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Child Language Acquisition
Speaking

Theorists
Skinner (1957) Imitation and Reinforcement
Children acquire language by imitating and repeat what they hear. When they are
approved of or applauded for their success, this reinforces their acquisition of the
word(s). The idea is that a human will repeat if the results are pleasurable…

Page 2

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when they appear; tend to be concrete rather than abstract. Object
permanence develops.
· Pre-operational (2 ­ 7 years old) ­ language and motor skills develop and
become more competent. Language is egocentric.
· Concrete Operational (7 ­ 11 years old) ­ children begin thinking logically
about concrete events.
·…

Page 3

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· Repeating ­ Repeating an adult word or utterance.
· Answering ­ Responding to an utterance of another speaker.
· Requesting Action ­ Asking for something to be done for them.
· Calling ­ Getting attention by shouting.
· Greeting ­ Greeting someone or something.
· Protesting ­ Objecting to…

Page 4

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Pronunciation continues to be erratic. The feedback children receive in this period of
language acquisition is one of the most important elements in the learning process
since it establishes them as participants in `real' communication.

Telegraphic Stage (24 ­ 36 Months)
Utterances at this stage are characterised by their lack…

Page 5

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· Consonant Cluster Reduction ­ consonant clusters can be difficult to
articulate, so children reduce them to smaller units e.g. `pider' for `spider'
· Deletion of Unstressed Syllables ­ omitting the opening syllable in
polysyllabic words e.g. `nana' for `banana'
· Overextension ­ when a child acquiring language uses a…

Page 6

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· Stage 1: Inconsistent Usage ­ a child will use an inflection incorrectly some
of the time, but this is because they've learnt the word, not the grammatical
rule.
· Stage 2: Consistent Usage, but sometimes Misapplied ­ e.g. applying the
regular past tense inflection ­ed to irregular verbs. A…

Page 7

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Teachers tend to use a combination of approaches because some children respond
better to one particular method over another. It also ensures that children develop a
range of skills.

Stages of reading development

Jeanne Chall (1983) identified six stages from her studies with children:


Chall (1983) Stages of Reading Development…

Page 8

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Key Features of Reading Schemes are:
· Lexical Repetition ­ especially the new lexis introduced in each book but
also proper nouns.
· Syntactical repetition of structures ­ usually subject-verb-object order and
simple sentences containing one clause (in early books).
· Simple Verbs ­ single verbs used rather than verb…

Page 9

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Barclay (1996) outlined 7 stages of writing development:
· Stage 1: Scribbling ­ children make random marks on the page, which
aren't related to letters or words. They are learning the skill of keeping hold of
a pencil or crayon, which prepares them for writing.
· Stage 2: Mock Handwriting…

Page 10

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Orientation ­ event ­ reorientation. The orientation sets the scene, and the
reorientation at the end of the recount completes the writing.
· Report ­ a factual and objective description of events or things. Tends not to
be chronological.
· Narrative ­ a story genre where the scene is set…

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