Language acquisition in children begins very early in life from the time the child learns to interact with his surroundings. The first contacts to initiate the process are usually the parents and later the immediate family members who form the social group. This is usually a period of self-discovery and children come with preconceived thoughts that later develop to accommodation of language.
Cherry, a psychologist who has done research on Language development, refers to studies that have shown that children from infancy have the ability to comprehend many languages they are spoken to, separately from their native language. This ability disappears with age and later the child will only be able to understand their local language. She points to the works of Skinner who attributes the origin of language to be associated with reinforcement of child actions. Cherry points to the role of parents in helping children acquire language. This she terms as the language used by parents that are targeted at the child that recognizes the limitation of children, use easier language, and easy words that are later improved to suit the parents' standard. (Cherry, 2014)
Crabtree refers to the works of Chomsky in explaining the history of language. The first three years of life are regarded as the most vital in allowing the child to develop language (Crabtree, 1999). During this time, their minds can accommodate more and they should be allowed to fully utilize their ability to acquire language. Chomsky's second argument points to the child's immediate environment as contributing to shaping the verbal skills through listening. This does not have to be reinforced. Lastly, he recognizes that parents should not seek to correct the child's language since this later changes with time and is partly influenced by the stage and age in which the child learns.
Current Knowledge on Language Acquisition
The arguments put forth in this discussion view the process of integration as largely influenced by previous learning that has an effect on acquiring new information. With time, the individual learns to apply previously held knowledge and balances his demand to accommodate or let go the previous behavior. Differentiation helps the individual to accommodate more changes that happen in his life. Piaget refers to the preconceived mind of the child that tries to balance new discoveries based on the previously held knowledge. Language acquisition is a continuous process that requires adjustment and a need to make changes to accommodate new things. These two forces of differentiation and integration are likely to lead to conflict. Language development in the initial face is largely dependent on the child, and parents can help reinforce the right way of doing it. The infant usually does not accommodate change more easily, and the social contacts and the environment influence will inform the action depending on his age. Later in life, children learn to act according to the standard conventions, which might sometimes conflict with previous learning (Development Psychology, n.d ).
Application of Current Knowledge
A New York paper carried a report on the findings of research to determine the social factors that affect the children's acquisition of language and found out that the income levels affected children language development. The study by Dr. Fernad targeted infants from poor backgrounds and the results showed that they had a problem with vocabulary that begun very early in life. Similar cohort study revealed challenges of cognitive development among children from poor families. Based on the findings it is clear to acknowledge that the children's surrounding greatly influences language development, and poverty limits the cognitive as well as the vocabulary skills, hence, the need to focus attention on enriching learning by promoting change in the environment of poor families. Children can as well benefit from exchange learning to improve brain functioning as suggested by Harvard children Center, an institution that promotes early child development (Snow, 2013).
Carolina University 2005 found out that families with both parents had an impact on child's language acquisition. Fathers were known to more richly impact on their children vocabulary than their mothers. Findings of the study further revealed that proper care improved the child's language advancement, which was seen to coincide with a similar study that proved that the education status of a parent affected a child language grasp. Better-educated parents improved their children's language development prospects (University of Carolina, 2006)
Schickenedanz's findings in early experiences in children's learning, points to the initial years of life as very crucial in promoting child learning. The reading aids at home and the narratives given by adults provide a reservoir of knowledge that will help the child carry on with that knowledge later in life (Schickenedanz, 1999). The findings recommend the need to engage children in early learning with a view to stimulate the brain. Early learning and language is likened to the previous experiences when a child is first introduced to learning aids that facilitate early intelligence. Parents are encouraged to ensure that children gets exposed to learning materials early enough to boost their language and literacy skills
Application of Findings to Children's Needs
BBC-CBeeies (2014), a resource dedicated to child development, offers the following practical steps in dealing with language and speech challenges. It is advisable to start early by offering supportive services to children with special needs. Visual aids have been known to be helpful in children by making learning more interactive. This can help in the mastery of speech by helping the child relate the image to construct vital clues. Adults should gauge their spoken language to the child's needs and avoid the use of technical language. Occasionally slowing the pace of conversion and reinforcing speech has been known to increase development of language
How It Works
Children takes time to grasp information thus it is important for adults to give them an ear and be keen on their learning since naturally they encode information at their own force.
Teachers should be involved in a child's learning, and parents should be willing to share the learning challenges that their children have. Speech therapy benefits children with unique needs thus parents should consider this avenue when there is a need for special care (BBC, 2014).
Rice University carried a longitudinal study that sought to find out the effect of language acquisition on children from different settings. The study showed that the parental contact with the children was vital. Poor families' settings engaged children vocabulary less than rich families' settings, which had a lasting impact on their vocabulary. Career parents were seen to expose children to more enriching surrounding that boosted their language comprehension hence better learning outcome (Orr, 2012).
According to findings by (Schickedanz, 1999), apart from the traditional characteristics that may predict a child language output like the level of parental income, exposure to interactive learning environment and the extent of care; there are other salient features that may promote children's language behavior (Schickedanz, 1999). The research proposes six ways in which children develop language by building on other sources of learning that are often not visible in many findings with a view to explain that varied approaches in language development is needed to boost language excellence.
Anticipated Challenges That Impact Language Acquisition
Chen a practicing language specialist has outlined several factors that are likely to impede the progress in speech and language acquisition in children as follows: inadequate engagement, disinterest in learning, physical malfunction, which comprise medical causes. Others include loss of hearing, emotional distress, attention deficit disorders, lack of interaction, change of habitat and several languages spoken at the same time (Chen, n.d).
Jateline (2014) identifies six areas that will affect the development of language in young people. The body physiology may affect a child's ability and when vital organs such as the lips and vocal cords are affected, then speech may be impaired. Health causes ,for instance physical morbidity, may prevent from better development of language in children. Level of intelligence affects the rate and speed of processing information and children who have low intelligence are likely to be poor in vocabulary skills.
Gender differences affect language development. Females are better learners than males with good grasp of vocabulary. Close to this is the family. Children will be able to master language faster in an environment that fosters constant and increased communication with the family members. This can further be improved by the families' level of income. Well endowed families expose children to learning much earlier in life by providing them with various learning experiences (Jateline, 2014).
The discussion provides the current application of findings in understanding children's language development outcome as influenced by different variables. The formal and non-formal learning have been shown to predict pathways of language development in the future, hence the need to initiate the process of language development very early in life when the child is capable of learning fully.
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