A study in early childhood development stages
Infants cannot communicate through language before a certain age. Therefore, it is important to carefully observe the health as well as all-round development of a baby especially during this period. It is important to note that language begins and makes its progress right from the first day and to make it more interesting infants do learn without being directly taught. As a child grows and matures he follows along a certain sequence of child development stages. A child can learn at his own pace and can reach development stages earlier than others; these stages can be classified as development milestones. "Parents have great expectations as to what their children can and cannot do" (Garton & Pratt, 1998).
Child feasibility is very important in child development; stages that are suitable to the child should be implemented. Activities are very important for both physical and mental growth because a well-structured development program in the early stages of growth shapes an individual who shall have a balanced growth in all fields (Fromkin, Collins & Blair, 2005).
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Children learning to speak involve themselves in a lot of activities; pattern of sounds, words, and sentences that contribute in building up a speech. Learning in children gives them an opportunity to utilize the most effective as well as persistent styles as a way of passing out their information or what they need, showing hunger and generally as a way of sharing meaning. Therefore, language learning guides their thoughts hence enabling sharing of information (Fromkin, Collins & Blair, 2005).
Many theories has been created to address the issue of language development; the theories mainly are mainly based on assumptions made and other factors that seem to determine one's capability to create and understand very many varieties of sentences and to get exactly the biological foundation of mankind. It is clear that children learn their first language from adults that they interact with (Garton & Pratt, 1998).
Theory of behaviorism and language
Most of the researchers stated that human behavior is easy to analyze and monitor. They tried to analyze observation, culture, and memory. These factors are considered on the mode of operation because they cannot be easily observable. The theory shows learning as building associations between stimulus and response. Thus, learning can be recognized as habitual responses to a given stimuli. The behaviorist theory goes further to illustrate the development of language learning and showed that children can learn through conditioning making children learn a given verbal responses thus ensuring that they meet some demands on a particular situations (Dyson, 1993).
Theory of behaviorism and teaching
It concentrates on the important part of education, especially guiding approaches to teachings on reading and writing. Teaching methods and materials are very crucial in motivation, reinforcement, and continuous learning till a given condition is obtained. Learning in terms of reading can be viewed as matching the correct verbal responses to suitable visual stimulus by actually saying the correct word when shown the written one. Teaching process involves learning from smaller items to more complex ones. When children are taught in the classroom not all of them will understand. This shows that not all the children shall accept such approach (Anstey & Bull, 1999).
Theory of cognitivist view of language learning
This theory is based on the fact that language can be considered as the extensive knowledge being held by the people who use that particular language. This differs from the theory of behaviorism. Clearly showing that what could be seen and measured can be dealt with more easily. Children learn a given language through disposition. Displaying that child cannot learn only in an environment in which they are brought up. Infants have a natural ability to acquire the given rules based on a given language especially on a minimal exposure. Children have confidence and knowledge to actually get to know what to say in a particular time and realize when words said can contain bogus starts, mistakes or even when stumbling. Entirely everything on language depends on abstract competence or knowledge.
Children and adults have the ability to produce and understand sentences and words they have never heard before. This theory considers that it is not realistic to explain language as absolutely caused by individual's contact with the environment due to much emphasis on learning process rather than what is being learned. Finally, if we consider language learning as a process where words and strings of words bring about certain meanings, then how can we identify, and determine, the uncertainty of sentences alike. The minimal words heard by infants make it possible for them to set language development into action. All this can be classified as Language Acquisition System (Garton & Pratt, 1998).
The process of Language Development in Children
When a child is born the first thing that it has to do is to cry. This indicates a child effort to make a speech showing the resources of language groundwork speech; therefore, showing the infant can be tuned to speech. It important that infants respond more quickly to very minor acoustic differences indicating different sounds on what becomes their mother tongue. Further research shows that a three weeks old baby can be dearly disturbed when separated with the mother. When three months is over new range of vocal sounds can be noticed, showing additional items to the cries. In this stage, the infant can produce vowel sounds termed as back vowels due to the tongue held high tending to back of oral cavity.
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Children make sound considered to be round due to their shape of the mouth. In the fifth month, a child starts to make speech-like sounds by alternating the vowels made earlier with consonants and anything that comes of the airstream. The first to be made are /g/ and /k/ which are replaced later with other consonants like /p/ and /d/ made when there is a continuous stopping of the lip and the teeth and this can be called babbling stage. This stage can be very confusing because even deaf children can babble hence difficult to differentiate a lot of things. It is also important to note that when deaf children are kept in an environment with other they tend to develop a sign language similar to the spoken one. Towards the end of this stage it can be noted that the range of sounds begins to be similar to the sounds used in a given language in a particular community where the child is situated. Intonations can easily be recognized by falling and rising of tone showing a great difference in form of questions, declarations, and assertations (Fromkin, Collins & Blair, 2005).
Just before a child utters the first words, it can be seen that the child understands what others say about them. At twelve months a child is able to utter single word and this can be labeled as 'holophrases' indicating one-word phrase. A child can say 'ball' making the parents/guardian interpret in many ways as: 'I see a ball or give me the ball' depending on the prevailing situation. This stimulation initiates language development. The one-word can mean directions, request, demands or even discomfort. These utterances later develop into words like 'papa' or 'dada' referring to people around them (Fromkin, Collins & Blair, 2005).
The child goes from the stage of one word to a sentence; a child tries to use a single word several times due to its use in the stage before, making such a word to be labeled as pivot; ' need car, need milk, need bye' other words can be attached to the pivot word hence given the name open words. It is clear that a child's early language is determined by the immediate daily contact between the children and majorly others in the child's life that sets the prospect for the kind of language the child eventually speaks (Dyson, 1993).
Teachers can expect a lot from children; some children can sustain contact with the first language taught for the first time in school. Others can find the language they hear absolutely different, which appears to be totally another experience out of school. It can be shown that during the start of school for the children it is possible to know whether the language development makes one to participate fully in activities accepted at their homes. In the action of learning, language development majorly depends on how a child can understand and choose to agree on the roles they are required to perform in school. It is important for a teacher to understand the reason why students make errors, making learning environment conducive (Harris, et al., 2001).
In conclusion, it is clear that for a child to learn and write; a great difference exists across all platforms right from home, school and the community in general. When it comes to writing there is a great variation from what is written, how to perform and the actual reason why it is being done so. At school, writing can be classified as a social activity. It is important for teachers to identify the diversity the children possess. Children can show great accomplishment by making informed decision of the linguistic and social rules that are useful in a particular language, achieved mainly by the support given by care-takers. Finally, in language development a child can be viewed as active constructor, negotiator, on issues of their own knowledge on a particular language (Harris, et al., 2001).
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