Child language acquisition - Learning to Speak

  • Created by: Annagc
  • Created on: 10-04-19 14:00
Communicative Competence
The ability to form accurate and understandable utterances using the grammar system and understand the social context for using them
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Proto words
Made up words a child may use for a word they don't yet know how to pronounce
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Features of the pre-verbal stage
Crying,cooing, babbling,
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Reduplicated babbling
A child repeatedly creating the same sound
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Variegated babbling
Variation in the consonant and vowel sounds being produced
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Holophrastic Stage
12-18 months, a child conveys a whole sentence worth of meaning in a singl word or labels things in the environment
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How is the holophrastic stage different from babbling?
The child is deliberately conveying meaning
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What is the caregivers role in the holophrastic stage?
To interpret the child's meaning through the word used or non-verbal cues
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Why are plosives acquired before fricatives?
Articulatory ease
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Reduplicated words
Words characterised by a repeated syllable e.g. 'moo moo' for a cow, they facilitate easier pronunciation
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The reduction in scale of an item through the way the word is created e.g. doggie
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Swapping a sound for another which is easier to pronounce
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one consonant or vowel is swapped for another
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Omitting a sound within a word
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Consonat cluster reductions
Reducing phonologically complex units into simpler ones e.g fink for think
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Features of the two-word stage
Putting two words together, less non-verbal communication, start to understand grammar
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What us a 'vocabularly spurt'?
From 18 months a cognitive change occurs in children as they realise all things around them have names so they begin to acquire two or three new words per day
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By age 2 how many words will a child have acquired on average?
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Features of the telegraphic stage
Produce more complex utterances including the key content words, omit grammatical words
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Features of the post-telegraphic stage
Age 3, grammatical words start to appear as do contractions, verb inflections and pronouns
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Skinner and behaviourism
All behaviour is a result of conditioning we have experienced
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Operant conditoning -Skinner
Children learn through imitation and positive/negative reinforcement
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Positive reinforcement in language acquisition
If a child uses a gramatically accurate sentence they may be praised, as a result they are more likely to speak like that again
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Negative reinforcemt in language acquisition
An incorrect sentence may be corrected or not praised so they are less likely to speak like this again
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Criticisms of Skinner's theory
more likely to be corrected on the truth of an utterance rather than the linguistic accuracy, corrections can hamper development, children don't produce complete sentences straight away as you might expect if they imitae adults
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Chomsky and Nativism
LAD - Humans have an innate ability to learn language, grammar and syntax
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Universal grammar
The global capacity for children to learn language at a similar rate and in similar ways
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Virtuous errors
A child makes errors because they are attempting to apply the rules that they recognise from the language around them
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Criticism of Chomsky's theory
It does not place sufficent importance on the role of the caregiver
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Case study of Genie
A girl exposed to no social interaction or speech until age 13 was not able to acquire language beyond a basic level despite help
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Overview of Piaget's stages of development
Children will not develop unless particular stages of cognitive developmet are reached, children learn by exploring and questioning the world
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Sensorimotor stage 0-2 years
A child remains egocentric and object permanence appears
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Pre-operational stage 2-7 years
Characterised by learning to speak, represent the wordls symbolically in speech, remain egocentric
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Concrete operational stage 7-11 years
Stops being egocentric, capable of logical thought
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Formal operational stage 11+ years
Able to understand abstract concepts
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Bruner's LASS
Refers to caregivers and how they provide meaningful input in social situations a child is in
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The support provided by caregivers through modelling how speech should take place in order to help the child's language development
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Vygostsky's theory
Focused on the importance of the caregiver as a more knowledgable other, they can help the child to move within the zone of proximinal development
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Features of child directed speech
High pitch, longer pauses, slow speech, repetition, gramatically simple sentences, questions and answers, diminutives, nouns instead of pronouns, more plural than singular pronouns, expansion, recast, politeness, mitigated imperatives
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Jean Berko Gleason (1975)
Fathers used more commands and teased children more, mothers used less complex constructions and were more responsive
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Halliday's instrumental function
Fulfil a need
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Halliday's regulatory function
Used to control the behaviour of someone
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Halliday's interactional function
Used to develop relationships with others
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Halliday's personal function
used to express views and preferances
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Halliday's heuristic function
used to explore the world around them
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Halliday's imaginative function
Used to explore something creatively during play
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Halliday's representational function
used to exchange information
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a child uses a more specific word to label a general noun e.g. calling all men Daddy
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Analogical overextension
When a child tries to make links between different types of objects according to similar properties or use
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Categorical overextension
When a child refers to all objects within a category within the same noun
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When a child uses a more general word to describe a specific thing e.g. apple only for green apples
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A more specific word within a category e.g. apple
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a more generic term that is connected to more specific word choices e.g. fruit
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The Wug Test - Berko (1958)
Showed that children have a more sophisticated understanding of morphology than they have been explicitly taught, 76% of 4-5 year olds responded correctly that more than one wug would make several wugs
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Bound morpheme
units of meaning within a word which rely on other morphemes to make sense
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Free morphemes
units of meaning within a word that do not depend on other morphemes to make sense
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Bellugi (1966) Acquisition of negatives
1) place a negative word at the beginning of a sentence, 2) the negative word moves within the body of the utterance, 3) attach negatives to auxiliary verbs of the copula verb
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Bellugi (1966) Question formation
1) rising intonation, 2) inversion of auxiliary verbs, 3) formulaic wh- questions, 4) use of tag questions
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Proto words


Made up words a child may use for a word they don't yet know how to pronounce

Card 3


Features of the pre-verbal stage


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Reduplicated babbling


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Variegated babbling


Preview of the front of card 5
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