Language development is a journey for children where they learn differently in different ages. Children are unique; therefore, their ability to learning communication is different among children. Some children learn language early and faster while others take a more extended period to learn how to communicate. Language development begins at pregnancy, where the child begins to hear speech and sounds outside the mother's body (Papalia, 2015). The language development in children is also affected by environmental factors where the child is growing in. Children's language development is rapid when compared to grown-ups learning a new language. The paper discusses language development among children and the challenges they face during language development.
I have chosen the topic of language development in children to make various stakeholders, including parents and guardians, to understand how their children are able to learn and speak different languages. There are parents who get worried when their children face difficulties in learning a language; hence the research will make them understand how their children learn the language and the measures they need to take to help their children learn the language.
Language is a communication system that uses words and grammar to pass a message from one person to the other. Children learn the language of the people that take care of them by listening and repeating the words (Vukelich, Enz, Roskos, & Kristie, 2019). The language development in children begins by listening and understanding what the parents are talking about. Once the children understand the language that their parents are using, then they begin to repeating single words in response to the communication given by their parents and other people that live with the child. The words the child utters represent the feedback that the child was giving back to the caregiver.
The age of language development differs from one child to the other; there are children that are able to communicate at an early age of two years while others can even take five years to begin communicating (Papalia, 2015). There are steps that the children follow during language development. The steps begin by recognizing speech and sounds where the child begins to differentiate sound and speech from different people. The next step is where the child coos and laughs in response to what they hear or see. The child then begins to produce different speech sounds. The next step is where the child recognizes the sound patterns. The child then recognizes the phonemes of the native language.
There are various theories that describe language development, and they include the behavioral theory that states a language consists of verbal behaviors that the children learn through imitation. The theory argues that children imitate their parents, and in the long run, they begin to communicate. The theory argues that the children imitate all the actions for the people they live with (Papalia, 2015). The behavioral theory argues that the more the child practices speaking, the more the child becomes fluent in their language. Children that live on their own more time face challenges developing languages than the children that live in an environment with many people communicating. Parents need to consider the environment where their children spend most of their time.
Another theory in language development includes the nativist theory that argues that language development is biological and theory children will learn because they have the biological component that enables people to speak (McCauley, & Christiansen, 2019). The theory argues that children are pre-wired to learn language during birth; therefore, when they reach a certain age, they will be able to speak automatically. The children are pre-wired to the acquisition of the language from their mothers. The theory believes that the linguistic part of the children is activated rather than learning; the theory further argues that unless the children have mental limitations, then they are supposed to be able to communicate.
Other theories that give different perspectives on language development among the children the Semantic-Cognitive Theory that emphasizes on cognition and language learning. According to the theory, the cognitive ability of the child influences their ability to learn the language from the caregiver (Papalia, 2015). The theory argues that parents need to demonstrate to trigger the cognitive part of the child and understand the communication from the parent. The speed of children's ability to learn different languages is influenced by their cognitive ability; hence the parents need to understand the best way to teach their children language. The more the parent understand the development of their children, the more they will make the right decisions.
Language development is a continuous process that follows the deferent stages of language development. There are external factors that influence language development among children (Papalia, 2015). The factors include social interactions where the children interact with other children and learn from them. The more the children interact with their fellow children, the more they will learn from them. Parents are advised to allow their children to play with other children for them to learn from each other. Children have different strengths and capabilities; therefore, they need to learn from each other. The interactions also improve their cognitive abilities, where they can respond to different situations that they find themselves in.
Information processing is another development that occurs during growth and language development. Information processing entails the children getting information and deciding the action supposed to be taken depending on the information that the child receives (Firmansyah, 2018). The goal of communication is to pass information for processing. The information includes instructions that the children are supposed to respond to. Information processing is done where the child can know what they are supposed to do. Children are supposed to respond to different situations by making decisions that are in line with the information that they have received. The memory needs to take less time to process information and trigger a reaction.
Parents need to be concerned when they find their children have delays in their language development. Delays in language development are an indication that the child has mental challenges that are affecting language development (Levine, Strother-Garcia, Golinkoff, & Hirsh-Pasek, 2016). My future career in child development will help me understand the factors that affect the brain of the child and, in turn, affect their language development. I will be able to come up with solutions that can help children facing challenges with their language development. There are many parents living with children who have challenges in language development, and they are not aware, especially first-time mothers.
In conclusion, parents need to know about their children's language development process and come up with measures that can help their children gain language skills. The various language development stages need to be followed, and appropriate steps are taken to help the children. Parents have their role to play in the language development of their children. The children need to live in a good environment that supports their language development.
Vukelich, C., Enz, B., Roskos, K. A., & Kristie, J. (2019). Helping young children learn language and literacy: Birth through kindergarten.
Firmansyah, D. (2018). Analysis of Language Skills in Primary School Children (Study Development of Child Psychology of Language). primary-Journal of Primary Education, 2(1), 35-44.
McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1.
Levine, D., Strother-Garcia, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Language development in the first year of life: What deaf children might be missing before cochlear implantation? Otology & Neurotology, 37(2), e56-e62.
Papalia, D. E. (2015). Experience human development. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Experience-Human-Development-Diane-Papalia/dp/0077861841
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