Language Acquisition Essay Plan and Revision!

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Essay Plan and Revision Help

First, underline key instruction words and contextual clues in question.


(Short and simple) - Don't spend 15 mins writing your intro because most of your main points will be made in the rest of your essay!!

Speaking Question

  • Flag up age of speaker(s).
  • What stage they could be expected to be at.
  • Does the child make utterences straight away?
  • Consider setting and relationships and impacts/ effects they have on the conversation.

Writing Question

  • Context in which the writing was produced.
  • Flag up age of writer.
  • What stage are they at?
  • Form, audience and purpose.

Main Body

(Sandwich your ideas- this will help to integrate theory into your analsis)

  • Start with data
  • link to context & theory
  • then go back and aaddress the data again

(Avoid tagging theory points onto the ends of paragraphs as an afterthought)

To make sure you have covered all frameworks explore separating your paragraphs into:

  • Lexis
  • Semantics
  • Grammar and Syntax
  • Discourse
  • Phonology
  • Pragmatics
  • Graphology

You obviously won't be able to cover all of these frameworks in enough detail so just pick the most important aspects, in which you have found most points that are covered in your notes.

Important Theories and Concepts

  • Vygotsky - Social Interactionist Theory - Children role-play adult behaviours as part of exploring their environment.
  • Catherine Garvey - Children act out storylines and invent objects and settngs as part of role-play. It helps them practise their social interactions.
  • Chomsky - Language Acquisition Device (LAD) - The human brain is pre-programmed to acquire grammatical structures and the capacity to acquire language is innate within humans.
  • Berko and Brown - Fis' test - Found that a child who referred to a fish as a 'fis',substituting the 's' sound for 'sh', couldn't link the adult's use of 'fis' with the same animal
  • Katherine Nelson - 50 first words - She found that 60% of first words are nouns.
  • Leslie Rescorla - Overextensions - Categorical: Name of one member of a category is used for all members of the category ('Apple' is used for all round fruit). Analogical: Word for one object is extended to one in a different caategory ('ball' is used for a round fruit).
  • Jean Aitchison - Labelling: Linking words to objects. Packaging: Exploring labels and to what they can apply. Network Building: Making connections between words and sunderstanding similarities and opposites…


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