Observation Log 2 Language Development Education Essay

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The next theory I considered in my observation is the language developmental theory and the theories are those by Chomsky, Piaget and Vygotsky. I believe language is an important part in human development because it a major medium of social interaction. According to Beckett and Taylor (), the vocabulary of children between the ages of 3 to 6 expands from 2 word sentence to more complex sentences. They believe that as the children's vocabulary increase, they learn the rules of grammar and they become able to use different forms of words. Whilst I was observing Eva, I noticed that most of the time she responded with non verbal communication and it made me more interested on how language develops.

Chomsky (1957) believed that sentences are routinely created practically every time. He believed that we have internal rules that enable us to decide which sentences are grammatical correct and convey our intended meanings. Chomsky believed that children have innate abilities, a genetic program to learn language and once they begin to hear language around them, they automatically understand the structure of that language. He argued that this is because of the biological dispositions, brain development and cognitive readiness. His theory emphasises the need for language in the environment to stimulate children's innate abilities. (Crain 2005)

Vygotsky identified four different stages of speech development which are the primitive, naive psychological stage from 2 to 4 years. The child in this stage is beginning to realise that words are symbols for objects. They have a great curiosity as to what objects are called. Followed by the egocentric or private speech stage from 4 to 7 years. Children often talk aloud to themselves as they perform tasks or solve problems in this stage of development. This private speech is the child's demonstration of their thinking. And lastly the in growth or inner speech stage from 8 years on. During this stage the children's private speech declines and becomes much more internalised. They solve problems in their heads or using inner speech, however you will hear people using private speech when faced with unusual or complex problems (Nixon and Aldwinckle, 2003). continues until children reach school age.

Piaget and Chomsky both agreed that children are not moulded by the external environment but spontaneously create mental structures. Chomsky believed that children automatically create grammatical forms according to the genetic design and in contrast, Piaget emphasised on genetically controlled development and believed that cognitive structures emerge from the child's own effort to deal with and make sense of the world.

Chomsky also believed that language is a highly specialised mental faculty that develops fairy independently from other forms of cognition and children learn an intricate grammatical system almost entirely on their own. However, Piaget viewed language as more closely related to general cognitive development. Piaget also suggested that between the ages of 2 and 6, thin

According to Piaget's theory, children are born with basic action schemas and during the sensory-motor period (birth to 2 years) they use these action schemas to assimilate information about the world. He described two functions of children's language, thus the egocentric and the socialised. During the sensory-motor period, children's language is egocentric and they talk either for themselves or for the pleasure of associating anyone who happens to be there with the activity of the moment.

Piaget suggested that during the preoperational stage this period (2 and 7 years), children's language makes rapid progress. The development of their mental schemas lets them quickly accommodate new words and situations and they begin to construct simple sentences. (Appendix ….) Piaget's theory describes children's language as symbolic, allowing them to venture beyond what he termed as here and now and begin to to talk about things as the past, the future, people, feelings and events. During this time, children's language often shows instances of what Piaget termed animism and egocentrism.

Animism refers to young children's tendency to consider everything, including inanimate objects, to be alive. Since they see things purely from their own perspective, children's language also reflects their egocentrism, whereby they attribute phenomena with the same feelings and intentions as their own. Piaget's theory also describes moral realism as a characteristic of children's language development at this stage, since young children tend to focus on the extent of any damage caused by a person's actions, without taking into account whether that person had good or bad intentions.

Language development deals with how a child develops his/her language skills during their growth period. Language development has been an issue debated among language experts over a long period of time. Experts have opposing views on how a child acquires/learns language. There are four main theories of language development and they all have different thoughts on the acquisition of language. Behaviorists (Skinner) believe that language is learned. Nativists (Chomsky) believe that language is innate and unique to humans. Cognitive theorists (Piaget) believe language is not innate but a product of cognitive development. Finally, social interactionists (Vygotsky) believe that language acquisition is a result of both biological and environmental factors. All of these theories have their own way of interpreting language development, and to some extent, they all seem to be highly convincing. However, out of the four theories, the social interactionist view appeals to me the most; so my theory of language development is definitely the social interactionist view. Unlike Piaget, Vygotski considered language to be key to development. Although Piaget acknowledged language with development with terms such as 'egocentric speech', he did not believe it predominant, saying it was due to the child's inability to think from another perspective. Vygotski however, believed talking out loud gives the child a way to organize their thoughts and guide their actions. Research has shown, children who use 'egocentric' or 'private speech' show greater improvement on problem solving tasks than others who do not use or less private speech. Investigations into this subject, has also shown that Vygotski's opinion on children's speech is a much better description than Piagets

Piaget and Vygotsky are in agreement that children are active learners. They contribute to their own development. This means that children build ways of comprehending the world, (knowledge and understanding), through their activities. They differ in the approach that children take to forming these. Piaget states that it happens primarily through physical manipulation of objects around them. Vygotsky, that it is socially mediated.

According to Crain (), between the ages of 2 and 3, children begin to make sentences of three or more words and between 3 and 6 years their grammar becomes complex. They start to use Where, What, Why, for example, "What is that?" (Appendix ….)

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