• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Drawing on as many relevant theories as you can, explain how children under five develop their use of language

Extracts from this document...


Drawing on as many relevant theories as you can, explain how children under five develop their use of language There are numerous theories depicting the development of language in relation to children under five. At a young age children's minds are extremely susceptible, so this may be a factor as to why there are so many theories present. A theorist whose proposal is crucial to the first five years of a child's life is Eric Lenneburg (1967), who alleged that language has to be acquired within a critical period within the first five years. There is evidence to back this theory as case studies of children where human input has been limited in the vital first years of their lives, show that although some language processes can be acquired, full grammatical fluency is never achieved. Another theory determining the development in language of children under five is a study that was undertaken in the 1960's by Jean Berko and Roger Brown, looking at children's phonological errors to see how they link to their understanding of words and ideas, as well as their ability to imitate the language surrounding them. ...read more.


For example, a children's game that Bruner suggests is highly educational is 'Peek-A-Boo' as it exercises some substantially important linguistic aspects such as turn-taking, formulaic utterances and syntax. The game "Peek-A-Boo" would also be relevant to theorist Jean Piaget in testing 'object permanence', as the game implements that an object still exists even when it is no longer in sight. Opposing Chomsky and Bruner's views, B.F Skinner's theory seems quite the reverse as he reflects that children imitate adults in their language and develop from positive reinforcement through attention and praise of naming the article in question correctly or from negative reinforcement concluding from not being understood accurately if at all, or being deprived of positive comments. Skinner's views also oppose the findings of Jean Berko and Roger Brown (1960) stated earlier through their study on the child referring to a plastic fish as 'fis', as, if Skinner's theory was applied then the child would have been able to imitate the adult's pronunciation correctly. ...read more.


They give information, asking and answering questions, requesting directly and indirectly, suggesting, offering, stating and expressing.' A theorist whose studies are primarily based upon a child's first words is Katherine Nelson (1973). Katherine Nelson identified four main, integral categories for a child's first words, of which were; naming (things or people - sixty percent of a child's first words), actions/events (the second largest group), describing/modifying things (the third largest group) and finally, personal/social words (accounting for approximately eight percent of the sample). Taking into account all the theories present on children's language development there are a lot of different views on how children acquire language and many support yet also contradict each other. In my personal opinion I believe that social interaction and imitation have a huge influence on an infant's progression yet there are also many aspects that add to this to help children acquire language, even though I believe that social interaction is one of the strongest factors (my view is in relation to when adults learn a different language, as they learn through being taught and then putting their knowledge in to practise through social interaction). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    is likely to mainly be directed at a male audience, but the elevated lexis and complex sentence structure narrows it to a slightly older teenage age group. 2. Grammar From the initial analysis of Figure 1 it can be seen that sentence construction in the description of characters has altered from Tom Brown's School Days (1857)

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    I'm busy at work a lot, but not being chained to the office gives me quite a flexible lifestyle. I love my life. I love what I do. I love making the most out of opportunities I love to go scuba diving.

  1. How does Arthur Miller use the character of Eddie to build tension in his ...

    "This one's name was Eddie Carbone..." The audience are interested to find out why Eddie is introduced at the end of the Alfieri's speech, and it creates a sense of intrigue. "This one's name" tell us that what is about to happen, can happen to anyone.

  2. Centre Stage

    Immediately she would hurry the children to bed as she knew what would soon follow. She herself, would run to the corner and sit in her chair, quickly picking up her embroidery pretending to be calm and welcoming while inside, absolutely petrified.

  1. Commentary on Centre Stage

    Also the story is not targeted at someone specific. I have used alliteration throughout the story to try and portray an impact of the atmosphere at particular times. For example; when the main character goes on stage in her performance I wanted to create a quite tense atmosphere.

  2. The topic of religious language has many facets for exploration. The area of research ...

    The former, "God" (line 31), is naturally stressed as an important and integral part of the Christian religion; "truth" is likewise an important element of the faith, and as such could be deemed worthy of specific attention. The speaker is emphasising not only the words themselves, but that here was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work