Child acquisition - stages and theories

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  • Stages of Development
    • before birth
      • acclimatisation to the rhythms and intonation of langauge
    • first year
      • crying - (distinctive) vocal expression
      • cooing - reduplication e.g. gaga
      • babbling - development of speech production
      • turn taking - teaching the convenctions of conversations and repitition of key words
      • phonemes - individual sounds related to the native language
        • expansion - increase in number of phonemes used
        • contraction - discarding of phonemes not related to native langauge
      • intonation and gesture - a rise in tone relating to soeech and facial expression
      • understanding- comprehension develops faster than ability to reproduce them re
    • 1-2 years (holophrastic stage)
      • 1 word stage
        • 1st word - between 12 and 18 moths
        • vocabulary of 200 words
        • meanings of words have multiple possibilities
      • vocabulary
        • mainly nouns
        • relate to personal interactions
        • simple verbs
        • speech links with wants and needs as well as emotions
        • very limited
      • 2 word stage
        • occurs around 18 months
        • found in grammatically correct sequences
          • subject + verb = jenny sleep (jenny is sleeping)
          • verb + object = suzy juice (suzy is drinking juice)
          • subject + complement = daddy busy (daddy is busy)
        • still no indication of tense or person
        • emergance of sequence and order of meaning
      • consonant sounds
        • earliest = m, h and b
        • 'plosive' = b and p
        • 'nasal' = m and n
    • 3-5 years (continuing development)
      • distinguishing hypernyms and hyponyms
      • words of 3 or more syllables
      • understanding of past tenses and plurals
      • virtuous errors, applying regular grammatical endings to irregular forms
      • able to talk appropriately in different situations
      • use of question form and negation
      • use of auxiliary verb
      • understanding that words may have multiple meanings
      • mix up of homophones may appear
      • berko 'wug' test
        • shown an imaginary creature 'wug'
        • when shown 2 'wugs' they correctly applied the grammatical princle of adding 's' for plural
      • by 5 children can
        • converse effortlessly in many situations
        • undertsand and articulate complex structures and tenses
        • understand abstract ideas and idioms
  • language acquisition
    • language development from 5-11
      • social context
        • influencdes from a wider range of environmental situations e.g school
        • ability to speak appropriately to a range of people
        • different registers or level of formality
        • language skills may link to lifestyle and social class
      • bernstein
        • restricted code
          • associated with lower socio-economic groups
          • context bound
          • simple/short sentences and clauses
          • commands and questions
          • assertive statements
          • repetition of simple conjunctions
          • hesitency
          • limited vocabulary and reasoning
        • elaborated code
          • associated wirh higher socio-economic groups
          • accurate and varied grammatical order and syntax including the passive voice
          • complex sentences with coordinate and subordinate clauses
          • unnusual and varied vocabulary
          • a range of utterances and reasoning
    • language skills (5-7)
      • good at speaking and expressing requests and ideas using connectives
      • beginnings of reading and writing broaden exposure to language
      • understanding the different meanings of words and the context in which each meaning is used
      • vocabulary extension
      • understanding that words can be used both literally and imaginatively
      • use of language for different purposes
    • language skills (7-11)
      • fluent speaking
      • vocabulary of several thousand words
      • development through mastery of humour and play on words
      • aware of different styles according to different people and situations
      • grasp of abstarct ideas
      • bilingual - many children are brought up to speak more than one language
    • teenage language
      • innovators of language
      • bending and breaking of established patterns
      • social networking redefine boundaries between written and spoken language
      • generation of language specific to certain groups
      • adapting and using language in situations where they are beginning to play adult roles
      • online communication - jargon and colloquial phrasing
      • code switching
  • function of young peoples language
    • pragmatics
      • the study of langauge as it is used in social context
      • concerns the context and the reasons for speech
      • we lean many of these unconciously
      • we may also be taught these codes e.g. manners
      • what is acceptable changes over time and between places
      • we continue to adapt, develop and change our pragmatic skills
    • hallidays 7 functions of language
      • instrumental: language used to fulfill a need
      • regulatory: language used to influence the behaviour of others
      • interactional: language that develops social relationships and ease the process of interaction
      • personal: language that expresses the personal opinions, feelings and identity of the speaker
      • representational: language used to exchange information
      • heuristic: language used to explore the world and to learn and discover
