Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

There are four main stages in language.

They are the:

Babbling.
Holophrastic or one-word stage.
Two-word stage.
Telegraphic stage.

Babbling Stage.

Babbling is the first stage of language acquisition occurs between birth and approximately 11 months of age.
This is when children start to recognize and produce sounds. The sounds children produce in the babbling stage
are universal. Children quickly learn which sounds attract the attention of their parents and which sounds are
positively reinforced and encouraged, which supports the behaviorism approach towards language, as children
here are simply learning and imitating what their parents want them to learn and reward them for this.
Children in the babbling stage lack all features of language except for phonology, where they can form
and recognize sounds/speech but could not use any of this information to form sentences or to define
words/understand what words mean.

One-word (Holophrastic) Stage.

One word stage The one word or holophrastic stage occurs between approximately 11 months of age and 1.5
years of age. By this point in time, children can produce a small number of isolated, single words and many
sounds. This is now more language specific rather than universal babbling. By this point in time, children know
which sounds and words get the attention of their parents (e.g. mama, dada, etc) and are again, positively
reinforced. Children will over-generalize to maximize the effectiveness of their communication, and might call
all four-legged animals a dog for example.

This early stage of the one word stage is definitely behaviorism Later though, when the child moves into the
more holophrastic part of this stage, it becomes more interactionism as the child starts using one word with the
most information/meaning to replace whole phrases or even sentences. They learn to associate one word with
multiple meanings, which generally isn't taught to them and it's just something they pick up from interacting
with adults around them. An example of this holophrastic use is 'milk'. By only using the word milk, the child
could mean multiple things such as 'I want milk', 'I spilled my milk', 'Where is the milk?', etc.

By this point, a child can use and understand many features of language. They understand phonology and can
distinguish between the different sounds they hear. Children here are developing a wider lexicon, and are well
on their way in understanding morphology and the different rules words have. While they may be in the
holophrastic stage, they are developing their syntax and semantic skills

Two-word Stage.

After a few months of producing one-word utterances, a child will begin to use two word utterances and
continue to do so until they are around the age of 2.5 years old. These two-word utterances are usually in the
form of noun-noun or noun-verb. Much of this is almost identical to one-word utterances, and so for awhile
there may be a large overlap in the way they use one-word utterances and two-word utterances. An example of a
two-word utterance (noun-verb) might be 'doggie bark', meaning the dog is barking. This stage only contains
content words (no function words or morphemes yet). A child's lexicon usually develops to around 50 words and
then takes a dramatic leap forward and is sometimes commonly called the 'word spurt' or the 'naming explosion'.

This is definitely interactionism, and somewhat nativism in the way that they definitely aren't taught how to
structure their phrases, but know how to thanks to what is known as the LAD (Language Acquisition Device),
which is located in the brain. The LAD is a language mechanism or process that is supposed to have the
function of being able to learn and process symbolic nature easily.

The features of language are also very similar, the only change here though is that a child has a better
understanding of syntax and semantics. Children here still highly abbreviate words and still lack many of the
smaller grammatical words and endings of English such as 'the, of, -s' etc. as well as '-s possessive'. They are
beginning to develop an understanding of the different rules some words possess, how to use these words, etc.
They're developing an understanding of how to categorize words they hear from adults. Children at this stage
don't necessarily need to be taught something, but instead can develop their own sense of meaning when it
comes to words that they may have never heard before. If a child is offered something like lemonade, they may
not know what lemonade is, but from the question they will understand that lemonade is a food, and then
associate the taste of lemonade with that word. The word ordering a child uses at this stage is the same as an
adults grammar.
Telegraphic Stage.

The telegraphic stage is the last stage of language before a child can speak fluently and begins roughly around
2.5 years of age and onward indefinitely until a child has fluent language skills. As Stilwell Pecci (1999:29)
points out, "There is no three-word stage as such. What follows is a period of two to three years of astonishing
progress on a variety of fronts." Children at this stage progress very quickly and develop language at a much
faster rate now that they have grasped the very essentials of language.

