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English Language - Child Acquisition

Summer Exam Revision

Amy Bever

on 31 May 2013

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Transcript of English Language - Child Acquisition

Key Constituents Child Acquisition Terminology Theories Amy Bever English Language Parataxis In what order do we learn symbols + rules? Capitals + Full Stops
Question Mark
Exclamation Mark
Speech Marks
Semi Colon Links clauses together with co-ordinating conjunctions 'I did this and then I did this and then this and afterward I did that' Polysyndectic When co-ordinating conjunctions are used in a list 'This and this and that and this and this and that' Context Home vs School
More Knowledgeable Other
Teacher's Corrections
Self Correction
Purpose of the Text
Taught rather than learnt
Individual differences - Phonological memory skills, amount of speech addressed to child
First born get more attention
Gender - Genetically girls learn faster than boys, parents talk to daughters more than sons Discourse Structure
Formulaic Approach
Discourse Markers
Conventions (Once upon a time)
Features of the Spoken Mode
Referencing (Anaphoric/Cataphoric/ Context bound) Syntax Sentence Structure
Sentence Type
Adverbial Placement
Pronoun Agreement
Subject and Verb Agreement
Coordinating Clauses
Subordinating Clauses
Dialect Influence
Complexity of Verb Groups (Modals, Auxiliaries, Dynamic/Stative, Adverbs)
Complexity of Noun Phrases Morphology Cognitive Approach AGE LANGUAGE SKILLS COGNITIVE
DEVELOPMENT 15 Months Labels/Naming Object Permanence 20 Months Possessive inflections Empathy, More/Less, Questioning Less egocentric, quantity, complex thought process, social/physical characteristics 28 Months Ownership, size, colour 36 Months Adverbs and tenses Time 40 Months Abstract, not the here and now Stories Jean Piaget
1896-2980 Stages of development allow to think in new, complex ways. Language depends on thought for its development Benjamin Lee Whorf
1897-1941 Natural language shapes human cognition We see, hear, and experience as largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choice of interpretation If you don't have a word to describe it, you're unaware of it's existance Children can only learn things when they are developmentally ready to do so Learning follows development Cognitive psychologists emphasise the importance of meaning, knowing, and understanding before language Learning is a meaningful process of relating new events, or items to existing cognitive concepts Social Interactionist Approach Interaction with a child helps develop the meaning of words, and the practical realities of communication More knowledgeable other Jerome Bruner
1915 Lev Vygotsky
1896-1934 LASS - Language Acquisition Support System Collaborative and ritualised exchanges occur even before language has fully developed into meaningful words Scaffold learning development Ernst Moerk
(1994) He conducted meta-analysis of 40 studies and found substantial evidence that correction do indeed play a role in interaction The primary task is to acquire categorical concepts and to be able to extend the word to appropriate new instances of the category Hyponym Types existing in a particular category Red, green, and blue are hyponyms of colour Hypernym Category of something Mammal is the hypernym of cat, bear, and human Arbitrary Relationship The relationship between a referent and the word for it is symbolic When talking about a 'table', there's no reason that the particular combination of sounds should mean 'an item of furniture with a flat top and legs'. It does because that is the pre-determined meaning. The word's meaning cannot be discerned by looking at or hearing the word alone. Labelling Packaging - understanding a words range of meanings Network Building - Hypernyms + Hyponyms The Semantic Feature View Children learn the essential semantic features of a category Dogs are alive, have four legs, bark Prototype Theory Children acquire core concepts and only later cone to recognise category members that are distant from the prototyped. Much like Hyponyms, and Hypernyms. Apples, and Jack Russells are prototypical of fruits, and dogs. Jean Aitchison
1938 Probabilistic Strategy Theory Some concepts have fairly sharp boundaries and are hierarchically organised whilst others are not Colour connotation Behaviorism Common Approach - Observable and measurable aspects on language Language is a skill The Innate/Nativist Approach Children are born with an innate capacity for language development Main Assumption - Language has a structure or grammar that is somewhat independent of language use

Grammar - A finite set of rules, shared by all speakers What is Language? Productivity - Speakers can make many new utterances, and can recombine the forms they already know, to say things they have never heard before. Semanticity - It can represent ideas, events, and object symbolically Possibility of displacement - Messages do not need to be tied to the immediate context The mind at birth is a black state, (Locke) all knowledge and reason come from experience. Developed the notion of language learning in terms of stimulus, response, and reinforcement Knowledge cannot come from experience alone, but from a pre-existing structure in the mind. Children acquire language rapidly, effortlessly, and without direct instruction. 1st


