Chapter 2: An Overview of Communication Development Chapter

Chapter 2: An Overview of Communication Development
Chapter Summary
Communicative competence refers to the understandings and abilities that speakers of a
language must possess and use in order to communicate effectively in that language. Children acquire
communicative competence at two main levels--linguistics and pragmatic. Linguistic aspects include
phonological competence, grammatical competence, and discourse competence and are related directly
to the nature and structure of language. Pragmatic aspects of communicative competence include
functional competence, sociolinguistic competence, interactional competence, and cultural competence
and relate to the social contexts in which we use language. Communicative competence develops along
a fairly predictable trajectory across the life span, with children reaching major milestones in roughly the
same order and at roughly the same ages across cultures. Communicative competence is constructed on
some innately given abilities and early foundations and continues to develop throughout toddlerhood, the
preschool years, the school-age years, and into adulthood.
Chapter Focus Questions
What is communicative competence?
What is the foundation for communicative competence?
What are the major communicative milestones in infancy and toddlerhood?
What are major communicative milestones in preschool and school-age children?
Chapter Key Terms
Alphabet knowledge, p. 70
Communicative performance, p. 37
Jargon, p. 51
Lexicon, p. 52
Mean Length of Utterance (MLU), p. 56
Overextension, p. 58
Phonological processes, p. 41
Print awareness, p. 68
Underextension, p. 58
Communicative competence, p. 37
Intentional communication, p. 46
Joint attention, p. 45
Literate language, p. 74
Oral language, p. 68
Phonological awareness, p. 68
Phonotactics, p. 47
Register, p. 44
Vocabulary spurt, p. 58
Chapter Overview/Presentation Outline
 Present Slide 2.2 and discuss the four focus questions.
 Present slide 2.3 and explain that before we discuss various types of communication
disorders, it is important to understand how language develops in typical populations.
Discuss what we mean by “typical” as it relates to people around the world’s
 Present the cases and questions from the text and eText on slides 2.4-2.5, allowing class
to provide answers to questions about each case. Also, refer back to these cases as
needed for examples throughout the remainder of the chapter’s lecture.
A. Definition
 Present slide 2.6 and analyze the quoted definition piece by piece for important
 Present slide 2.7 and review the four processes involved in communication. Present
the two main aspects of communicative competence, without providing detail about
each of the subgroups.
B. Aspects of Communicative Competence
a. Linguistic Aspects of Communicative Competence
 Present slide 2.8 to introduce the linguistic aspects of communicative
competence- to be covered on the following slides.
i. Phonological Competence
 Present slides 2.9 and 2.10 and discuss the following: the definition
of phonological competence, the definition of phoneme, any innate
aspects of phonological competence, the idea of comprehension
preceding production, and phonological processes.
ii. Grammatical Competence
 Present slide 2.11 and give definitions of grammatical competence.
Then, using the example “Jim is hitting Bob,” discuss the ages of
comprehension for syntax (the actor and recipient of the action) and
morphology (/ing/ morpheme).
iii. Lexical Competence
 Present slide 2.12 and give definition of lexical competence as well
as the important ages associated with this aspect.
iv. Discourse Competence
 Present slide 2.13 and give the definition of discourse competence, a
common example of a lack of this aspect of communicative
competence, and explain why the unit of analysis is different.
b. Pragmatic Aspects of Communicative Competence
 Present slide 2.14 to introduce the pragmatic aspects of communicative
competence—to be covered on the following slides.
i. Functional Competence
 Present slide 2.15 and give the definition of functional competence.
Review the three basic purposes for communication from Chapter 1.
ii. Sociolinguistic Competence
 Present slide 2.16 and give the definitions for both sociolinguistic
competence and speech register. Discuss some possible situations
in which one would use informal and formal speech registers.
iii. Interactional Competence
 Present slide 2.17 and give the definition for interactional
competence. Discuss how the standards for this aspect vary
between cultures using the example about Japan from the textbook.
iv. Cultural Competence
 Present slide 2.18 and give the definition for cultural competence.
Discuss the complex understandings of one’s own culture one must
have in order to display competence in this aspect.
 Present slide 2.19 and discuss that the following foundations are very important for the
development of communicative competence and then outline the four foundations without
A. Joint Reference and Attention
 Present slide 2.20 and discuss the development of joint attention (giving a
definition) across the three phases. Also discuss how joint attention leads to
intentional communication.
a. Phase One: Birth To 6 Months
b. Phase Two: 6 Months To 1 Year
c. Phase Three: 1 Year And Beyond
B. Rituals of Infancy
 Present slide 2.21 and discuss an infant’s daily routines and how they provide
opportunities for joint attention, citing examples. Define and explain
C. Caregiver Responsiveness
Present slide 2.22 and define. Describe the aspects of caregiver responsiveness
listed, clarifying each one.
i. Waiting And Listening
ii. Following The Child’s Lead
iii. Joining In And Playing
iv. Being Face-To-Face
 Present slide 2.23 and discuss the concepts of milestones and how they do not vary
significantly across the world—also list the five main developmental periods as an
introduction to the following slides.
A. Infancy
B. Stages of Vocal Development
 Present slide 2.24 and explain in detail each of the five stages of vocal
development as well as the approximate ages at which they occur.
i. Reflexive Stage
ii. Control of Phonation
iii. Expansion
iv. Basic Canonical Syllables
v. Advanced Forms
a. Emergence of Intentionality
 Present slide 2.25 and discuss preintentional versus intentional
communication and the indicators of intentional communication.
b. Transition to Symbolic Representations
 Present slide 2.26 and discuss the arbitrariness of words, the
components of “lexical entries,” and the transition to different kinds of
 Present slide 2.27 and give the approximate age of the first word as well
as the three components that make a word a “true” word.
