Communication and Speech Development

Communication and Speech Development

Communication and Speech Development – One of main components of human civilization is Language. Language is a means of communication. After birth, in every human being it starts to develop. Language development is one of important aspects of human development. Sometimes language development is called as communication and speech development.

Communication and speech development or Language development is the process of language learning, starting early in human life. In this process of language learning, children acquire the forms, meaning and uses of words and learn to pronounce them from the linguistic manner.

Components of language development:

There are four main components of language development. They are …..

i) Phonology

ii) Semantics

iii) Grammar

iv) Pragmatics

i) Phonology:-

Phonology refers to the rules about the structure and sequence of speech sound.

ii) Semantics:-

Semantics consist of vocabulary and how the concepts are expressed through words.

iii) Grammar:-

Grammar consists of two main parts. The first is Syntax and second is morphology. The first part, Syntax is the rules by which words are arranged into sentences. The second part, Morphology is the use of grammatical markers (Including tense, active or passive voice, person etc.).

iv) Pragmatics:-

Pragmatics refers to the rules for appropriate and effective communication. It includes three skills…

1) Using language for greeting.

2) Changing language, according to situation.

3) Following rules such as turn taking, staying at the topic.

Theory of Language development:

There are four main theories of language development. They are …

1) Behaviorist perspective theory.

2) Nativist linguistic theory.

3) Social Interactionist theory.

4) Cognitive theory of language development.

1) Behaviorist perspective theory:-

According to Behaviourist B.F Skinner, Language is acquired through Operent Conditioning, like any other behavior. When a child makes sounds, parents reinforce him/her with smile, hugs and speech. These type of parents reinforcement helps the child to acquire language. Skinner suggested that a child imitates the language of its parents or careers. An imitation can combine with reinforcement to promote language.

2) The Nativist linguistic theory:-

The Nativist linguistic theory of language development is propounded by linguistic Noam Chomsky. He proposed that all children have an innate Language Acquisition Device (LAD) in their brain. It is an inborn faculty for language acquisition. It is a universal grammar, a built in store house of rules that apply to all human languages. With the help of LAD, children learn the structure of language with only limited language exposure.

3) Social Interactionist theory:-

Interactionist theory of language development focuses on the interaction between the developing child and people around them. According to this theory children learn language due to their desire to communicate with others. So in this context, Language learning is the result of social interaction between children and people around them.

4) Cognitive theory of language development:-

Swiss Psychologist, Jean Piaget is a very well known name in this field of cognitive development. He was famous for his four stages of cognitive development for children, which include the development of language.

Language is one of the many human mental or cognitive activities. Many cognitivist believe that language emerges within the context of other general cognitive abilities like memory, attention and problem solving. It is a part of their broader intellectual development.

Piaget’s cognitive theory states that children’s language reflects the development of their logical thinking and reasoning skills in different stages with having a specific name and age reference.

There are four stages of piaget’s cognitive development theory. Each stage involves a different aspect of language development.

i) Sensory Motor Stage (Birth to 2 years):-

During the sensory motor stage, children’s language is “Egocentric”. Due to this reason they talk either for themselves or for the pleasure of associating anyone with the activity of the moment.

ii) Pre-Operational Stage (2 years to 7 years):-

Children are born with “Schemas”, which help them to assimilate information about the world. In this stage, children’s language makes rapid progress due to development of their mental “Schemas”. This help them quickly “accommodate” new words and situation.

iii) Concrete Operational Stage (7 years to 11 years):-

Children at this stage are able to group things in logical order and they develop a much more logical and reasonable language system. They begin to understand concepts of other people as well as convey their own ideas and views in this stage.

iv) Formal Operational Stage (11 years onwards):-

Children at this stage are able to use language fully. They can think and communicate like adult at this stage. They can express their ideas or concepts completely due to complete development of their language system in this stage. So this stage is sometimes called as the linguistic maturation stage.

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