3rd Person Singular Plural I Me You You He She It Him Her It We Us You You They Them Pronouns Infant Speech Perception (The Mcgurk Effect) The process by which sounds of language are heard, interpreted, and understood. How to test: High Amplitude Sucking - HAS
Heart Rate Monitoring
Visually Reinforced Infant Speech Discrimination - VRISD
Changes in electrical activity of neurons Foetuses demonstrate consistent responses to auditory responses somewhere between 25-29 weeks. Foetuses and newborns can distinguish between their mothers native language and a foreign language, also their mothers voice and another woman's voice. Infants pay extra attention to child-directed language rather than adult-directed.
Acoustic qualities rather than fetal experience Under 3 months: Detect differences between places and manners of articulation, and contrasting intonation patterns.

9 months: Unable to distinguish between two failry similar sounding foreign languages. A social worker discovered the 13 year old girl (The critical preiod) after her mother sought out services. She was confined to a small room, tied naked to a potty chair only able to move her hands and feet.

When she made a noise, her father would beat her, no one spoke to her and she could only bark or growl. She only recognised her own name and had the ability to say 'sorry'.

Through treatment by The National Institute of Mental Health, she could produce single words, put two words together, and occassionally three but couldn't produce grammar. Funding was taken away and Genie was put into foster care where she was further abused by various foster families.

