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How far can babies be said to using language during the first year of their lives?

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Introduction

´╗┐How far can babies be said to be using language during the first year of their lives? On the one hand, it can be said that baby?s speech development can be improved greatly if the mother uses the correct learning techniques such as; CDS. Child Directed Speech is the name given to the form of language used by mothers or primary caregivers to babies, this can also be called ?Motherese?. In many cases, this can involve the mother teaching the child basic conversational structure, she could do this by making constant eye contact with the baby when communication is occurring. The mother will also use rhetorical questions such as; ?Are you hungry?? These are rhetorical as the baby cannot correctly respond however, by doing this she is teaching the baby to respond and that in a day to day conversation, questions should be answered. ...read more.

Middle

or just simply, speaking to child but using alliteration, for example; ?bubbly bath?, ?silly sausage? and ?poo-poo?. This also breaks down language into a manageable and easy way for them to remember and eventually learn. Most of the time, you find that mothers speak slower to young children. By breaking down a complex sentence into manageable chucks, it allows the baby to ?digest? the information that is being given to them. All of these techniques eventually lead to the baby using familiar utterances and so the parent/caregiver can begin to understand what the child is asking for or saying. For example, ?Jonny up? means that Jonny wants to be picked up. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alternatively, some people argue it is the actual ?words? that are taught to the child. They say the majority of the words that babies are associating meanings with are not part of the English language, these are words such as; ?toto? instead of photo, ?dada? instead of daddy and ?bruda? instead of brother. Therefore, the children grow up with these words as an important part of their vocabulary but they are incorrect. Another strong argument would be that, although CDS/Motherese is used all over the world, some cultures do not use it at all and so it is obviously not a compulsory and essential part of a child?s speech development. ...read more.

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