During this stage, children seem to have a much better understanding of syntax and semantics. Over the course
of this stage (more specifically after the age of two), children often expand their lexicon by as many as ten to
twelve new words a day, most of which are new social interaction words such as yes, no, please, by, etc. to discover
these new words, many children at this age ask a large amount of questions typically beginning with 'wh', such
as 'who, where, what' etc. and in a sentence they may look like 'Where Mummy? What that? etc'. They tend to
develop a fairly good understand of what each individual word means and how to use it in a sentence. During
this stage, children do not appear to be making word order errors, but their sentences
are shortened dramatically. They generally follow the order of the subject, verb and object, such as 'doggie bark
me' might mean 'the dog barked at me'. The first inflection children learn is usually 'ing', followed by an
understanding of plurals and how plurals are formed as well as starting to develop exceptions. Simple
prepositions (i.e. in, on, etc) are generally learnt after this.

Children may have a lot of trouble in terms of phonology. They know the difference between sounds and can
distinguish between even the hardest sounds with ease, but they may not be able to physically pronounce them
yet. This is known as the 'Fis Phenomenon' (see the link below). Children in the telegraphic stage are still
lacking function words and morphemes and do not quite know how to use these in sentences, but when heard,
they can understand them and how they give a sentence meaning.

Age as a Factor for Learning Language.

Age is a huge factor that must be considered when learning language. A first language that is acquired in
adulthood might never be as fluent as language that is developed throughout childhood, and the same is similar
for a second language acquired in the late teens and onward. A person might be able to read and write this
second language fluently, but will almost always have problems with pronunciation. Second languages acquired
in childhood, however, can usually be spoken fluently along with the first language.

First Language:

A first language is obviously the easiest to learn, and most easy to learn from childhood onward. Once
adulthood is reached, language becomes much more difficult to learn as that person will forever have syntactic
errors in their speech and they will more often than not be stuck in the telegraphic stage forever. Both parties
want to use language to communicate with others, and they start in an almost identical way. A child isn't taught
language through structure, but more through their own self-corrections, however an adult is and they may
never fully develop their language skills in a way that allows them to become fluent.

Second Language:

A second language can be difficult or easy, depending on what age the learner is. A child will find a second
language much easier to learn than an adult simply because they develop the same features (semantics, syntax,
discourse, etc.) in both languages at roughly the same time, but also develop a wider lexicon and can produce
sounds in both languages with relative ease (eventually). An adult who wishes to learn a second language may
find it incredibly difficult as the language is structured and can't normally be developed on your own. They may
have syntax and semantic issues forever and will never normally be able to grasp the phonological features of
that language like a child can with ease.

Critical Period.
The critical period is a hypothetical construct time frame (usually three-ten years) that a child needs to learn
language for them to be able to speak it fluently. Upon reaching the critical period, children are still able to
learn a language's lexicon and basic grammar, but they will never be able to acquire the proper syntax to
structure sentences correctly. After this critical period is over, it will be nearly impossibly to complete full
sentences with the proper use of syntax. Language is very difficult to master after the critical and based on
research, the person who missed their critical period tends to be stuck in the telegraphic stage and will forever
struggle with most grammatical functions, therefore they will never truly be able to speak fluently.
How children learn a second language.
Children essentially learn a second language much like they learn their first language and will tend to pick it up
relatively quickly. Children that are raised bilingually tend to follow a similar path. A bilingual child will go
through three distinct stages.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3


A child's lexicon consists of As the child moves into two-word As the child's lexicon grows, one
words from both languages and utterances, words from both way it is filled out is by acquiring
the words are not usually languages may be used in the words in each language for the
translations of each other. same utterance, but the rate of same concept, but the
mixing languages decreases development
rapidly during the child's third of separate morphological,
year of life. syntactic and discourse
subsystems takes a little longer.
By this stage, usually in the
fourth year of a child's life, they
become aware that they speak
more than one language.

Children learn second languages in two different ways There's 'simultaneous bilingualism' and 'consecutive
bilingualism'.
Simultaneous bilingualism
In simultaneous bilingualism, children are normally exposed to both languages in their home environment (e.g
A father that speaks English and a mother who speaks French). From the beginning of this child's life, they are
exposed to two different languages and learn them simultaneously.
Consecutive bilingualism
In consecutive bilingualism, children are normally exposed to one language (usually one other than English) in
their home environment and learn the second one at kindergarten and school (English). A child that learns
consecutive bilingualism is generally much more advanced in their home language, but quickly catch up and
become 'even' when speaking both languages.

Pros & Cons for learning a second language as a child.


Pros: Cons:

 May actually improve cognitive  Commonly believed to be damaging to a


development. child's development.
 Helps children to realise that words  May cause confusion between languages,
themselves are arbitrary and different causing a child to mix languages.
looking words may have the same meaning.
 May aid in the learning of maths and
spelling.