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How children learn the sounds of their language - Coursework Example

As we see it, there are several principles that underpin this question. These are: Language learning is a social process – In all societies children learn to use language in what Halliday (1975) terms ‘that little coterie known as the family’. From the outset children learn to speak as the result of being part of a social and cultural fabric. Halliday (1980) proposes that we ‘learn language, learn through language and learn about language simultaneously as we use language’. Language cannot be learned in isolation from others. As soon as children are born they enter the world they find themselves to be part of adult conversations. For the most part ‘motherese’ (see vialle, Lysaght & Verenkina 2000, p.74), is an extremely small part of the language children hear. The overwhelming majority of the language forms in the children’s immediate culture and environment is framed in adult conventions without any attempt to simplify. As parents and others care for the daily needs of children they chatter to the child, asking questions (‘who’s a pretty baby? Did you have a big sleep?’), they share family stories (‘Grandma’s coming today and we are going shopping’) and they use language that they neither expect the child to understand or respond to at this stage. Families include children in their language acts as they gather around their new offspring. And all this time there is myriad background talk emanating from radios, televisions, computers and often other siblings. While this language may often seem to be a jumble of noise and sounds, there is always one constant in play: meaning is being developed through social interaction. This is the driving force that will operate throughout the initial years in each child’s language development and beyond (vialle, Lysaght & Verenikina 2000, p.66). Language learning is a mutual process -- Children are not passive passengers in the language that surrounds them. Young children can understand a great deal a long time before they can actually vocalize any recognizable words. As active participants in the everyday interactions of life, gradually children realize that they can get things done with sounds and then words. Somewhere around two years of age children have begun the path of genuine interaction with the use of recognizable words and begin to negotiate their own way through the world (Kandel, Schwartz Jessell, 2000). They are not left to their own devices in this learning process but are supported by their family members. The ‘significant others’ in their lives help the child by scaffolding (see reference to Vygotskian concept of ‘scaffolding’ in vialle, Lysaght & Verenikina aid and support. This learning process is neither formal nor deliberate. Learning to use the language into which one is born is however expected! Language learning is an active process—Language learning occurs continually from the moment children enter the world. As children mature they gain an ever increasing control over their lives. Brian Cambourne has formalized this active learning process into a theory known as ‘The Conditions of Learning ‘ (1988,1995). In summary Cambourne believes that these conditions operate synergistically and aid barrier-free learning. Children learn their native language by hearing it, speaking it, and then reading it. Sound-before-sight is basic to learning a language; Categorizing sounds Learning one’ ...Show more
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Title: How children learn the sounds of their language [Author] [Instructor] [Date] Language learning is an active process that is shaped by the leaner’s interactions with others in their environment as well as learner engagement with their environment as well as learner engagement with their environment…
How children learn the sounds of their language
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