She finally regressed back into silence, scared to open her mouth. Primate Language Chimpanzee's are intelligent, social, and communicative animals. They use a variety of vocal cries in the wild, including food bark and danger cry. They possess genetic structures very close to our own, and are our closest relatives in the animal world. Gua Kellogs (1931) bought this 7 month old chimp into their home for 9 months
He lived with the couple, and their son Donald
Gua was treated like a human baby
She did not babble or learn new words, but did increase the use of her natural chimp sounds Washoe Gardner and Gardner (1969) made the first attempt to capitalise on the ability to comprehend language and on the natural gestural ability of a chimpanzee by teaching her sign language.
At 10 months old, she was moved into her own trailer
She learned over 130 signs and combined them into utterances of several signs - 'Gimme food drink'
Appeared to use signs creatively - 'water bird' when seeing a duck for the first time Nim Chimsky Terrace (1980) attempted to answer the question whether chimps can make grammatical sentences
Started signing, with her first word 'drink' at 4 months
Later utterances never progressed much beyond 2/3 word stage and used no particular word order - 'banana me eat banana'
It was concluded that Nim understood little about conversational turn taking Kanzi Rumbaugh and Savage-Rumbaugh have carried out research with Kanzi bonobo chimp after he learnt some manual signs by observing his mothers lessons using lexigrams.
Chimp studies have shown there are substantial similarities between very young children's and chimp's abilities to engage in symbolic communication Semantics Lexis Phonology Phonological Development Stage One - 0-8 Weeks: Basic biological noise Crying - One second pulses with falling pitch 'Vegetative' noises 'Vocal fry' - Grunts, and burps Practice in moving vocal organs and controlling airflow Stage Two - 8-20 Weeks: Cooing and laughing Each segment = 0.5 seconds
Short vowel /g/ /k/ /x/ /r/ /u/ /au/
Syllabic qualities but erratic rhythm and lack melody of speech Important to learning to control/co-ordinate vocal chord and tongue movements Over 100 sets of muscles used Stage Three - 20-30 Weeks: Vocal Play More definite and controlled sounds, repeated with pleasure
Vowel sounds more varied with wide glides in pitch - High to Low
Nasals /m/ /n/
Fricatives /f/
'Raspberries' Stage Four - 25-30 Weeks: Replicated babbling Much less varied, small number of sounds with greater frequency and stability
Back velars /g/ /k/
Replaced with bilabials and alveolars /b/ /p/ /d/
'Bababababba' and 'Dadadadadada' Variegated babbling 9 months sequences become less fixed patterns
Fricatives /s/
Sound but no meaning Babbling and Speech Avoid consonant clusters /sp/ /t/
Consonant, Vowel
Fricatives change to plosives /si:/ /ti:/ Vowels are produced with uninterrupted air flow
Constants are produced with interrupted air flow
Where the interruption occurs, helps us to describe and distinguish different sounds Voicing - The state of the Larynx Manner of Articulation - The type of constriction and the passage of airflow Place of Articulation - The location of obstruction or constriction Bilabial - Both lips are involved in the articulation Labiodental - The lower lip and upper front teeth Dental - The top or blade of the tongue and the upper front teeth Alveolar - The tongue tip or blade on the alveolar bridge Palatal Alveolar - The front of the tongue and hard palate Palatal - The front of the tongue and the hard palate Velar - The back of the tongue and the soft palate Glottal - Vocal folds causing glottal constriction Plosive - Complete obstruction of airflow Fricative - Constriction of airflow allowed to flow through a narrow space Affricate - A combination of Plosive and Fricative Approximant - Quite open vocal tracts Nasal - When the air flows out the nose Mental Lexicon Development A kind of mental dictionary in the mind composed of Phonological, Grammatical, and Semantic information 3rd year 30 Months University Student 18-24 Months 18 Months Protowords Lexical Development 10 Months 12 Months 5 Months 'The process of children's lexical development is the process of learning the words in the target language and organising them in the mental lexicon'
- (Hoff, 2001) Recognition of words (including own name) Understanding word meanings Idiosyncratic sound sequences. Consistent meanings but not clearly derived from words in the target language First word 50 Productive words Word spurt At about 50 words, the rate at which new words appear increases from 10 words a month to 30 words a month Explanations:
Maturation of ability
Threshold effect once 50 words are learnt children understand how to learn words quickly
Naming insight, understanding things that have names, more curiosity
Changes in phonological system, the ability to produce more sounds
Changes in cognitive development, brain development allows child to learn more words Productive words Word formation knowledge, vocabulary increases 8 Years Old 14,000+ Words 100,000 - 150,000 words Imitation of parents or environment Child uses swear word she heard her dad use
Child has developed a regional accent like her parents Child calls cat 'blanket' while stroking it
Child calls her dad, her uncle and the postman, uncle
Child calls an orange, a pear and a peach, an apple
Child calls snow white but doesn't know the colour of her paper or sheets
Child calls his own shoes 'shoes' but doesn't know what to call his brothers shoes
Child can use comparatives and superlatives like 'bigger' and 'biggest' Children have to understand concepts Phonological Processes Underlying Children's Common Pronunciation Errors Omission of word-final consonants 'bib' is said 'bi' Reduction of consonant clusters 'glue' is said 'glue' Substitution of vowel for consonant 'apple' is said 'apo' Addition of vowel sounds 'blue' is said 'belu' Assimilation of consonants 'dog' is said 'gog' Reduplication of syllables 'water' is said 'wawa' Deletion of unstressed syllables 'recorder' is said 'corder' Morpheme Acquisition Order 1. Present Progressive
2. Prepositions
3. Plural
4. Past Irregular
5. Possessive
6. Articles
7. Past Regular
8. Third Person: Regular
9. Auxiliary be: Regular
10. Auxiliary be: Contracted Girl playing Ball in water cars, boys, fishes came, fell, went Jack's, Ann's a dog, the dog Jumped, hugged talks, sings, watches does, has I am playing You are playing She is playing I'm, You're, She's Overextensions and Underextensions Children's early word meaning sometimes differ from the adult meaning.

