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Childhood Language Development

Autor:   •  April 2, 2014  •  Research Paper  •  1,665 Words (7 Pages)  •  716 Views

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Childhood Language Development

Using the various resources provided by the course, as well as my own individual research, I will help the twenty-month-old Tam and his family about ways they can enhance his language development and the theories involved with these processes. Specifically, I will discuss ideas related to nature, as opposed to nurture, which means that language acquisition is an innate ability. Noam Chomsky is a famous linguist who supports the nature idea in which language development is more of a biological process and that a child learns with limited stimuli from their environment. First, it will be discussed how animal communication supports the nature theory and how that relates to Tam. Next, I will discuss how environmental factors will help Tam to accelerate his language development. Next, I will discuss the normal ways children develop and how that relates to Tam. Finally, I will discuss milestones amongst childhood language development and what I noticed similarly in Tam’s scenario.

Through the study of chimps and other animals, it was discovered that language can be a biological process (Pence Turnbull, Justice, Hulit, Merle & Fahey, 2013). This supports Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar, which states that it is an innate principle of language faculty and that it is a system of conditions on grammars, constraints on the form and interpretation of grammar at all levels, from the deep structures of syntax, through the transformational component, to the rules that interpret syntactic structures semantically and phonetically (Liu and Liu). So this means that Chomsky’s hypothesis shows that the study of a language such as English provides important evidence about the construction of another language. This means that the acquisition of language is a matter of adding to one’s universal grammar rules, or modifying the system, as new data is processed (Liu and Liu). After knowing all this information and explaining it to Tam’s parents, I would let them know that language development is a biological function and that it is okay if Tam is not up to speed with the average milestones of a normal twenty month year old. I would ask Tam’s parents how he reacts to external stimuli and determine the extent to which nurture is having an effect on Tam’s language development. While I agree with Chomsky and his theories of nature and universal grammar, I also believe that nature and nurture can work together to create the development of a child’s language. So far from the information presented, I would let Tam’s parents know that while the purchase of video products and other resources may be helpful, it would be best not to over stimulate the child with these resources.

While Chomsky’s theories may apply to the true nature of language development, environmental factors also influence language development. Thinking back at my childhood, I learned a lot


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