Wednesday, 29 January 2014

English Language A2 - Developing Speech (Part 1: Stages of Language Development)

The Developing Speech section of the English Language A2 course is the longest section out of Speaking, Reading and Writing and so I've split it into 7 easy sections: 
- Basic Stages of Language Development
- Phonology 
- Lexis 
- Grammar 
- Pragmatics
- Child Directed Speech 
- Language Acquisition Debates

Stages of Language Development 

Speech is the first mode of communication that children learn to develop. There is a great deal to learn, and this learning takes place in logical steps, starting from learning the smallest unit of sounds (phonemes) to developing the subtleties of speech (pragmatics). 

Language development is an approximate timescale and each child develops at a different rate. 

The Pre-Verbal Stage 

Stage Features Approx. age (months)
Vegetative  Sounds of discomfort and reflexive actions. 0-4 months
Cooing Comfort sounds and vocal play using open mouthed vowel sounds. 4-7 months
Babbling Repeated patterns of consonant and vowel sounds. 6-12 months
Proto-Words Word like vocalisations which don’t match actual words but are used consistently, e.g. “mmm” meaning “give me”, which is understood by accompanying gestures.  9-12 months

Lexical and Grammatical Stage of Development 

Stage Features Approx. age (months)
Holophrastic One word utterances 12-18
Two-word Two word combinations 18-24
Telegraphic Three and more words combined 24-36
Post-telegraphic More grammatically complex combinations 36+

During the post-telegraphic stage reading and writing started to develop separately. 

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