Overextensions involved the child using the word more broadly than an adult would, while underextensions involve the child using the word more narrowly than an adult would. Categorical - A child uses 'apple' to label other types of fruit
Analogical - A word for one object is extended to another which bears a physical or functional resemblance such as using 'cat' for a soft scarf
Statements - Almost like one-word sentences. Not labelling something, but making a statement about it in relation to something else. Saying 'Dolly' upon seeing the doll's empty bed. Types of overextensions: Instrumental Language used to fulfill a need on the part of the speaker Language used to influence the behavior of others Language used to develop social relationships and ease the process of interaction Language used to express the personal preferences and identity of the speaker Initially an extension of this, persuading/commanding/requesting other people to do things you want The phatic dimension of talk Sometimes referred to as the 'Here I am!' function, announcing oneself to the world Regulatory Representational Heuristic Personal Interactional Imaginative Language used to exchange information Language used to learn and explore the environment Language used to explore the imagination Directly concerned with obtaining food, drink, and comfort. Relaying or requesting information Using language to learn - may be questions and answers, or the kind of running commentary that accompanies children's play May also accompany play as children create imaginary words, or may arise from storytelling The Case of Genie Vocabularly is simplified so that concrete objects are names in broad categories:'dog' rather than 'spaniel' or 'labrador', 'ball' rather than 'football'. Baby words like 'doggie' or 'moo-cow' do not help a child to learn language more efficiently. Conversation tend to be based on concrete things that relate directly to the child's environment. Sentence structures tend to be shore and often use pauses to stress the end of grammatical unit. Common sentence patterns are 'Where is..? ', Do you want a..?' and 'That's (pointing) a...' Commands occur frequently and young children assimilate and use them in their own speech. Tag questions are added to the end of a statement inviting a response from the listener 'isn't it?' 'aren't we?' Repetition reinforced new words or structures and clarifies meaning. Parents use a wider and higher pitch range when talking to small children to keep child's attention. The pace is often slower than in conversation with other adults Noam Chomsky
1928 Language Acquisition Device All normal children acquire language skills in the same order and speed Children are able to understand new sentences and constructions without having previous experience The 'Fis' Phenomena
'There's lots of mans over there or 'I saw two mouses' - Regular plural rule for irregular
Regular patternns of omission
Regularisation of pronouns
'He gave I the juice'
'We got to nursery'
Virtuous errors
The 'Wugs' Experiment
Brain injury can impair certain aspects on language Children will only understand the past tense when they understand the concept of past time. They must have learnt to recognise and conceptualise visual and physical difference s before they can talk about size and colour. Most effective in describing linguistic progress during the first one and a half years Rarely imitate speech that is not directed at them Potential for acquisition depends on level of interaction Self-directed speech leads to 'inner speech' and then to thought Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) The gap between a child's current knowledge and what they can gain from interaction The child's development is limitless Eric Heinz Lenneberg
1921 -1975 Burrhus Frederic Skinner
1904 - 1990 Language should be studied biologically Broca's Area Wernick's Area Injuries indicate certain areas of the brain that are associated with language Broca's area associated with speech production Wernicke's area, associated with comprehension Language emerges before it is needed (like walking) Language acquisition is not triggered by external events Direct teaching and intensive practice have relatively little effect on early development of language Regular sequence of 'milestones' observable in the development of language There is a 'critical period' for the acquisition of first language (up to onset of puberty) after which it is difficult to learn All humans are born with expectations about language (UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR) regardless of parentage and culture Babies look for patterns to develop language awareness, for example in the form of the plural, which varies from one language to another Acquiring language by about 3 is the most intellectual achievement of our lives "Speech is just verbal behaviour" If child produces sound/word then a carer gives attention, child will associate that sound/word with attention 'Tabula Rasa' - Blank state No innate content in the mind Tested on rats and mice Imitation and Correction Reinforcement and punishment Children's Language Children's Writing Differentiation Stage Consolidation Stage Preparatory Stage B.M Kroll (1981) Four stages in development of writing Integration Stage Masters basic motor skills needed to write

Learns the basic principles of the spelling system Aged upto 6 Child writes in the same way it speaks

Uses short declarative sentences which include mainly 'and' as a conjunction

Incomplete sentences as they don't know how to finish the sentence Age upto 9 Child becomes aware of the difference between speaking and writing

Recognises the different writing styles available e.g letter, essay

Lots of mistakes

Use writing guides and frameworks to structure work

Write to reflect thoughts and feelings Aged 12+ Child develops a personal style

Child understand that you can change your style according to audience and purpose Appropriate/Phonetic Spelling Stage Invented Spelling Stage Correct Spelling Stage Conventional Letters Mocks Letters Mock Handwriting Stage Dr. Cathy Barclay (1996) Seven staged to a child's development of writing skills Scribbling Stage Random marks on a page

Writing and scribbles are accompanies by speaking Writing and drawings

Produce wavy lines which is their understanding of lineation

Cursive Letters are separated graphemes Usually involves writing the name as the first word

