John Dore's 'Infant Language Functions'
- Labelling - naming a person, object or experience
- Repeating - echoing speech of an adult
- Answering - direct response
- Requesting action - demanding something
- Calling - attracting attention by shouting
- Greeting - greeting someone
- Protesting - objecting to requests
- Practising - using and repeating language when no adult is present
Halliday's 7 Functions
- Instrumental - to get something
- Regulatory - to make requests or give orders
- Interactional - to relate to others
- Personal - to convey a sense of personal identity and to express views and feelings
- Heuristic - to find out about the immediate environment
- Imaginative - to be creative through language that relates to imaginative play, storytelling, rhymes and humour
- Representational - to convey information
Rescorla's Types of Overextension
- Categorical overextension - the name for one member of a category is extended to all members of the category - 'apple' used for all fruits - 60% of overextension
- Mismatch statements - one-word statements that appear quite abstract; child makes a statement about one object in relation to another - saying 'duck' when looking at an empty pond - 25% of overextension
- Analogical overextension - a word for one object is extended to one in a different category; usually on the basis that it has some physical or functional correction - 'ball' used for a round fruit - 15% of overextension
- Stage 1: Labelling - linking words to the objects to which they refer, understanding that things can be labelled
- Stage 2: Packaging - exploring the labels and to what they can apply; over/underextension occurs in order to eventually understand the range of a word's meaning
- Stage 3: Network-building - making connections between words, understanding similarities and opposites in meanings
Brown's (1973) Order of Inflections
Children between 20 and 36 months learn inflections as follows:
1) Present participle -ing - 'I going' (although 'am' will still be missing)
2) Plural -s - 'Cups'
3) Possessive 's - 'Teddy's chair'
4) Articles (a, the) - 'Get the ball'
5) Past tense -ed - 'I kicked it'
6) Third person singular verb ending -s - 'She loves me'
7) Auxiliary be - 'It is raining' (or, more likely, 'It's raining')
Cruttenden's (1979) Acquisition of Inflections
Stage 1: Inconsistent usage - infrequent correct usage of inflections - 'I play outside' one day, 'I played outside' the next
Stage 2: Consistent usage but sometimes misapplied - overgeneralisations/virtuous error - 'I drinked it' rather than 'I drank it'
Stage 3: Consistent usage - children are able to use irregular verb forms successfully - 'mice' rather than 'mouses' and 'ran' rather than 'runned'
3 Stages of Learning to Ask Questions
Stage 1: around 18 months - two-word stage: rising intonation - 'Sit me?'
Stage 2: between the ages of 2 and 3 - telegraphic: 'wh' words - 'Where tractor?'; wider range of interrogative pronouns - 'Why', 'When', 'How'
Stage 3: from the age of 3 upwards - subject-verb inversion - 'Can I see it?' instead of 'I can see it?'; auxiliary verbs - 'What is Mummy doing?'
3 Stages of Learning to Use Negatives
Stage 1: around 18 months - 'no' or 'not' to make things negative, normally at the beginning of the phrase - 'no juice'
Stage 2: between the ages of 2 and 3 - 'no' and 'not' in front of verbs - 'I no want juice'; contracted negatives, 'can't' and 'don't' - 'I can't drink it'; can sometimes get mixed up - 'I can't like it'
Stage 3: from the age of 3 upwards - stop using 'no' and 'not' like in stage 1; standardise usage of 'can't' and 'don't'; start using other negative contractions like 'didn't' and 'won't' - 'she didn't catch it'; use of 'isn't' usually develops slightly later - 'Mummy isn't here'
Skinner's (1957) Imitation Theory
- Imitation and reinforcement
- Children repeat what they hear
- Caregivers reward children with praise
- Reinforce - repeating words and phrases back and correcting mistakes
- Learn specific pronunciations of individual words by copying an adult
- Children can construct new sentences they've never heard before
- Don't memorise thousands of sentences to use later
- Doesn't explain overgeneralisations - adults don't make these errors
Chomsky's (1965) Innate Theory - LAD
- Language isn't taught - natural development
- Explains overgeneralisations and why they acquire inflections in a certain order
- Children learn language quickly because they are predisposed to learn it
- All children pass through the same early stages of language acquisition
- Common features of language - linguistic universals
- Underestimates the significance of Skinner's argument that interaction, imitation and reinforcement are important in language development
Piaget's Cognitive Approach
- A child needs to have developed certain mental abilities before they can acquire particular aspects of language
- At first, children are egocentric
- 18 months old - things have object permanence - they can exist all the time, even if the child can't see them - coincides with a big increase in vocabulary
- Child is then better mentally equipped to understand abstract concepts like past, present and future
- Doesn't explain how some people with learning difficulties are still linguistically fluent - suggests that cognitive and language development are not as closely linked as the cognitive approach suggests
Bruner's (1983) Input Approach - LASS
- There has to be linguistic interaction with caregivers
- LASS - caregivers support their child's linguistic development in social situations
- Clear patterns of interaction between child and caregiver in everyday social situations, e.g. meal times, bath time and when playing
- Caregiver talks to child and encourages them to talk back, e.g. pointing at things and asking questions - 'What's that there, is it a doggy?'
