Language
A system of rules
for using symbols
to construct
meaning
modes
Receptive
Expressive
methods
Oral
Written
Visual
Oral
Receptive
Expressive
Listen
Speak
Receptive
Expressive
Oral
Listen
Speak
Written
Read
Write
Receptive
Expressive
Oral
Listen
Speak
Written
Read
Write
Visual
Appreciate
Create
Oral
Written
Visual
Receptive
Expressive
Listen
Speak
Read aloud
Read
Write
Appreciate
Create
Language Rule Systems

Phonology (sounds)

Semantics (meaning)

Syntax (structure)

Pragmatics (function)
Language Rule Systems

Gunning (2008, p. 4) adds two
more:
Morphology – word formation (a part of
syntax)
 Prosody – intonation and rhythm of
speech (a part of pragmatics)

Phonology
~ 77 Phonemes
 ~ 45 in English
 Int’l. Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
 Articulatory Phonetics
 Voice anatomy

Semantics

Meaningful cries:

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Vocabulary
Fast mapping


12 months = 1 word, 18=20, 24=270
Hart and Risley

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hunger, anger, pain
Professional / Middle / Poor families
11 / 6 / 3 million words by age 3
Over- and underextension
Syntax
Grammatical structure
 S-V-O, S-O-V
 Morphemes
 Overregularization
 Nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles
 Conjunctions, embedded sentences,
tag questions, ido-do, passive

Pragmatics
Communicative competence
Knowing when to speak, when not to,
what to talk about and with whom,
when, where, and in what manner to
interact
Burst feeding
Pragmatics, continued

Infants must
Focus attention
 Recognize gaze and gesture
 Associate sounds and voices with
certain events and people
 Develop reciprocity
 Use language to communicate

Pragmatics, continued

Cultural context


Dialect, hierarchy, space
Language functions
Halliday, Tough
 Baron: Affection, Control, Information,
Pedagogy, Social exchange

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Discourse - Tele-talk, greetings,
lecture, caregiver speech
Language Acquisition
Theories
Virtually every child, without special
training, exposed to surface
structures of language in many
interaction contexts, builds for
himself – in a short period of time
and at an early stage in his cognitive
development – a deep-level,
abstract, and highly complex system
of linguistic structure and use.
(Lindfors 1987)
Nurture = Behaviorism
Attention
 Repetition
 Approval (reinforcement)

Nature = Nativist

Language Acquisition Device
Chomsky: Colorless green ideas sleep
furiously
 Pinker: Language Instinct (1995)

Biological Influences

Brain’s role
•
•
•
Hemispheric specialization
Broca’s area – structure
Wernicke’s area – comprehension
Biological prewiring
Chomsky’s view: Language
Acquisition Device
 Critical Period for Language

Case of Genie
 Critical period not certain

Social interaction
Responsive interaction
 Siegel: “human connections shape
the neural connections from which
the mind emerges”
 Bruner’s Language Acquisition
Support System (LASS)
 Caregiver speech

Social interaction

Piaget: Thought and Language
Egocentric
 Addressed to no one


Vygotsky: Language and Thought
Private speech
 Inner speech
 Communication with the self

Social interaction
Whole Language approach
 Emergent Literacy

Language Development
Milestones
COOING
 4 weeks – precursors to vowels
 8 weeks – real vowels
 12 weeks – discovers own voice
BABBLING
 6 months – Echolalia
• m, p, b, k, g with vowels

8 months – Vocables
Milestones
FIRST WORDS
 12 months –
Holophrases
 Overgeneralized speech

Milestones
TELEGRAPHIC SPEECH
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Identificaton – “See doggie”
Location – “Book there”
Repetition – “More milk”
Nonexistence – “Allgone thing”
Negation – “Not wolf”
Possession – “My candy”
Attribution – “Big car”
Agent-action – “ Mama walk”
Action-direct object – “Hit you”
Action-indirect object – “Give Papa”
Action-instrument – “Cut knife”
Question – “Where ball?
Bilingualism

Simultaneous

Successive
Bilingualism


True Bilingual education
•
Teach immigrant children in native
language
•
Add English gradually
Bilingualism does not interfere
with language development.
Bilingualism

English as a Second Language

Content curriculum in English

Assistance in ESL

Intervention
Teaching
Oral
Written
Visual
Receptive
Expressive
Listen
Speak
Read aloud
Read
Write
Appreciate
Create
Learning about speech

Prenatal auditory experiences
influence neonatal auditory
preferences
(DeCasper & Spence 1986)

Caregiver speech

Extensions, expansions, recasts
Dramatic play
 Metalinguistic awareness

Learning about Print

Environmental Print

Book Print
Learning about writing
Letter like forms
 Constancy of position in space

Reversals
 Dyslexia

Spacing
 Spelling: public and private
(invented)

Learning about reading
Five Big Ideas in Early Literacy
 Phonemic awareness
 Phonics
 Vocabulary
 Comprehension
 Fluency
(National Reading Panel, 1999)
Learning about reading





Alphabetic principle
Sight words
Part-to-whole instruction
Whole-to-part instruction
Genres

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Baby board books
Predictable books
Fairy tales and Mother Goose
Poems and Songs
Reading aloud
is the single most important
activity for building the
understandings and skills
that are essential for later
reading success
NAEYC (1998) Learning to Read & Write.
Language Development

Infancy
•
•
•
•
•
•
Vocalization: Begins with babbling
Early communications are pragmatic
One-word (holophrase) stage: 10 to 13
months
Two word (telegraphic) stage: 18 to 24
months
Roger Brown: Mean Length of Utterance
(MLU)
Five stages of MLU index language
maturity
C o p y rig h t (c ) 2 0 0 1 b y T h e M c G ra w -H ill C o m p a n ie s , In c . A ll rig h ts re s e rv e d .
Language Development

Early childhood: Advances in
•
•
•
•
•

Phonology
Morphology
Syntax
Semantics
Pragmatics
Sequences of development
•
•
•
Words/vocabulary emerge (12 months)
Transition to combining words/phrases
into sentences (24 months)
Transition to complex sentences (age 2
to 3 through elementary years)
C o p y rig h t (c ) 2 0 0 1 b y T h e M c G ra w -H ill C o m p a n ie s , In c . A ll rig h ts re s e rv e d .
Middle and Late
Childhood: Reading

Chall’s model describes the
development of reading in five
stages with the first ranging from
birth to first grade and the final
stage in the high school years.
C o p y rig h t (c ) 2 0 0 1 b y T h e M c G ra w -H ill C o m p a n ie s , In c . A ll rig h ts re s e rv e d .
Debate

There is debate about the whole
language approach vs. the basic
skills-&-phonics approach.
Whole language
approach

stresses that the learning to
read should parallel the child’s
natural learning of language. The
premise is that reading should be
integrated with other skills.
Basic skills-&-phonics
approach
 emphasizes
teaching phonetics
and its rules for translating
written symbols into sounds.

A combination of the two approaches
is probably best.
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Language - Texas A&M University