Chapter 2 Oral Language Development

Chapter 2
Oral Language Development
Some researchers have
concluded that children’s
language and early literacy
development begins long before
children enter Kindergarten.
Early Language
Children begin to hear the sounds of language at about 24 weeks in
Children recognize and prefer the sounds of their native tongue(s) at
Universal Linguists - children are able to hear and make all the
sounds of all the world languages until about 6-7 months when they
become culture-bound language specialists.
If children hear multiple languages in their home/school, they will
become multi-lingual.
Birth to 3 Months
Majority of communication consists of crying, as larynx has
not yet descended
Turns head to the direction of family and caregivers voices
Is startled by loud or surprising sounds
By 6-12 Months
Attends to pictures
Recognizes familiar objects
Turn pages with help
Pats pictures
Prefers pictures to faces
6-12 Months
Vocalization with intonation
Begins to say and repeat word-like sounds called
Exhibits vocables, conversation-like tones and
behaviors, such as turn-taking, eye contact, and
recognizable gestures.
Uses holophrastic words, where one word carried
the semantic burden for a whole sentence or
Between 12-18 Months
• First words emerge (10-14 months)
• Carries and holds books
• Turns pages
• Points to and names objects
• Learns that words have meaning
• Correct book orientation
• ASKS for read alouds
12 to 18 Months
Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or
physical cues are given
Is aware of the social value of speech
Has the ability to relate new words to preexisting
internalized concepts, then remember and use them after
only one exposure (fast mapping).
Uses two- and three-word sentences that contain only the
most necessary of words to convey meaning (telegraphic
Between 12-18 Months
First words emerge (10-14 months)
Carries and holds books
Turn pages
Points to and names objects
Learns that words have meaning
Correct book orientation
ASKS and read aloud
18-24 Months
• 20-100 words at 18 months
• Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
• Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
• Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
• Much jargon with emotional content
• Is able to follow simple commands
• “Reads” aloud
• Recites familiar passages
• Learns that print is symbolic
• Attention span fluctuates
• Begins to scribble
18 to 36 months
Vocabulary will grow from 5–300 words, initially nouns
Is able to follow simple commands
Creates short sentence—largely noun-verb combinations
Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be
Rhythm, fluency often poor and volume, pitch of voice not
yet well controlled
Can use pronouns such as I, me, you, my and mine
34-36 Months
• Approximately 300 words at 24 months
• Idea of plot emerges
• Learns to turn paper pages
• Searches for favorite pictures
• "Reads" to self
• Coordinates text with picture
• Recites phrases and may recite stories
3-4 Years
• Plot becomes more
• important (age 4)
• Still enjoys same books repeatedly
• Listens to longer books
• Retells familiar stories
• Tracks text
• “Writes name
• Learns letter recognition
• Turns pages one at a time
• Spontaneously produces rhymes
3-4 Years Continued
• Interested in print on signs or labels and.
• May recognize several books by their
covers and know their titles,
• Understands books are read from front to
back, from left to right and by looking at
the print rather than just the pictures.
• May understand that one can use writing for
• May learn to recognize some letters and
4-5 Years
Read Aloud
• Continues broadening skills acquired in the 3-4
year old stage
Print Awareness
• Continue to make progress in differentiating,
identifying and reproducing letters.
Writing and Spelling
• Learn to write their own names (usually 1st
word children learn to spell), type and to mix
scribble, some letters, and drawing in "writing"
notes and stories
• Between ages 4-7, begin trying to spell words
they hear and say
4-5 Years Continued
Expressive Vocabulary
• 1500 words at 4 years of age
• 2500 words at 5 years of age
Narrative Development
Unfocused chains develop
• Identifies rhymes
Phonological/Phonemic Awareness
• Segments syllables
• Counts syllables in words
Oral Language
• is the foundation for literacy development.
• involves speaking and listening.
• is essential for children to gain knowledge about the world
Importance of Oral Language
• Children who develop strong oral language skills during the preschool years
create an important foundation for their later achievements in reading,
especially reading comprehension (Storch & Whitehurst, 2002).
• Children who lag behind their peers in language development are at-risk for
later reading difficulties (Catts, Fey, Tomblin, & Zhang, 2002).
• Vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to reading proficiency and overall
academic success (Beck, McKeown,& Kucan, 2002)
Stages in Language Development
Birth to 1 year:
• First few months - babbling and cooing
• 8 months - repeated consonant and vowel sounds (i.e., da, da, or ma, ma)
• 8-12 months - first words spoken (i.e., Mommy)
From 1 to 2 years:
• One word utterances
• Use telegraphic speech
From 2 to 3 years:
• Continue to use telegraphic speech
• Sometimes use functional words
Stages in Language Development
From 3 to 4 years:
• Syntactic structures added include plurals and regular verbs
• Apply basic rules that govern language
• Talk about what they are doing while they are doing the activity
From 5 to 6 years:
• Their talk sounds like adult talk
• Knows that a word can have more than one meaning
• Creative in using language
Five Components of Oral Language
• Semantics- the shades of meaning that words convey
• Syntax (grammar)-the rules of ordering words into sentences
• Morphology-the meaning-bearing units of language, including words and affixes
• Phonology-the sounds that make up a language
• Pragmatics-the social rules that enable language to accomplish real-life purposes
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