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Understanding Language And Literacy Swinburne Essay

1296 words - 6 pages

Language is a most vital component for early childhood development. Language acquisition is an everyday and yet magical feat of childhood. Although language is such an exclusive and complicated skill, children can learn it quickly. In this essay I will be looking into how children acquire the components of language which are; phonological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic development also the role nature and nurture play in supporting the development of components of language in early childhood years and underlying two theoretical perspectives that explain the processes of language acquisition
“Language consists of several subsystems but, the main four components are Phonology, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics. Language development involves mastering and uniting sound, meaning and overall structure to gain a flexible communication system.” (Berk, L. E. (2013). Child development (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson 2013) Phonology refers to the way how the sound has been structure of speech. It is the way sounds of a language operate. Infants may smile in respond to a voice or they will cry in different pitch for different requirements (sleep vs hungry). When it comes to toddles, (age 2 to 3) they are in a stage of recognising words but not be able to pronounce them correctly. For example, rabbit: wabbit. Syntax denotes a set of rules, process and grammar that govern the structure of sentence. It refers to the ways words, phrases and clauses organized in a sentence to get a clear meaning. Infants begin to use two words together and telegraphic speech from 12 months. Toddlers will begin speaking three-word sentences. During pre-schoolers age they will speak more complex sentences. They will use plurals and verbs but often overgeneralise those. For example, they might say “sheeps, mouses, sleeped, comed” Syntax can easily recognisable and can directly tell if a sentence is grammatically acceptable or not since it is always combined with set of rules.
Semantics is the study of meaning in language. It refers to the way how language conveys “meaning”. Middle of the first year, infants can turn their heads up when someone say their name. Which denotes they are in a stage of recognise their voice. Babbling has repeated consonants and vowel sounds such as ‘mama mama’. Toddlers will be able to add grammatical morphemes and be able to follow simple directions. Pre-schoolers will talk to themselves as they complete a task (Morrow, 2005) and will have a large vocabulary compared to toddlers. By age 5, children may have a vocabulary of between 2500 and 5000 and semantic knowledge continues to develop with school experience and they will start to add new vocabulary and words meanings. “Pragmatics is the social communicative side of language which denotes how members of the speech community achieve their targets using language” (Hill, S. (2012). Developing early literacy: Assessment and teaching (2nd ed.). Melbourne VIC: Eleanor Curtain Publishing.) During infant’s stage...

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