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Language development - Essay Example

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There are a number of stages that infants and toddlers go through in learning a language, and though each individual may go through the various stages at a different time in his or her young life, the stages normally remain the same for all of them.
The stages an infant will go through are as follows; usually an infant will learn to babble or coo by the time they are three months old…
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There are a number of stages that infants and toddlers go through in learning a language, and though each individual may go through the various stages at a different time in his or her young life, the stages normally remain the same for all of them.
The stages an infant will go through are as follows; usually an infant will learn to babble or coo by the time they are three months old. From that time until they are 4 to 6 months old is when they begin to recognize individual sounds and their parents and siblings voices. The child's sounds have a more babble like sound to them (mama dada) and they can make a lot of gurgling sounds when playing alone.
The next stage the infant goes through usually takes place between seven months of age and one year. This stage is when the child is learning to recognize his/her name, will listen when spoken to, recognizes that certain words have certain meanings (ie; ball, food etc.), and responds to requests like "come here". The toddler is also beginning to learn the vocabulary and concepts necessary for reading. This stage is when the infant uses one and two words at a time and attempts to communicate more with non-crying responses (ie; words) than in earlier stages of development.
Just as there are varying times in an individual child's life for each stage, there are also many factors that affect their language development. These factors can include; other skills the child is working on, how parents respond to the child's attempt to communicate and the amount and kind of speaking the child hears on a consistent basis (http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/lang_lit.htm). Other factors can be whether the child is hearing more than one language in the household.
The other factors that can affect a child's language development include walking, eating and standing.
These skills are motor skills and take much of an infant's concentration in order to learn them. Language development while the infant is learning these skills may slow down appreciably.
The next factor to consider is when a parent responds to a child's attempts to communicate with indifference. The child can respond in kind, quickly learning to become indifferent himself. If, on the other hand, the parent listens and responds to the child, speaks with the child frequently and reads to the child on a regular basis, the child learns the sounds and gestures necessary to speak accordingly. Eye contact and verbal response between the child and the listener are two ways of showing interest that can lead to further attempts at an expansion of his or her ideas which leads to a likelihood of faster language development.
One of the most major factors that will influence a child's language development is when a child hears more than one language in use during the early stages of his/her life. Trying to develop two languages can be more confusing to the child. The child needs to discern patterns of speech, grammar and idiosyncratic uses of words for each language.
Most experts believe that having to learn two languages at the same time is too confusing and that one language should be focused on in these early stages.
The Worldwatch Institute recently published an online article (Matters of Scale: Unspoken Words, May/June 2001) that presented the numbers of the world community who were bi-lingual as compared to the percentage of Americans that were bi-lingual. Over 60 percent of the world's speakers were presented as bi-lingual compared to a paltry 6.3 percent of the United States.

Since communication is the key to understanding our shrinking worldwide community, I would tend to agree with the article in that regards, and disagree with most of the experts. If our children can learn to speak two languages from the time they are young it could help them when they grow old.
When we understand someone else's viewpoint it helps to enable our own response which we then can put in an understandable context through language. If we are capable of speaking in their language (and vice versa), many of the misunderstandings in the world today would never happen or if they did, would easily be resolved. Read More
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