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Child Language Acquisition

Speech and Theories

Before Birth ­ it is possible that before birth, children become acclimatised to the sounds of their
native language.

Crying ­ First few weeks ­ child expresses itself vocally through crying. This signals hunger, distress
or pleasure.

Cooing ­ 6­8 weeks ­ child develops…

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Meanings of Two Word Utterances ­ a child's two word utterances can express a range of complex

Telegraphic Stage ­ 2-3 years ­ no 3 word stage, the child moves on to using 3, 4, 5 words or more.
There is a lack of function words, absence of prepositions,…

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The child imitates the speech of others and acquires language this way.
When the child successfully produces the words successfully, it receives encouragement and
approval, motivating them to repeat the behaviour.
Regards language as similar to other human behaviour, if we receive positive reinforcement we
are more likely to perform…

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(During their second year) children acquire question words such as `what', `where', `why', `how'
and `who' however they still miss out auxiliary verbs.
(During their third year) children begin to use auxiliary verbs and learn to form questions by
reversing the order of subject and verb. For example, "Joe is…

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Adverbial ­ adds extra information to an utterance or sentence.

Inflections ­ endings on words that convey tense, number etc.

Determiner ­ defines the amount of something, for example, `the' or `a'.

Subject ­ the thing(s) being discussed.

Object ­ the thing receiving the action.

Possessive ­ indicates the possession…

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Speaking slowly, using simplified vocabulary and using simple grammatical structures make language
more accessible to the child and make the task of comprehending the language and developing the
ability to use it much easier.

Exaggerated prosodic features, gestures and facial expressions keep the child's attention so they
listen to what…

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Learning to Read and Write

Readability ­ the readability of a text and what makes it readable to a child, for example, repetition,
use of images, simple sentences etc.

Reinforcement (Skinner) ­ positive and negative reinforcement used to encourage the child.

Frank Smith ­

Cue Activity
Graphophonic Looking at the…

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Stage 1: Initial reading and decoding (ages 6-7)

Children begin to learn the relationship between sounds and letters and can read simple texts
compromising of short words. A child understands more spoken words (about 4,000) than written
words (about 600).

Stage 2: Confirmation and fluency (ages 7-8)

The child begins…


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