate what they hear
      • if imitation was the sole influence in language development children would understand the rules of grammar instantly
      • imitation is important in phonological development. (ability to pronounce certain words)
      • Children usually use words they understand so if they imitate then they would use words they have heard from others even if the didn't understand them
      • If the child is deaf, it is unable to imitate sounds and so learn sign language
    • Chomsky (innate)
      • The theory that children are able to develop language from birth.
      • everyone is born with an LAD (language acquistion device)
      • For the LAD to work it must be stimulated by some kind of event
        • This allows the child to develop language and then recognise the basic structure and rules of grammar.
    • Jean Piaget (cognitive development)
      • This theory means that language depends on the development of thinking
      • If a child correctly uses phrases like 'More than' then its clear that the child understands the concept.
    • Bruner
      • As a response to Chomsky's LAD, Bruner created the LASS
      • Through LASS children would learn language with parental input. using books an pictures
      • 4 steps to LASS:
        • 1. Gaining atttention
        • 2. Ask the baby to identify the image
        • 3. Labelling - Telling the baby what the image is
        • 4. Feedback - responding to the babies utterances.
  • Halliday's 7 Stages of Language
    • Stage 1: Instrumental stage. - Children uses this to express needs and wants
    • Stage 2: Representa-tional stage. Is used to tell others what to do. Demands
    • Stage 3: Interactional. Use language to form relationships
    • Stage 4: Personal stage. When the child uses language to express emotions
    • Stage 5: Heuristic Stage. This is when language is used to gain info about the environment. Often through questions
    • Stage 6:  Imaginative stage. Language is used through telling stories and role play
    • Stage 7: Child begins to use language to talk about brand new things. Eg.telling stories about themselves
  • Theories in writing development
    • Theory of B.M Kroll. 1981. 4 stages of writing
      • Stage 1: Preparatory stage - Masters the basic motor skills needed to write and Learns the basic principles of the spelling system.
      • Stage 2: consolidation stage (up to the age of 6). Child writes the as it speaks
        • Uses short declarative sentences containing mainly conjunctions
        • often use of incomplete sentences as they dont know how to finish
      • Stage 3: Differentiation (Up to age 9)  stage. Child becomes aware of the difference between speaking and writing
        • Is able to recognise different forms of writing.  (eg. Letter, Essay)
        • Use writing guides and frame works for structure. still often make mistakes (eg. grammar, spelling)
        • Writes to the reflect thoughts and feelings
    • Theory of Dr Cathy Barclay (1996) - 7 Stages
      • Stage 1: Scribbling stage.
      • Stage 2: Mock handwriting stage - Writing and drawings. lines which are their understanding of lineations
      • Stage 3: Mock Letters - Letters become seperate
      • Stage 4: Conventional Letters - Involves writing its first word. often its own name
        • Reads its own written letters as words
      • Stage 5: Invented Spelling Stage - Spelt in the way the child hears it.
      • Stage 6: Phonetic spelling stage - attach sounds to spelling
      • Stage 7: Accurate Spelling stage - ability to spell most words


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