Language and Speech Development
The cognitive development of a child takes numerous steps, and there are basic elements in the cognitive development. The language of an individual grows and develops together with the individual’s memory. Through the social interaction, a child develops language by imitating the caregiver’s sounds of speech (Bjorklund, 2012).
1) There has been a mistaken believe has always been that talents are inherited. To illustrate this argument, questions such as whether an athlete is excellent due to the presence of genes, have not been answered. Many people have disputed the argument that genes of an athlete can be inherited from the parents. It has been argued that even if the master artist has been born with the talent of painting, the only way it can be realized is through study and training. A musician is also sharpened by the hours spent rehearsing a song. The only way in which artistic or music skills are developed, shaped and refined is through massive practice or training (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
The example of an athlete being born with genes of athletics means that the potential of the child can only become fruitful if the child is given an opportunity to learn and practice the skills of the game. The foregoing statement seems to state that the human talents are inborn and made. The environment that a human being lives sharpens the person’s skills. Specific aspects of language are affected by the environment, while others are determined by the genetic arrangement (Bjorklund, 2012).
2) The acquisition of language by a child in the behaviorist interpretation states that children learn language through chaining. The interpretation emphasizes that a child needs to understand a situation to develop language but does not need to define. The principles of speech development that a child sticks to are acquired through a process of selective reinforcements. The nature of reinforcements is borrowed from the caregiver or the parent. A child makes close imitations to what the caregiver is mainly attached. The learning of the speech can be improved and subsequently made easy by the caregiver, leading the child to imitate (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
The aiding tool to the child’s learning is holding on to the reinforced form to an extent that the child repeats the entire sentence. The behaviorist interpretation emphasizes on performing an act more than knowing about its existence. The simplest form of the behaviorist interpretation is the echoic. This refers to any form of interpretation to the non-verbal stimulus attached to the word. An elaborate instance is when a parent pronounces the word “Milk” to a child. The imitation may be meaningless in the beginning the exercise, but the child gradually attaches the item with the word pronounced. With this behavior, the item is attached a meaning and the child’s language grows from one stage to the other. In one stage, the child moves from the echoic stage to the tact. The tact mainly means a verbal behavior used to identify something in a responding manner of understanding what the speaker explains. The correlation makes the child’s speech develop to a stage of understanding conversation (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
3) The development of the child’s language is linked to the development of the intellectual capacity. The child at these stages does not understand the relationship between the different people in the environment. The communication that is exchanged at this stage is done through perpetual abilities. The distinctions that the child makes from one object to another makes the child grow closer to clear communication. The child changes from perceptual communication to progressive communication capacity (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
The state of the child’s development of language can be illustrated by the following example. A child of three years I interacted with could pronounce some words but did not know their meanings. Two years later the child could distinguish real items and the meaning of different words. At the age of five, communication of the child had become sophisticated due to the growth of memory. The growth of the memory makes it easy for the child to identify items from different places and positions. The memory in this stage of the child is the short term memory, which is very vital in making speeches. Though, it is not fully developed its initial stages, a child creates a great change in the ability to communicate (Bjorklund, 2012).
4) The Brown’s theory of language development is restricted to different age groups with special observations of the child’s change of language. The theory states that children at the age of twelve to twenty nine months master sounds better. They familiarize themselves with different forms of sound speeches. The child in this stage is keen to master the parent’s speech.The caregivers of the child play a leading role in ensuring that children pronounce words correctly by insisting on repeating the correct sound. It essentially means the pronouncing adapted by a child in that stage may subsist to adulthood (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
The very first words of the child refer to things that appeal to the child. The child can not possibly criticize the kind of music played but the most important thing to the child is naming objects and people. At later stages, the understanding of the child’s words is not confined to the mother because the words are consistent with the adult meanings. The main advantage associated with monitoring of language development using stage approach, is based on the notion that at that stage a child adopts the traditional grammatical meaning of a word according to the care givers pronouncements. The main advantage is that language changes can be noted from one stage to the next. Another disadvantage is that, at this stage many children have nouns only in their language which can not fully measure the intellectual development (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
5) There are two main theoretical views which explain cognitive behavior. The two theories were developed by Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget. They define and explain early intellectual developments of a child. The theories are very specific in considering the implications relative to child language. Piaget has been considered as a child psychologist in United States. It is observed that his theory is part of the genetic epistemology. He devoted his time in understanding the human’s intellectual development. He made an in-depth elaboration of the hereditary and environmental factors towards cognitive growth (Bjorklund, 2012).
Piaget clearly understood how different creatures responded to different adaptations. He stated that, living things organize themselves in different environments depending on the nature of the adaptations. He explained this theory by using the assumption of cognitive acts, which assist children in adapting to new environments. The main elements which define Piaget’s theory are best summarized in four principles. These principles include: assimilation, accommodation schema and equilibrium. The four concepts are interrelated and they are understood as a whole. There are notable difficulties when a person understands one concept in isolation of others. For instance, one cannot possibly understand schema without understanding how the other concepts relate with schema (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
Schema can be understood as a concept whereby a child develops intellectually; hence, developing many schemata which are used in the interaction with the environment. In pigeats language, schemata are the computer file of the human brain. He compared it with the computer file whereby the new information is saved by the computer. In addition, he stated that it is the schemata that adults use to process and identify the information from different sources. If a person comes across something he/she saw before, it becomes easy to identify due to the functions of the schema. Assimilation helps in ensuring that new stimulus are added to the existing schema. The schema allows the organization of stimuli through the accommodation process. On the other hand, if the accommodation and assimilation reach a balance, then it is said that equilibrium has been reached, which is a point of cognitive peace (Bjorklund, 2012).
The second theory of cognitive development was developed by Vygotsky. The main difference between the theory developed by Piagets and Vygotsky is clearly seen whereby Vygotsky theory was to effect that the child’s knowledge is influenced by the interaction with the environment. On the contrary, Piaget’s theory, at the early stages of the child’s growth, the cognitive development is independent of environmental influences. The principle of environmental influence has been advocated for by Vygotsky but Piaget disagrees with that notion (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010).
Vygosky has a strong believe on the principle that children acquire their cognitive abilities through interactions with the present environment. The self-directed forces of the environment help the child in the process of intellectual development. The notion of cognitive development in the two theorists is greatly influenced by the places they grew up. Vyogotsky did not have a long reflection of life like Piaget and a comparison of their theories shows that their educational differences formed part of the main differences in their opinions. The two theorists investigated the same subject but their differences are overwhelming (Hulit, Howard & Fahey, 2010). However, there is a notable agreement in their explanation of cognitive development. Both theorists agree that there are different stages in which a child goes through before attaining full development of intellectual capability. They seem to state that the growth of a child is a process which must be understood from one step to another (Bjorklund, 2012).
There are two main categories of cognitive development theories. There are those who believe that cognitive development of an individual is independent from the environmental influences. On the hand, there are theorists who believe that child’s intellectual development is based on the environment. There is an agreement on the way, that different theorist explain the different stages that a child geos through in language development.
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