Child usually puts letters on a page but is able to read it as words Child spells in the way they understand the word should be spelt; their own way Attach spelling with sounds Able to spell most words Writing and Spelling Development Gentry (1982) 1. Precommunication Stage 2. Semiphonetic Stage 3. Phonetic Stage 4. Transitional Stage 5. Conventional Stage The child uses symbols from the alphabet but shows no knowledge of letter-sound correspondences. The child may also lack knowledge of the entire alphabet,the distinction between upper and lower case letters, and the left-to-right direction of English orthography The child begins to understand letter-sound correspondence - that sounds are assigned to letters. At this stage, the child often employs rudimentary logic, using single letters, for example, to represent words, sounds, and syllables (U for you ) The child uses a letter or group of letters to represent every speech sound that they hear in a word. Although some of their choices do not conform to conventional English spelling, they are systematic and easily understood. Exampled are KIM for come and EN for in The speller begins to assimilate the conventional alternative for representing sounds, moving from a dependence on phonology (sound) for representing words to a reliance on visual representation and an understanding of the structure of words. Some examples are EGUL for eagle and HIGHEKED for hiked The speller knows the English orthographic system and its basic rules. The correct speller fundamentally understand how to deal with suck things as prefixes and suffixes, silent consonants, alternative spellings, and irregular spellings. A large number of learned words are accumulates, and the speller recognises incorrect forms. The child's generalisations about spelling and knowledge of exceptions are usually correct. The change from one spelling to the next is a gradual one and that examples from more than one stage may coexist in a particular sample of writing. However, children do not fluctuate radically between stages, passing from phonetic back into semiphonetic spelling or from transitional back to phonetic. Major milestones of language development Erica Hoff (2001) 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years 4 Years Communication Grammar Lexis Phonology Internal communication begins Range of distinguishable communicative purposes grows Conversational initiative and responsiveness grows Narrative skills develop First word combinations Increasing length of word combinations Adding grammatical morphemes Negative and question forms Complex (multiclause) utterances Recognition of own name First word Word spurt 50 word productive vocabulary 300 word productive vocabulary Knowledge of derivational morphology increases vocabulary Vocal play Canonical babbling Reorganisation and consolidation of phonological representations Phonetic inventory completion Phonological awareness grows Different languages have different surface structures, but they all share the same deep structure Bard and Sachs
(1997) The pair studies a child called Jim who was the son of deaf parents. The child was not deaf himself and, because they wanted him to speak rather than sign, the parents taught Jim little of sign language and instead he spent a lot of time watching TV and listening to the radio. Despite this Jim's speech was seriously behind until he began speech therapy sessions as his language exposure had lacked the interaction needed for him to become a competent speaker Clarke-Stewart
(1973) He found children whose mothers talk to them more have a more extensive vocabulary Motherese/Child Directed Speech, Parentese Overriding influence Object permanence Rewards Halliday's seven functions that language has for children in their early years (1975) Physical and social needs Bancroft (1996) The traditional game of peek-a-boo has parallels with a typical conversation such as turn-taking, response to other people's contributions, and a common purpose. Bellugi (1967) Three stages of the acquisition of the correct expression of negation.
A sentence made negative by placing negative marker 'no' or 'not', outside the sentence, usually preceding it E.g 'No go movies'
The negative marker is moved inside the sentence and placed next to the main verb but without a productive use of the auxiliary system. E.g. 'Don't go'
More negative forms are acquired and negative constructions are generally used more accurately Kilma and Bellugi (1966) Identified three stages of acquiring questioning skills
Initially (during the two word stage) questions rely on intonation alone
During their second year, child acquire question words: first 'what' and 'where, then 'why, 'how' and 'who'
In their third year, children begin to use auxiliaries and also learn to form questions by reversing the order of subject and verb Brown (1973) A sequence of acquisition of morphemes between the ages of 20 and 36 months
plural - 's'
possessive - 's'
'the' 'a'
past tense -'ed'
third person singular verb ending 's'
auxiliary 'be' Berko (1958) The Wugs Experiment - an experiment that tested whether children had acquired the rule that plurals usually end in 's' Aitchinson (1987) Identified three stages/processes that occur during a child's acquisition of vocabulary
Labelling - the first stage and involved making a link between the sounds of particular words and the objects to which they refer
Packaging - Entails understanding a word's range of meaning. Underextension and overextension occur before this stage is fully negotiated
Network building - Involves grasping connections between words: understanding that some words are opposite in meaning and understanding the relationship between hypernyms and hyponyms. Karen Nelson (1973) The first 50 words acquired by a group of 18 children and found for all children general nominals were the largest class of words acquired. Synchronic Variation Language developing through geographical variation due to migration, emigration, and language contact Diachronic Variation Language change over time due to dialects, political correctness, generation, technology, class, women, and neology. Morphemes are word parts that carry meaning. Some are free, like girl, ask, tall, uncle, poor. Some are bound like -s, -ed, -er, -s, -ish. Combined they become girls, asked, taler, uncles, poorish The 8 Inflections in Present Day English Word Class Grammatical Category Example Noun Verb Adjective Plural Possessive Third Person Past Tense Past Participle Present Participle Comparatives Superlatives cars, churches car's, children's (he) swims, (it) seems wanted, showed wanted, shown wanting, showing taller, sweeter tallest, sweetest
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