C. Toddlerhood
a. Achievements in Form
 Present slide 2.28 and discuss the listed achievements in form as well as the
definition of MLU and what it is used for
b. Achievements in Content
 Present slide 2.29 and discuss the listed achievements in content. Discuss
the importance and timing of the vocabulary spurt, and define both
underextension and overextension.
c. Achievements in Use
 Present slide 2.30 and explain the toddler’s achievements in the use of a
variety of language functions, but lack of skills in conversation.
d. Achievements in Speech
 Present slide 2.31 and define expressive phonology and phonological
representation and discuss the attainment of specific phonemes (and the
order of acquisition) and phonological processes (giving examples of each of
those listed).
i. Attainment of Specific Phonemes
ii. Phonological Processes
a. Final Consonant Deletion
b. Reduplication
c. Consonant Harmony
d. Weak Syllable Deletion
e. Diminutization
f. Cluster Reduction
g. Liquid Gliding
 Present slide 2.32 to introduce this section.
A. Preschool Accomplishments
a. Achievements in Form
 Present slide 2.33 and discuss the listed achievements in form
i. Uncontractible Copula
ii. Contractible Copula
iii. Uncontractible Auxiliary
iv. Contractible Auxiliary
b. Achievements in Content
 Present slide 2.34 and discuss lexical development (with a definition of fast
mapping) and decontextualized language (a definition and its importance).
i. The Lexicon
ii. Decontextualized Language Skills
c. Achievements in Use
 Present slide 2.35 and discuss the new additional functions of language-- the
child’s increased conversation skills, and the narrative as it relates to
decontextualized language.
d. Achievements in Speech
 Present slide 2.36 and discuss both phoneme mastery and phonological process
suppression, as well as some factors that can impact speech development.
e. Achievements in Emergent Literacy
 Present slide 2.37 and 2.38 and give a definition of emergent literacy. Discuss
oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness and alphabet
i. Oral Language
ii. Phonological Awareness
iii. Print Awareness
iv. Alphabet Knowledge
B. School-Age Accomplishments
a. Functional Flexibility
 Present slide 2.39 and discuss the even larger variety of language functions
school-age children use and how each is important for success in the classroom.
b. Reading and Writing
 Present slide 2.40 and discuss the alphabetic principle and Chall’s five stages of
learning to read.
i. Initial Reading, or Decoding, Stage
ii. Confirmation, Fluency, and Ungluing From Print
iii. Reading to Learn the New – A First Step
iv. Multiple Viewpoints – High School
v. Construction and Reconstruction – A World View
c. Literate Language
 Present slide 2.41 and discuss the general characteristic of literate language as
well as the specific features.
i. Elaborated Noun Phrases
ii. Adverbs
iii. Conjunctions
iv. Metacognitive And Metalinguistic Verbs
d. Form and Content Refinements
 Present slide 2.42 and discuss the listed refinements. Provide detail about
development in content.
i. Form Refinements
ii. Content Refinements
Chapter Discussion Questions
1. Think about the infant-directed speech that you have heard others use. How does infant-directed
speech differ from the speech you use with your friends?
2. Consider the case of La’Kori in the video in eText. What evidence suggests that he is having
difficulty in the area of lexical competence?
3. Explain why it is so difficult to learn to speak a new language without an accent in light of what
you now know about phonological competence.
4. Consider the case of Delilah in Case Study 2.1. Shat evidence suggests that she is having
difficulty in the area of lexical competence?
5. Throughout this chapter, you have read that comprehension precedes production in several areas
of communicative competence. What are some ways to test whether a child comprehends a word
that he or she is not yet producing?
6. What are some rituals from infancy that you think would be particularly important to support early
language and communication development?
7. As you watch these two videos in eText of infants at different stages of vocal development,
identify and compare where each child is in relation to his or her vocal development: Video 1
depicts a 3-month-old boy and video 2 depicts a 12-month-old girl. Are these stages appropriate
and typical give the ages of the children? Why or why not?
8. In these two videos in eText, you will see toddlers at different stages of development and
expressive phonology: video 1 depicts and 18-month-old boy and video 2 depicts a 24-month-old
girl. Identify which phonological process each child is using. Are these processes exhibited
developmentally appropriate give their ages? Why or why not?
9. What are some factors that contribute to a sound being acquired earlier than other sounds? For
instance, children master /b/ long before they master /r/ in English. What are some possible
explanations for this?
10. In theses two videos in eText, you will see two preschool-aged children at different stages of
development: video 1 depicts a three-year-old boy and video 2 depicts a four-year-old girl. As you
watch the videos, try to identify their respective achievements in form, content, and use.
11. Children of lower socioeconomic status generally have a more difficult time producing
decontextualized language. What do you think this is?
12. How good are your phoneme segmentation skills? Say the following words aloud and identify how
many sounds (not letters!) are in each: nothing, wheat, elephant, ostrich, fantastic. (Answers: 5,
3, 7, 6, 9)
13. Using what you know about Delilah in Case Study 2.1, do you predict that she would also exhibit
difficulties with reading comprehension? Why or why not?
14. In these two videos in eText, you will see two school-aged children: video 1 depicts a five-yearold girl and video 2 depicts a seven-year-old boy. As you watch the videos, identify specific
features of literate language that the children use in discourse.
15. Describe in writing what you did last night. Document the use of literate language features in this
written sample. Which features occur most frequently? Least frequently?
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