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How We Learn Language

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Marcia Tyler

on 25 September 2013

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Transcript of How We Learn Language

Stages of Language Development
What is language?
Phonology = Sounds of a language
Semantics = meaning in language
Syntax = Rules for combining words into sentences
expressive language = sounds, signs, or symbols that communicate meaning
Prelinguistic Phase
Birth - 1 year old
Starts at 1-2 months old.
Infant makes repetitive vowel sounds such as 'uuuuuu'
Starts at 4-6 months old.
Infants make consonant sounds.
May repeat syllables such as bababa and dadada
Babbling has intonation patterns of the language they hear.
The First Words
1-2 Years old
Slow learning
Need Context
Learning faster
A word is a set of sounds used to refer to the same thing, action, or quality.
Children learn about 30 words in the first 6 months of starting to speak.
By 2 years old, children will learn about 320 words.
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 205)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
Children believe a word belongs to only one thing instead of a category.
Children use a single word to mean a whole category. For example, the word kitty applies to dogs and cats.
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 209)
Combining Words
Telegraphic Speech
Regular talking
A word is a set of sounds used to refer to the same thing, action, or quality.
Linking new words to the real world using categories
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 209)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 212)
Language which sounds like a telegram. For example, "I tired," or "daddy jump."
Children talk mostly fluently about preschool, friends, outings, and experiences.
(Bowen, 1998)
3-4 Years old
A holophrase is a word used with a gesture. For example, a child would point to a cookie and say, "cookie!"
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 209)
Adding Inflections
Questions and Negatives
Complex Sentences
A word is a set of sounds used to refer to the same thing, action, or quality.
Children speak clearly and fluently in an easy-to-listen-to voice.
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 213)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 207)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 213)
Children start to put question words such as 'what' and 'where' in front of sentences, and use negatives such as 'no' and 'not'.
Children overextend language rules such as the past tense on irregular past tenses. For example, went would be 'goed' or 'wented'.
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 213)
5 Years old and beyond
Language Development
Implications on Teaching and Learning

(Bowen, 1998)
Children add inflections to words. For examples, 's' to make objects plural.
Systematic and Explicit Phonics
Learning to Read and Write
Whole Language Approach
Phonological Awareness
Children are more phonologically aware after the age of 3 making reading easier.
If you teach kindergarteners phonological awareness, their reading skills will improve by first grade.
In teaching phonological awareness, games are just as effective as more formal tools such as flashcards or worksheets.
Most children are capable of inferring letter-sound correspondence as long as they have enough exposure to print.
In phonics instruction, letter-sound correspondences are taught intentionally. Researchers argue that children cannot comprehend written language until they can decode it.
In the Balanced Approach phonics instruction and whole language should be used together instead of only one or the other.
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 223)
(Bee & Boyd, 2010, p. 222)
Language Development Theories
Nativist Theory
Noam Chomsky
Children have an inborn desire to make sense of the world.
A proponent of nativist theory, Chomsky believed children had a language acquisition device in the brain that helped children learn language.
Social Learning Theory
Children learn language by copying the language of those around them.
Albert Bandura
Interactionist Theory
Children learn language through social interaction.
Brain Research
Children learn language quickly and easily because the brain is most plastic (flexible) before age 9. Neurons helps differentiate the sounds of language.
By Marcia Tyler

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(Crosser, 2007)
(Crosser, 2007)
(Crosser, 2007)
(Crosser, 2007)
Bee, H., & Boyd, D. (2010). The developing child (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Bowen, C. (2011, Nov 9). Ages and stages summary - language development 0-5 years. Retrieved from http://www.speech-language-therapy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34:ages&catid=11:admin&Itemid=117

Crosser, S. (2007). Enhancing the language development of young children. Retrieved from http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=119
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