Stages of early language acquisition

  • Created by: Rosie666
  • Created on: 22-11-18 18:52

Stage 1 - Function

Children's first utterances usually serve three purposes:
- To get someone's attention
- To driect attention to an object/event
- To get something they want

Nex they begin to:
- Make rudimentary statements
- Make request 

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Stage 1 - Meaning

Naming insight - Children begin naming
Begin relating objects to other things, place and people ("Daddy car")
Articulating the present state of things, describing of relating things and events in their world
Convey information by intonation, by non verbal means, or by the listener's shared awareness of the situation 

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Stage 1 - Structure

Single words, either names of things or words such as there, look, want more or allgone
These are known as operators - They serve to convey the whole of the child's meaning or intention
Some remarks consist of object name and operator in a two word combination ("Look Mummy")

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Stage 2 - Function

Children begin asking questions
Usually "where" questions come first

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Stage 2 - Meaning

Become concerned with naming and classifying things (commonly asking "wassat?")
Begin talking about locations changing (people coming or going)
Talking simply about the attributes of things (hot or cold, big or small)

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Stage 2 - Structure

Questions usually begin with interrogative pronouns (what/where), followed by a noun/verb
Articles (a/an/the) appear before nouns
Basic (subject+verb) structure emerges or (subject+verb+object)
E.G. It gone. Man run

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Stage 3 - Function

Children ask lots of questions, but often signalling that they are questions by intonation alone ("Sally play in the garden, mummy?")
Express more complex wants in grammatically complex sentences (I want daddy take it work)

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Stage 3 - Meaning

Begin to talk about actions which change the object acted upon ("You dry hands")
Verbs such as listen and know appear as children start to refer to people's mental states
Refer to events in the oast and sometimes (rarely) the future
Continuing actions ("He doing it")
Enquire about the states of actions
Begin to articulate the changing nature of things

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Stage 3 - Structure

The basic sentence structure has expanded:
(Subject)+(verb)+(object)+(adverb/other element)
A man dig down there
Begin to use auxillary verbs ("I am going") and phrases ("In the basket" = Preposition+article+noun)

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Stage 4 - Function

Begin to use increasingly complex sentence structures
Make a wide range of requests, explain and ask for explanations

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Stage 4 - Meaning

They have flexible language tools for conveying a wide range of meanings
They develop their language competence and language performance of abstract verbs like "know" to express mental operations
Express meaning indirectly, replacing imperatives with questions ("Give me" to "Can i have?")
They now have pragmatic understanding, and suit their utterances to the context or situation

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Stage 4 - Structure

Children use question forms and negations easily and no longer rely on intonations to signal their intent
Able to use auxillary verbs: "do" is the first, followed by "can" and "will"
Children may duplicate modal verbs ("Please may can i..") reflecting their undertsanding that "may" is required for courtesy, while "can" indicated the fact of being able to do something
They use relative clauses (one part of a sentences that refer to another part)
E.G. "I want the pen mummy got me"

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Stage 5 - Function

Frequently use language to do all the things they need:
- Giving information
- Asking and answering various questions
- Requesting (directly and indirectly)
- Suggesting
- Offering
- Stating intentions/asking about others
- Expressing feelings and attitudes and asking about those of others

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Stage 5 - Meaning

Able to talk about thing hypothetically or conditionally ("If you do that..")
Able to explain the conditions required for something to happen ("You've got to switch that on first")
Talk about things that are always so - General states of affair
General reference to past and future, as well as talking about certain times ("When mummy comes home")
Able to estimate the nature of actions/events (that things are habitual,repetitive or just beginning)

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Stage 5 - Structure

Comfortable with all question structures, including those beginning with words like "what" and "when" where the subject and verb and inverted (transposed) 
E.G. "When is mummy coming?"
Use sentences made up of several causes, whether using co-ordinate/subordinate/relative clauses or parentheses
Grammatical development has mostly added up to the length of sentences
Cohesion - Children are able to use structures that allow more economy 

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