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LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT

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  1. 9 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Language Development John W. Santrock

  2. Language Development • What Is Language? • How Language Develops • Biological and Environmental Influences

  3. What is Language? Defining Language • Form of communication, whether spoken, written, or signed, based on system of symbols • Infinite generativity — ability to produce an endless number of meaningful sentences using a finite set of words and rules

  4. Sound system of language; how the sounds are used and combined – phoneme is smallest unit of sound Phonology morphemes are units of meaning involved in word formation Morphology Ways words are combined to form acceptable phrases and sentences Syntax Semantics Meanings of words and sentences Appropriate use of language in context; can be very complex Pragmatics What is Language? Language’s Rule Systems

  5. How Language Develops Infancy • Babbling and other vocalizations • Crying - from birth • Cooing - 1 to 2 months • Babbling - around 6 months • Gestures - 8 to 12 months

  6. How Language Develops Infancy • Recognizing Language Sounds • Newborns recognize sound changes • Can recognize own language sounds at 6 months • First Words • Receptive vocabulary considerably exceeds spoken vocabulary • Timing of first word and vocabulary spurt varies

  7. How Language Develops Infancy • Two-Word Utterances • Begins between 18 to 24 months • Child relies heavily on gesture, tone, context • Telegraphic speech — use of short and precise words without grammatical markers

  8. Variation in Language Milestones Fig. 9.3

  9. How Language Develops Early Childhood • Understanding Phonology and Morphology • Children know morphological rules • Plural and possessive forms of nouns • Third-person singular and past-tense verbs • Children abstract rules and apply them to novel situations • Sometimes overgeneralize rules

  10. How Language Develops Understanding Syntax • Preschoolers learn and apply syntax rules • Children show growing mastery of complex rules for how words should be ordered • By elementary school years, children become skilled at using syntactical rules to construct lengthy and complex sentences

  11. How Language Develops Advances in Semantics • Speaking vocabulary: ranges from 8,000 to 14,000 words for 6-year-olds • Rate of 5 to 8 words per day from ages 1 to 6 • Some estimate 6-year-old learns 22 words a day • Entering elementary school with small vocabulary places child at risk for reading problems • Quantity of parent talk linked to child’s vocabulary growth and SES of family

  12. 3 Years Old Improve ability to talk about things not physically present, improved displacement 4 Years Old Develop remarkable sensitivity to needs of others in conversation 4 to 5 Years Old Change speech style to suit the social situation How Language Develops Advances in Pragmatics

  13. How Language Develops Preparing for Literacy • Family environment linked to differences linked to differences in children’s language and literacy skills • Literacy comes quickly for preschoolers participating in print-related interactions • Literacy experiences extremely important for young children

  14. Amount of Maternal Speech and Infant Vocabulary Fig. 9.6

  15. How Language Develops Family Environment • Mother’s education level is positively correlated to number of books in home • Single-parent and welfare families had fewer books than two-parent and affluent families • Kindergartener had better language skills if parents read to them 3 or more times a week

  16. Language Input and Young Children’s Vocabulary Development Fig. 9.7

  17. Language Input and Young Children’s Vocabulary Development Fig. 9.7

  18. How Language Develops Middle and Late Childhood • Vocabulary and grammar • Reading and writing assumes prominent role • Preschoolers usually respond with one word first • Elementary school children • Increasingly understand, use complex grammar • Metalinguistic awareness greatly improves • By adolescence, most know rules for use of language in everyday contexts

  19. How Language Develops Reading • Before learning to read, children learn • To use language to describe things not present • The alphabetic principle: letters represent sound • Whole language approach • Instruction should parallel child’s natural language learning; reading should be whole and meaningful • Basic-skills-and-phonics approach • Instruction should teach phonics and its basic rules; reading should involve simplified materials

  20. Relation of Reading Achievement to Number of Pages Read Daily Fig. 9.9

  21. How Language Develops National Reading Panel • Most effective phonological awareness training • Has two main skills: blending and segmentation • Best when integrated with reading and writing; small groups more beneficial than whole class • Children benefit from guided oral reading

  22. How Language Develops Writing • Children’s writing emerges out of their early scribbles, about 2 to 3 years of age • Parents and teachers should encourage children’s early writing • Positive corrections discourage writing • Children should be given many writing opportunities

  23. How Language Develops Middle and Late Childhood • Bilingualism— ability to speak two languages • Learning second language easier for children • Children’s ability to pronounce second language with correct accent decreases with age; sharp drop after age 10 to 12 • Has positive effect on children’s cognitive development

  24. Grammatical Proficiency and Age of Arrival in U.S. Fig. 9.10

  25. How Language Develops Adolescence • Increased use and understanding of • Sophisticated words • Analysis and abstract thinking • Metaphors— implied comparison of unlike things • Satire— use of irony, derision, or wit to expose folly or wickedness

  26. How Language Develops Adolescence • Adolescents are much better at organizing ideas and writing • Dialect— variety of language distinguished by vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation • Adolescent dialect with peers often uses jargon or slang • Usually used to indicate group membership

  27. How Language Develops Adulthood • Distinct personal linguistic style is part of special identity • Vocabulary often continues to increase throughout adult years until late adulthood • Little decline among healthier older adults • Non-language factors may be cause of decline in language skills in older adults

  28. How Language Develops Adulthood • Some decrements common in late adulthood • Inability to distinguish speech sounds • Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon • Alzheimer’s disease • Language does not change • Word-finding difficulties are early warning signs

  29. Biological and Environmental Influences Biological Influences • Evolution and the brain’s role in language • Human language about 100,000 years old • Particular regions of brain predisposed for language acquisition • Most comprehend syntax in left hemisphere; emotion and intonation comprehended in right hemisphere • Aphasia— language disorder resulting from brain damage; loss of ability to use words

  30. Biological and Environmental Influences Biological Influences • Evolution and the brain’s role in language • Broca’s area — area of brain’s left frontal lobe involved in speech production • Wernicke’s area —area of brain’s left hemisphere involved in language comprehension • If damaged — fluent incomprehensible speech produced

  31. Broca’s and Wernicke’s Areas of the Brain Fig. 9.11

  32. Biological and Environmental Influences Language Acquisition Device • Chomsky • Humans biologically prewired for language • Language acquisition device (LAD): biological endowment to detect features and rules of language • Theoretical, not physical part of brain • Evidence of uniformity in language milestones across languages and cultures

  33. Biological and Environmental Influences Is There A Critical Period For Learning Language? • Fixed time period for mastering developmental experiences • Lenneberg • Language depends on maturity • Critical period for first language is 18 months to puberty • Preschool years most important: language develops rapidly and easily

  34. Biological and Environmental Influences Behavioral and Environmental Influences • Behavioral View • Language is complex learned skill, reinforced • Problems with behavioral view: • Cannot explain people creating novel sentences • Children can learn syntax of native language without reinforcement • Fails to explain language’s extensive orderliness

  35. Biological and Environmental Influences Behavioral and Environmental Influences • Environmental influences • Mother’s language linked to child’s vocabulary • Child-directed speech— higher pitch for attention • Parents, older children modify their speech • Other strategies • Recasting— rephrasing • Expanding— restating • Labeling— identifying objects by names

  36. Biological and Environmental Influences An Interactionist View of Language • Language • Has biological foundations • Acquisition influenced by experiences • Children acquire native language without explicit teaching; some without encouragement • Bruner: parents and teachers help construct language acquisition support system (LASS) • Resembles Vygotsky’s ZPD

  37. 9 The End