      • imaginative: language used to explore the imagination
    • the influence of TV
      • appears to provide no educational benefits
      • passive TV watching does not develop cognitive language skills
      • pictures presented may numb a childs imagination
      • children who watch cartoons and entertainment shows during pre-school have poorer reading skills at age 5
      • children who watch entertainment TV are less liklely to read books
  • theories
    • the language acquisition support system
      • the LAD is supported and brought out by parents, family and educators
      • parents and carers regularly interact with the child and give help in naming
      • the family will often repeat the same words and phrases
      • important between the ages of 2 and 5
      • pre-school education provides a scaffold of support
    • the language acquisition device
      • an innate system in the brain which allows the spontaneous development of language
      • suggests children are receptive to language development and they are able to acquire language around them
      • all children are born with the ability to pick up languages when they are exposed to it
      • children learn to speak very rapidly
      • children make virtuous errors of tenses and syntax
      • subject-verb form is common in all languages and children are aware of this
      • lenneberg - LAD must be activated at na critical period for native language acquisition to occur
      • for
        • stages of language development occur at the same ages in most children, even though they experience different environment
        • childrens language development follows a similar pattern accross cultures
        • children generally acquire language skills quickly and effortlessly
      • against
        • children need a lot of input to use language correctly
        • children deprived of social contact often cannot achieve communicative competence
        • doesnt take into account interaction wit those around them
        • no evidence of a grammar structure or language device in the brain
        • studies of deprived and feral children have shown language does not develop automatically in the absence of language stimulation
        • implies that children have no active role in their acquisition yet observation shows they are active learners
        • does not take into account the childs social world
      • study 1: Jim
        • a child of deaf parents
        • his parents did not teach jim sign language and he spent much time watching TV
        • through TV he heard a lot of language but did not produce any himself
        • became retarded in his speech development
        • contradicts the LAD
      • study 2: Genie
        • confined in a small room until 13 year old
        • initially had the language ability of a 1 year old
        • quickly began expanding her vocabulary
        • after being taken into care she began to make rapid progress in specific areas
        • learnt single words and eventually began putting 2 to 3 words into a sequence
        • did not have the ability to speak, could only grunt
        • however the rapid language development expected afterwards never materialised
    • cognitive development
      • piaget
        • children go through stages of increasingly complex mental ability alongside their language development
        • children are born with the cognitive ability upon which all learning and knowledge is based
        • in each stage of the childs development a greater level of mental ability allows a greater understanding of language
        • sensorimotor stage
          • babies acquire knowledge through physical actions and sensations
          • development of object permanence
          • 0-2 years
        • pre-operational stage
          • thinking in more definite terms
          • egocentric perception
          • 2-5 years
        • concrete operational stage
          • 5-11 years
          • use of language for situations outside their immediate experience
          • thinking more logically
        • formal operational stage
          • 12+ years
          • able to understand abstract ideas and the language associated
        • for
          • provides a framwork for understanding what might be happening when children acquire certainb cognitive functions
        • against
          • in real life development may not occure as mechanically as suggested
          • underestimates the ability of children
          • does not accoun t for individual differences
      • cognition - the mental processed involved in gaining knowledge and abilities through thought, experience an d senses
      • vygotsky
        • thinking is affected by psychologicak or technical means
        • learning precedes development
        • MKOs provide support and knowledge
        • social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development
        • ZPD
          • 'present level of development' - what the child is capable of
          • 'potential level of develoment' - what the child could potentially be capable of
        • scaffolding - adjusting to the amount of support given depending on their progress
        • for
          • children who work in pairs produce more complex ideas
          • children with parents who engage in scaffoldingin early development achieve higher grades
        • against
          • little scientific evidence
          • only focuses on specific aspects e.g. social interaction
          • doesnt take into account developmental problems and individual differences

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