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Language Aquisition: Theoretical Approaches Essay

1796 words - 7 pages

Language is power; not only is it the mechanism by which we communicate, think and express our emotions and ideas; it shapes us into the culture in which we are born. It goes without saying then that language delay affects holistic development leading to isolation, social withdrawal and all round poor academic achievement.

Children develop language in stages, pre-linguistic stage or age birth to 1 year is the stage where babies communicate through crying, cooing and gesturing, babies age 2 months will pause as if to mimic “conversation”.
The second stage is the one word stage age 1 year to 18 months; it is usually at this stage where children say their first word, however they will continue to babble throughout this stage. They also learn how to answer questions and by the end of this stage they should have a vocabulary of around 50 words.
The third stage covers the age range 18 months 3 years which is where children use simple short sentences known as telegraphic speech; they can speak in a grammatical context for example “mummy juice” however they oversimplify words such as using the word “dog” for both cats and dogs or using the word “feets” instead of feet. Two or three word sentences are usually formed around two years old.
By age 5 children are able to use more complex adult like conversation such as conjunctions and their vocabulary should be around 2,000 words and they should be able to make up rhymes, songs and jokes.
By the age of six they should be able to alter their speech according to who they are speaking too. (Mukherji et al 2000)

During the pre-linguistic stage Isabelle’s language would be interrupted as she was hidden away from society and her mother was “both deaf and mute” therefore Isabelle would not be surrounded by language thus cooing and babbling may not occur. This would affect her socially because she had no variety of interaction resulting in her not having a chance to get used to others and socialisation won’t occur.

Emotionally she may be frustrated as she doesn’t have the language to communicate her wants or feelings; this could lead to temper tantrums. During the one word stage her cognitive development will be affected as there is already a language delay as there would be no receptive language for her to understand in order to use words, consequently she won’t have a vocabulary of fifty words by the age of 18 months.

Isabelle hasn’t had the benefit of a garden to aid her physical development due to her “confinement”; therefore her gross and fine motor skills will not advance properly. She will be at risk of rickets, brittle bones and tuberculosis due to lack of sunshine and the conditions she was living in. (Hobday 1999)

She hasn’t had the benefit of “formal education” as a result she’s had no chance to experience new stimulating experiences, no peer interaction or learning and has not experienced role play, songs or rhymes, the case study mentions “limited access to picture...

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