Communication Difficulties

Topics: Linguistics, Language acquisition, Language development Pages: 6 (1804 words) Published: November 28, 2011
Kara Morrison

Communication Difficulties

Assessment outcome 1

Language development is the process by which children come to understand and communicate language during early childhood. From birth up to the age of five, children develop language at a very rapid pace. The stages of language development are universal among humans. However, the age and the pace at which a child reaches each milestone of language development vary greatly among children. Question 1

Briefly describe the normal development of language acquisition. Language development is a process starting early in a humans life, people begin to acquire language by learning it as it is spoken and by mimicry from others around them. Children's language development starts from simple then continues until it is complex. Infants start without language, however by four months of age, babies can read lips and discriminate speech sounds. The language that infants speak is called babbling. Usually, language starts off as recall of simple words without associated meaning, but as children grow, words acquire meaning, with connections between words being formed. As a person gets older, new meanings and new associations are created and vocabulary increases as more words are learned. Infants use their bodies, vocal cries and other ways to communicate their wants and needs. Even though most children begin to vocalize and eventually verbalize at various ages and at different rates, they learn their first language without conscious instruction from parents or guardians. Research has shown that the earliest learning begins in uterus when the fetus can recognize the sounds and speech patterns of its mother's voice. There are three main theories of language development:

The behaviorist theory, proposed by B. F. Skinner suggests that language is learned through operant conditioning (reinforcement and imitation). This perspective sides with the nurture side of the nature-nurture debate. The nativist theory, proposed by Noam Chomsky, argues that language is a unique human accomplishment. Chomsky says that all children have what is called an innate language acquisition device that allows children to produce consistent sentences once vocabulary is learned. His claim is based upon the view that what children hear - their linguistic input - is insufficient to explain how they come to learn language. The empiricist theory suggests, contra Chomsky, that there is enough information in the linguistic input that children receive, and therefore there is no need to assume an innate language acquisition device. This approach is characterized by the construction of computational models that learn aspects of language and/or that simulate the type of linguistic output produced by children. Question 2

Explain using examples, the difference between speech and language and language development. Definition of speech:

The faculty or act of speaking, The faculty or act of expressing or describing thoughts, feelings, or perceptions by the articulation of words, Something spoken; an utterance and Vocal communication; conversation.

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. Speech consists of the following: Articulation
How speech sounds are made (e.g., children must learn how to produce the "r" sound in order to say "rabbit" instead of "wabbit"). Voice
Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (e.g., the voice can be abused from overuse or misuse and can lead to hoarseness or loss of voice). Fluency
The rhythm of speech (hesitations or stuttering can affect fluency of speech).

An example of speech would be a child learning how to Read a book out loud to a teacher.

Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols, such a system including its rules for combining its components, such as words, such a system as used by a nation, people, or other distinct community; often...

Learning support needs HNC 2010 George notes
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