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Language Development and Linguistic Diversity

Kathryn Oswood, Linda Jodock, Star Miller

Personal Outcome
To understand how children learn language To investigate the positive and negative impacts of second-language learning To better serve students with language disorders


Biological Foundations
Language is predominantly associated with the left hemisphere of the brain.

Wernickes Area

Affects comprehension in speech that is heard and text that is read. Affects the production of language through speaking or writing.

Brocas Area

Individual differences in language ability are due to genetics. Critical Periods for Language Development

Lenneberg proposed that language must be acquired before adolescence.

Speed of Acquisition Relative to the Amount of Input for Language Development

Children acquire language with little intervention


Language Acquisition
Comprehension and production of language involves a variety of skills.

Speech Perception Speech Production and Phonological Development Lexical Development Semantic Development Grammatical and Syntactical Development Pragmatic Development Metalinguistic Development


Prelinguistic Development
Speech Perception


See Table 7.1 for vowel and consonant phonemes in English

Speech Production


Prelinguistic Development:
Speech Perception and Production

Phonological Impairment

Language Development: Deafness

Semantic Development
Referential Style

One-word utterances that refer to objects One-word expressions of emotion, feeling, and action Fast Mapping

Expressive Style

Vocabulary Growth

A child understands a word in one exposure A child understands a word after multiple exposures

Extended Mapping

Semantic Development

Semantic Development

Syntactic Development

Small units of language that convey meaning.

Unbound morphemes

Words that can stand alone Dog, fire, tractor Cannot stand alone Prefixes, suffixes

Bound morphemes


Mean Length of Utterance

The length of a childs utterances calculated in morphemes.

See Figure 7.2, page 196

Syntactic Development
Stage 1

Telegraphic Speech

Doggie run

Stage 2


goed instead of went

Stage 3

Use of negatives

I not eating

Stage 4 and 5

Compound and complex sentences and passive constructions

The teddy and the doll are going to play. You betternt do that.

Syntactic Development

Syntactic Development

Pragmatic Development
The ability to understand the perspective of others contributes to the ability to communicate with others in dialogue.

Pragmatic Development

Metalinguistic Awareness

Discrimination of syntactically correct sentences from incorrect ones

Understanding the nature of a word Awareness that words are composed of separable sounds Understanding that letters represent sounds

Metalexical / Metasemantic


Alphabetic Principle

Metalinguistic Awareness

Bilingualism and Cognitive Development

Nature and Effects on Bilinguals

Social Consequences of Education

Effective Classroom Practices

Cognitive Differences in Deaf and Hearing-Normal Individuals

Connection to Learning Theory: Stages versus Continuous Development

Connection to Learning Theory: Nature versus Nurture

Connection to Learning Theory: Lasting versus Transient

Lack of exposure to language of any kind, oral or sign, will negatively impact language development. Early exposure is essential.


Recommendations: Speech and Language Pathologist

Recommendations: ELL

Recommendations for Further Reading

http://www.rhsmpsychology.com/images /language_brain.jpg