Language Development Overheads
- Webster: Language is a system of verbal and nonverbal
symbols and sequences of symbols developed for the purpose of communication about
- A subset of communication, which also covers gestures
and paralanguage, such as crying and laughing.
- Seen to occur in animals.
- A verbal code (spoken symbols) used to express language.
- Uniquely human.
- Only one of many possible representations of language.
- Requires coordination of respiration, phonation, resonance,
Functions of Language
- Interpersonal communication
- Vehicle for thought, via e.g., mediation, including
labeling and classifying.
- Transmission of human culture.
Elements of Language
- Inner language (language of thought)
- predates expressive and receptive language
- provides integrating or processing component
- Receptive language (decoding)
- vehicle for comprehension
- prerequisite for expressive language
- Expressive language (encoding)
Development of Language Skills
- Receptive processes
- Reading(including word recognition and analysis, and comprehension)
- Expressive processes
- Writing (including handwriting, spelling, and written
Rules of Language
- Phonology: The system of sounds in language
- Morphology: units of meaning in language
- Syntax: Rules for language.
- Semantics: Extracting meaning from language
- Pragmatics: Use of language in social contexts
Theories of Language
- "Learned"Theory (Skinner)
- Language is essentially "verbal behavior"
- Language is acquired as child emits "operants"
which are reinforced and shaped into language.
- Nativist Theory (Chomsky)
- Humans have native ability to process and produce language
- Language Acquisition Device, construct rules
- Language is an outgrowth of thought (last substage of
- language encodes a childs existing knowledge
- language develops from the desire to socialize
- extends existing communicative functions
- Consider four theoretical perspectives:
- learned, nativist, cognitive, social
- Which perspective explains language acquisition through
facilitated communication? What assumptions are made by FC about language development?
- Year One
- reflexive crying, vegetative sounds, to random vocalizations
to signaling needs
- discriminate sounds, cooing, babbling, echolalia, receptive
- Year Two
- first words, multiple functions, holophrases
- 400-wd. vocabulary, telegraphic speech
- Third and fourth years
- increasing mastery of sentence structure
- 1,000 wd vocabulary by age 4
- Later childhood
- basic rules of grammar by 5
- 5-6: early interest in books, literacy
- language for formal and informal situations
- Developmental comparisons
- e.g., MLU, word combinations
- Language Features
- problems with semantics, phonology, syntax, morphology, or
- Classification based on Etiology or Characteristics
- Level I: Severe
- A. Absense of language
- B. Nonspontaneous acquisition
- C. Severe delay/distortion
- Level II: Mild-Moderate
- A. Oral language delay
- B. Oral language disorders
- C. Written language disorders
Severe Language Disabilities
- Brain pathology: mental retardation, emotional problems, CP,
early brain injury
- Hearing loss: severity, onset, other disabilities
- Intellectual/cognitive factors
- Social factors
Severe Language Disabilities 2
- Competing behaviors
- Crying and tantrums
- Aggressive behaviors
- self-stimulation (stereotypy)
- self-injurious behaviors
- Bizarre language patterns
- mutism, selective mutism,
- echolalia, pronominal reversal
Mild-Moderate Language Disabilities
- Acuity (e.g., hearing loss)
- Attention deficits
- phonological (auditory) discrimination
- syntactical discrimination
- semantic variables (e.g., vocabulary, meanings)
- "automatic receptive processing"
Mild-Moderate Language Disabilities 2
- Production (speech, written expression)
- Intention (desire to communicate)
- Semantic expression (pragmatics, word-finding)
- Syntax and morphology (syntactic vs. linguistic differences)
- Phonological production (includingdysarthria, apraxia,
- Automatic expressive processing
- Service models:
- self-contained class
- one-to-one with selected students (frequently articulation
- staff/curriculum/program development services
Language Development and Cultural Diversity
- Deficit position
- Language usage may help perpetuate lower- SES status
- Elaborated codes associated with wider range of
- Restricted codes associated with narrower range of
Language and Cultural Diversity
- Difference Position
- Dialect constitutes a separate, complete linguistic system
rather than a grammatically limited version of standard English.
- Uninformed, insensitive assessment can lead to a
- Differences between standard English and dialects are regular
- To promote educational success and limit failure.
- To maintain academic growth while students learn English.
- Teacher competencies
- Fluency in students language
- understanding of cultural differences
- understand structural differences
- Fair assessment
- valid tests, using native language
- use several instruments, MDT
Approaches to Bilingual Education (Cummins,
- Submersion: English only
- Monolingual immersion: some support from students
language, teachers may not be bilingual, initial language literacy not encouraged
- Majority language immersion:teachers bilingual, modified
activities initial language literacy encouraged.
- Minority language immersion: heavy reliance on primary
language, less pressure to learn English quickly
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