- Child gradually learns to play a more active part in social situations - asking the caregiver questions
Lenneberg's (1967) Input Approach
- Children who are deprived of language early on don't seem to be able to acquire it easily later
- Critical Period Hypothesis - without linguistic interaction before ages 5-6, language development is severely limited
- Children without any exposure to language in the first 5 years of life (e.g. cases of extreme child abuse) subsequently fail to develop normal speech
Vygotsky's (1978) Socio-Cultural Approach
- Social interaction and experiencing different social and cultural contexts are very important for language development
- Private speech - when a child talks aloud to itself - evidence that the child is thinking for itself
- The ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) - when a child needs a caregiver's help in order to interact, e.g. if a doctor asks 'Where does it hurt?', the child might not answer. The caregiver either responds for the child or tries to encourage a response - gives the child a model to apply to similar situations in the future when it might respond without help
- Scaffolding - children require it less and less once they become more able to deal with different social and cultural situations on their own
Brown's (1960) 'Fis' Phenomenon
Child: 'A fis'
Adult: 'Is this your fis?'
Child: 'A fis'
Adult: 'Is this your fish?'
Child: 'Yes, my fis'
- This suggests that children can recognise and understand a wider range of phonemes that they can produce
- Cognitive understanding - understands mentally, but can't produce the sounds physically
Bruner's LASS in Reading Skills
- LASS explains how adults encourage children's speech by using books to interact with babies and young children
- He saw parent-child interactions as four-phased:
1) Gaining attention - getting the baby's attention on a picture
2) Query - asking the baby what the object in the picture is
3) Label - telling the baby what the object in the picture is
4) Feedback - responding to the baby's utterance
- Bruner was inspired by Vygotsky, who believed that children learn not by being told how to do something, but by being helped to do it when they are ready
- Both Bruner and Vygotsky see children as active learners and believe that the social contexts of their experiences are very important
Chall's 6 Stages of Reading Development
- Stage 0: pre-reading and pseudo-reading - up to 6 years - "pretend" reading (turning pages and repeating stories perhaps previously read to them); some letter and word recognition; predicting single words or the next stage of a story
- Stage 1: initial reading and decoding - 6-7 years - reading simple texts containing high-frequency lexis
- Stage 2: confirmation and fluency - 7-8 years - reading texts more quickly, accurately and fluently, paying more attention to the meanings of words and texts
- Stage 3: reading for learning - 9-14 years - reading for knowledge and information becomes the motivation
- Stage 4: multiplicity and complexity - 14-17 years - responding critically to what they read and analysing texts
- Stage 5: construction and reconstruction - 18+ years - reading selectively and forming opinions about what they have read
Barclay's (1996) 7 Stages of Writing Development
- Stage 1: Scribbling - random marks on the pages; learning the skill of keeping hold of a pencil or crayon (motor skills); often talk about what they are writing
- Stage 2: Mock Handwriting - practise drawing shapes on paper, but not possible to work out what drawing represents; letter-like forms (pseudo-letters) begin to appear; emergent writing (attempt to write letters)
- Stage 3: Mock Letters - practise random letters; still no evidence of awareness of spacing or matching sounds with symbols
- Stage 4: Conventional Letters - matching sounds with symbols; words are unlikely to be spaced out; initial consonants to represent words - read out as if the whole word was on the page
- Stage 5: Invented Spelling - most words are spelt phonetically, though some simple and familiar words are spelt correctly
- Stage 6: Appropriate Spelling - sentences become more complex; child becomes more aware of standard spelling patterns; writing becomes more legible
- Stage 7: Correct Spelling - most words are spelt correctly; joined-up writing
Kroll's (1981) 4 Phases of Writing Development
- Stage 1: Preparation - up to age 6 - basic motor skills and some principles of spelling are acquired
- Stage 2: Consolidation - 7/8 years - writing = similar to spoken language; colloquial tone, unfinished sentences, strings of clauses joined by 'and'
- Stage 3: Differentiation - 9/10 years - writing = separate from speech (awareness); stronger understanding of writing for different audiences and purposes, becomes more automatic; begin to structure their work using guides and frameworks; more complex grammar and sentence structures; punctuation becomes more accurate and consistent
- Stage 4: Integration - mid-teens - "personal voice" in writing; evidence of controlled writing; appropriate linguistic choices made consistently; narrative and descriptive skills improve; expanded stories - developed characters, plot and setting; more accurate - wider vocabulary and more accurate spelling
Rothery's Categories for Evaluating Writing
- Observation/Comment - the writer makes an observation - 'I saw a tiger' - and follows this with either an evaluative comment - 'It was very large' - or mixes this in with the observation - 'I saw a very large tiger'
- Recount - usually a chronological sequence of events - school trip - written subjectively - 'I' - usually follows a set pattern: 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; scene is set for events to occur and be resolved at the end; set pattern: Orientation - Complication - Resolution - Coda - the coda, which identifies the point of the story, is not always added; because of the complex structure, few children will achieve the whole structure early on, despite their experience of reading stories that follow this narrative structure
Britton's 3 Modes of Writing
- Expressive - the first mode to develop because it resembles speech; uses the first person narrative perspective and the content is usually based on personal preferences
- Poetic - develops gradually, requiring skills in crafting and shaping language, but is encouraged early on because of its creativity; phonological features such as rhyme, rhythm and alliteration, as well as descriptive devices such as adjectives and similes, are common
- Transactional - develops last, around secondary school age, once children have finally dissociated speech from writing; style of academic essays - more impersonal tone; third person - detached tone; formal sentence structures and graphological features are used to signpost sections and ideas; structures tend to be chronological