Child development and learning focusing on language development
This essay is about a child’s development and learning, focusing primarily on language development. It will describe the main stages of developmental "milestones" and the key concepts involved for children to develop their language skills, discussing language acquisition and social learning theory. The essay will also look into the key theorists involved in language development, primarily Vygotsky and Chomsky, and how these theories have had an impact on the way society views language and their implementation within schools. The essay will describe the factors affecting language development, both biological and environmental. While also discussing key arguments among theorists, one being the nature vs nurture debate, and how these play a part in the teaching in schools.
Development is defined as the process of change, a pattern that occurs from birth throughout the lifespan of the individual (Keenan and Evans, 2009). In the UK it is usual to cover child development between birth and nineteen years. Development is often categorised into different areas of development; physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social. Smidt (2006) suggested that all areas of development are interrelated. Therefore development has to be approached with a holistic view; whilst looking at one area of development all areas of development need to be considered. "The holistic ideology values the whole child understanding the young child as an individual within the context of his or her family, community and culture” Wood (1998). With this in mind practitioners need to be aware of a child’s background. Children usually progress through a set pattern of stages, unless a child has additional needs or a delay in that area of development Brian and Martin (1982). The stages that a child progresses through are seen as “milestones”, not all children will progress through these in order, or at the same age, as every child is unique. The rate in which a child develops is known as the tempo of growth and this can differ between one child to another.
Kehliy (2009) suggests children have four basics needs; the need for love and security, new experiences, praise and recognition and responsibility. Children have the potential to develop to their full capacity with these needs met. Maslov in his hierarchy of needs highlighted that children need their basic needs met before they can develop onto the next stage. He proposed five key levels; physiology, safety, belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation. Each level needs to be fulfilled to process to the next. With this in mind Maslov’s theory suggests that children and adults cannot reach their full potential unless there needs are met. This theory is strongly represented within the social services sector and within the care sector (Green, 2009). Smidt (2006) highlighted that the way in which childhood is perceived changes overtime; adults construct an image of...