Child Language Development Theorists

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  • behaviourist/enviromentilist
  • positive and negative reinforcement
  • classic conditioning - associating events
  • operent conditioning - rewards
  • observation and immitation
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  • enatist
  • learn simple words; associate meaning; then build into sentences
  • pivot open grammar - pivot words, functional words. open words e.g. 'mummy'
  • as children grow they become aware of pivot and open words and start to say simple sentences; 18 months
  • children don't immitate language -all go through the universal stages of babbling, learning meaning and finally forming sentences
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  • enatist
  • a child is born with a language acquisition device (LAD)
  • linguistic structures must already be imprinted on the child's mind
  • children only have to learn vocab
  • can't learn from imitation, children don't muck up word order
  • LAD 'switches off' at age 11
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  • enviromentalist/sovial interaction
  • social enviroment and social interaction are key elements of learning process
  • three stages of cognitive representation:

Enactive (0-1) action based - information stored through muscle memory

Iconic (1-6) image based - information in the form of a mental image

Symbolic (7+) language based

  • if no aid is given early on in a childs development they'll never fully understand
  • spiral curriculum - repeating basic ideas repeatedly
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David Crystal

  • children learn lanuage in five stages
  • main way they learn language is through immitation

1. language for attention

2. asking questions

3. grammar

4. increasingly complex sentence structure

5. giving information

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  • children can't learn language unless their brain is mature enough to understand it
  • only learn language when they understand the concept behind it
  • object pertinence
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  • children learn language through interaction
  • need to develop inner speech before they can verbalise what they think
  • language development rate depenfd on culture
  • zone of proximal development - how children gain skills; children have a certain number of skills already, zone contains skills children don't know but they learn from people who already have that skill.
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  • first few years of a peresons life is a critical period in which they can learn a first language
  • they must be surrounded with sufficient stimulus to learn
  • neuroplasticity- the process in which your brain's pathways are altered as an affect from your enviromental, behavioural and neutral changes. Children who suffer brain imoairment before puberty typically recover and re develop normal language skills but you can rarely if you're an adult
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functions of childrens language:

  • instrumental - expressing needs
  • regulatory - controlling the actions of others
  • interactional - making social contact with others
  • personal - expressing feelings
  • heuristic - asking for information
  • representational - conveying information
  • imaginative - telling stories, joking, lying

David Crystal also added:

  • performative - language used to control reality 'hocus pocus'
  • phonological - language produced for the sheer delight
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Simpler functions of child language:

  • labelling
  • repeating
  • answering
  • requesting action
  • calling - getting parents' attention from a distance
  • greeting
  • protesting
  • practising - saying a word when the object/person is not present
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The Holophrastic Stage

features of the holophrastic stage:

  • over generalisation
  • unclear pronounciation
  • single wprd to represent an entire thought
  • diminutive

problems for care givers:

  • difficult to distinguish between words in a sentence
  • unable to understand over generalisation
  • inability to convey meaning without intonation and gesticulation
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The Two Word Stage

  • has grammatical constructions
  • caregiver will recognise question format
  • children start to use language for social interaction

David Crystal: at the two word stage, a child has cognitive understanding and can identify that:

  • a person performs an action
  • a person or object is described
  • an action affects an object
  • an object is located
  • an object is given a possesor
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Stages of Development: Speech

1. (2-6 months) - cooing then babbling

2. (6-12 months) - normally vowel sounds

3. (12 - 18 months) - holophrastic

4. (2 years) - two word combinations

5. (2-4 years) - telegraphic utterances

6. (5 onwards) - adult language

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stages of writing developement:

1. scribbling stage

2. mock handwriting stage

3. mock letters - letters are seperate things

4. conventional letters

5. invented spelling

6. appropriate/phonetic spelling

7. correct spelling stage

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stages in the development of writing:

1. preparotary - masters the basic motor skills needed to write; learns the basic rules of spelling

2. consolidation (age up to 6) - writes the same way it speaks; uses short declaractives; incomplete sentences; 'and'

3. differentiation (age up to 9) - aware of difference between speaking and writing; recognises different writing styles; lots of mistakes; uses guides and frameworks to structure work; write to reflect thoughts and feelings

4. integration (12+) - develops a personal style; understands that you can change your style to suit audience and purpose

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stages of a child's development to reading:

1. logographic - pronounce individual letters; letters are connected with sounds; can only link words to one phoneme

2. alphabetic - more comfortable with the alphabet; can combine graphemes to make longer phonemes

3. orthographic - recognises a string of graphemes without having to decode them; greater phonological awareness; analogy-compare and apply patterns and rules

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0. pre (birth-6 years) - pretend to read; repeat what's been read; rely on images

1. initial reading/decoding (6-7) - able to read simple texts; relies heavily on texts and focuses on visule images; realise letter combinations represent sounds; aware of vowels

2. confirmation&gluing (7-8) - automatically decode words; high levels of comprehension and reading; ability to become more fluent; can control pace; comfortable with reading situations

3. reading to learn (8-14) - purpose of acquiring knowledge; able to bring previous experiences/ knowledge to the reading; learn facts from a singular view point; learn to read narrative texts

4. multiple view points (14-18) - deal with multiple view points; analyse/react critically to different view points; able to deal with layers of facts and edit them; can deal with complex texts

5. construction&reconstruction (18+) - aware of relevant and irrelevant information; can form own opinions from what they read; more interest=more info remembered; can critisise and question

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