Language A form of communication based on symbols Spoken, written, or signed Displacement quality Infinite generativity
Rule Systems of Language Phonology – sound system Morphology – units of meaning Syntax – word order & combination Semantics – meanings of words & sentences Pragmatics – appropriate use of language in context
Language Development – Infancy Age Milestones birthcry 2 monthscoo 4-6 months babble 8-12 monthsbabble in native language use gestures 12 monthsfirst word 18-24 monthsfrom 50-200 words 20-26 months2-word combinations
Receptive & Spoken Vocabulary First indicated at about 8-12 months Exceeds spoken vocabulary Understand about 50 words at 13 months First spoken word at about 10-15 months People, toys, animals, food, body parts, greetings Holographic phrase – “One word says it all.”
Vocabulary Spurt 18 monthsspeak 50 words 24 monthsspeak 200 words (start of spurt can range from 13 to 25 months) Over- and under-extend use of words – use them too broadly or specifically Around 24 months – 2-word utterances Telegraphic speech – few or no grammatical markers
Early Childhood Language Development 3-5 words to complex sentences Show understanding of morphology – use plurals, tense, possessives, etc. Overgeneralize (overregularizaton) Berko experiment using “wugs” Syntax – Add “wh” words and reverse the subject-verb order to make questions
Early Childhood Language Development Semantics (meanings) 6 year vocab. Ranges from 6000-14000 words (May be learning 22 new words per day) Growth of vocabulary depends upon talkativeness of mother Linked to SES, as is understanding of syntax
Language – Early Childhood Summary The average 6-year old knows 10,000 words They learned these by fast-mapping They intuitively understand plurals, past tense, word order, & show this by overregularization Children also know the pragmatics of language at this age.
Preparing to Read Print-related interactions Read to the child Keep books in the home Model appropriate & correct speect Limit TV time Partner with teachers Create a supportive environment NAEYC, 1999
Reading Whole language – Reading materials should be whole and meaningful Recognize whole words Use context to guess Phonics Develop automaticity in decoding words Blending and segmentation (syllables) Phonics is better for teaching reading in the early grades
Language Development Behaviorist Perspective Children learn language through operant conditioning. They also use imitation Nativist Perspective Children learn language as if they were born with a Language Acquisition Device (Noam Chomsky). Interactionist Perspective Progress is not immediate, but steady, gradual and rapid.
Theories of Language Development – Nativist Perspective Language Acquisition Device a theoretical construct, not a physical part of the brain Nature gives children the ability to detect the rules of phonology, syntax, & semantics Children acquire language far too easily & rapidly to have it taught to them
Language Development Theories – Behaviorist Perspective Children learn language through operant conditioning, observaton, imitation & reinforcement. - cannot explain creation of novel sentences use of correct syntax not reinforced - unique reinforcement histories would not produce orderly language
Language Development Theories – Interactionist Perspective Children do not learn language in a social vacuum (Genie & the wild boy of Aveyron). However, dogs don’t learn to talk. In other words, both biology and experience must be there.