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CHAPTER 4: Language Development of Infants and Toddlers

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1 CHAPTER 4: Language Development of Infants and Toddlers
Adapted by Dr. Laura Taddei Language Development in Early Childhood Education Fourth Edition Beverly W. Otto

2 Understanding Schemata Activity
Divide into groups of 3 or 4: Each group is assigned a different concept: subway, farm, ranch, wedding, vacation Draw a “semantic network or schema” of the assigned concept. (Refer to the example of a semantic network in Chapter 1, Figure 1.1 of the text.) Please assign the following roles: One person in the group should be the recorder, who draws the schema on chart paper. One person in the group should be the discussion leader, keeping the discussion on task and ensuring that all group members have a chance to contribute. You have about 20 minutes to work. Debrief – 10 to 15 minutes as a whole group

3 Early Communication Contexts
Key interaction patterns Eye contact and shared reference and communication loop Focus on meaning in early interactions Turn taking and interactive dialogue Importance of adult responsiveness Critical periods for language development Variations within and between children

4 Importance of Adult Responsiveness
Higher levels of maternal responsiveness associated with development of speech later on Children from more responsive homes had larger vocabulary, longer utterances than children from less responsive homes

5 Critical periods for language development
Language is learned through interaction in the environment Timing is critical because some aspects of language development appear to be tied to critical periods. Genie and Deprivation of Social and Emotional and Language Support However, not all learners are affected by these critical periods and are able to acquire mastery after a critical period has ended.

6 Five Language Aspects – Development in Infants and Toddlers - Activity
Each group’s task is to list the linguistically-related behaviors of infants and toddlers that indicate development of that aspect of language knowledge. See handout of chart

7 Phonological Development in Infancy
In utero – can perceive sounds by the 25th week of gestation; at 35 weeks, an infant’s hearing is similar to adults Early infancy – can perceive differences in sounds; prefer human voice over all other sounds; as early as 4 days old prefer mother’s voice Late-infancy - between 8 and 10 months infants pay more attention to phoneme-sound contrasts that exist in home language

8 Infants’ Speech Development
Early vocalizations – initially reflexive (crying, coughing) and later on nonreflexive (cooing, babbling) Babbling – 4 to 6 months babbling appears Echolalic babbling – echo rhythm and phonation of adult’s language Develops into invented and conventional

9 Phonological Development in Toddlerhood
Production of specific phonemes may vary from day to day Aware of sounds he/she cannot produce Awareness of sound similarities and patterns Health problems may interfere with phonological development

10 Ear Infections All too frequent concern
Otitis media – inflammation of middle ear; 85 to 90% experience at least one ear infection by age 6 Second most frequent illness among children in US – first is common cold Speech can be impaired; hearing can be impaired

11 Semantic Development in Infancy
Early associations between speech and meaning – usually in response to infant’s cries (basic, anger and pain cry) Concept development and receptive semantic knowledge – when meaning is attached to words Direct and vicarious experiences Affective experiences – emotional bonds Symbol formation – objects with speech

12 Semantic Development in Infancy, continued
Expressive Semantic Knowledge Invented words/idiomorphs Holophrastic stage – one word used to convey a whole thought Role of direct and indirect experiences Adult – child interactions

13 Semantic Development In Toddlerhood
Receptive vocabulary exceeds expressive vocabulary Variations between children High interest in “naming game” with caregivers Fast mapping – learn some words quickly and few exposures

14 Semantic Development in Toddlerhood, continued
Context of child’s speech provides clues to intended meaning Child actively explores environment Key role of adult-child interactions

15 Syntactic Development in Infancy
Research indicates Infants perceive and process language in multiple word segments Infants attend to acoustic properties of speech Older infants use prosody to add meaning to their one-word utterances Role of adult interaction

16 Syntactic Development in Toddlerhood
Telegraphic speech child’s use of two or three words in an utterance Syntactic patterns (see page 120) Acquisition of pronouns – complexity of pronoun use – starts toddlers extends to preschool Emergent literacy and syntactic knowledge

17 Morphemic Development in Infancy
Infants Perceive sound distinctions associated with inflectional morphemes Listen to the speech of others in their home and community

18 Morphemic Development in Toddlerhood
Using inflectional morphemes Plurality: cat-cats Verb tense: present progressive, --ing Possessive: dog’s ball

19 Pragmatic Development in Infancy
Using gestures to communicate intent Symbolic gestures Dialogic turn-taking

20 Pragmatic Development in Toddlerhood
Continued development of referential and symbolic gestures Language used for greater variety of purposes or intents Routine expressions Conversations Literacy-related interactions with adults

21 Infant Activities Please begin to explore activities you can create for infants to encourage their language development.

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