By the time children are in the uterus, their brains have already started developing. When they are born, the environment they are exposed to matters most in their learning ability. Games, music and bright colors all serve the growth of the child brain. All of these factors facilitate cognitive development, which leads to language development. Long before the children learn to speak, they understand language. Once they begin to acquire language, their learning ability is accelerated because it is a link between language and cognition. This paper will examine the relationship between cognitive and language development in the baby's life. It will also look at how children develop from birth to age five.
- Does concept and categories help children learn a language?
- Between word production and comprehension, which stage comes first.
- Does language facilitate cognition?
- Does babbling have an impact on language development?
- When do children control their pronunciation?
Research is still ongoing to understand how the language is organized in the cortex. Studies show that the right brain hemisphere is the one responsible for language processing. Also, the right brain hemisphere takes the responsibilities of the left hemisphere to incase there is a damage of the brain below age five (2019). Brain has many areas involved in a language, such that, if one is damaged, another area takes over the responsibility of the damaged area. Children brain from concept through identifying the resemblances between experiences, and that is the work of categorization. Categorization is the quickest way of learning. Young infants create a store of categories because they can group objects together and then form a mental representation of those objects, that way, they can recognize those objects before they learn the right words for them. This stage is where infants begin to see the relationship between learning concepts and learning words.
Comprehension is the first stage of word learning, followed by word production. Word production comes second because the baby has to coordinate how to control jaws, tongue and vocal track. Child first task is to deal with when learning a language is to figure out what a word constitutes. Baby is susceptible to the sound and rhythm of the speech. Majority of infants between ten to thirteen months can produce sound ba, ma and da. They tend to understand more words than they can create (HOFF et al., 2011). Childs' first words are context-specific, and they adopt a referential strategy depending on their experiences. To learn faster, children need knowledge rather than action. For example, if you want them to learn the word swimming pool, mention the word frequently rather than taking them to swim.
The more the children grow, the more they can be able to remember. That means, for them to engage in conversation, they must be able to remember. Language is the means of encoding and recalling an experience. Newborns are strangely good at auditory and visual recognition. They are capable of recognizing the voice of their mother, suggesting that they have some innate mechanism (SIGURDARDOTTIR & VIK, 2010). Children foundation for academic thinking develops before they go to school, mostly when they are below six years. To develop a child learning ability, the guardian needs to understand the purposes of the language. The language that plays the most significant role in childhood development is that which directs them towards finding solutions by themselves. It is correct to conclude that children are responsible for their learning, and they must acquire more identification skills and letter perception for them to become expert readers. Learning to write and read begins at the same time but in a different course.
Children are accustomed to the rhythms of their mother speech while they are still in the uterus; hence they tend to prefer mother voice more than the father voice (2019). They are born with the ability to acquire language, and they can differentiate between a human voice and other voices. Their earliest vocalization is babbling which serves as practice for later speech.
Girls learn words before boys. At the age of eighteen months to two years, girl child vocabulary expands rapidly. The words they learn at that age closely resemble adult pronunciation. From age two, the children begin to develop a sense of themselves and then separate from their parents. After that period, they can express their emotions without being able to control them. At age three, children can convey complex thoughts and combine words into a longer sentence. It is at this age they gain control of pronunciation. Finally, at age four to five, bilingual children acquire their two languages (HOFF et al., 2011). To have bilingual abilities, it essential for the child to evaluate both languages.
Supporting Language Development
Preschool children can be encouraged in language development through singing, engaging them in learning activities and providing them with appropriate learning materials. A song is a particular type of speech and singing to babies before they learn to speak an essential precursor to later emotional wellbeing and education success (SIGURDARDOTTIR & VIK, 2010). Learning activities, e.g., storytelling, provide children with a critical foundation for language growth, early learning and emergent literacy. Provision of learning material such as toys supports young children language learning and development. Children familiarity with toys links them to expressive and receptive early reading abilities.
Children brains are plastic before they attend school; during this time, environmental experiences have an incredible impact on their lifetime learning ability. It is during this age when children have an opportunity to acquire a native language. Language develops from the cognition perspective that occurs between birth and age five. Children who are more proficient with the mechanics of communication can acquire the social aspect of language. These skills are essential for their success in school and in social life.
HOFF, E., CORE, C., PLACE, S., RUMICHE, R., SENOR, M. and PARRA, M. (2011). Dual language exposure and early bilingual development. Journal of Child Language, 39(1), pp.1-27.
SIGURDARDOTTIR, S., & VIK, T. (2010). Speech, expressive language, and verbal cognition of preschool children with cerebral palsy in Iceland. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 53(1), 74-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2010. 03790.x
(2019). Retrieved 12 December 2019, from https://www.uni-bamberg.de/fileadmin/uni/fakultaeten/ppp_lehrstuehle/psychologie_1/Publikationen_Poster/Ebertetal2013_SESI_postprint.pdf
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