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How children learn the sounds of their language - Coursework Example

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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. Several key conditions, as identified by Cambourne,…
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How children learn the sounds of their language

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 ... Read More
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