BBC HomeExplore the BBC


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC - CBeebies Grown-ups

Oops!

We can't find your page!

Did you type the URL?

You may have typed the address (URL) incorrectly. Please check to make sure you've got the right spelling, capitalisation etc.

Did you follow a link from somewhere else on a CBeebies website?

We may have a missing page, please use our contact us form to let us know, and we will correct our mistake.

Did you follow a link from another site?

Links from other sites can sometimes be outdated or misspelled, especially as we have re-organised our site. Please visit our home page or use the menu bars above to find the page that you are looking for.


BBC - CBeebies Grown-ups

Oops!

We can't find your page!

Did you type the URL?

You may have typed the address (URL) incorrectly. Please check to make sure you've got the right spelling, capitalisation etc.

Did you follow a link from somewhere else on a CBeebies website?

We may have a missing page, please use our contact us form to let us know, and we will correct our mistake.

Did you follow a link from another site?

Links from other sites can sometimes be outdated or misspelled, especially as we have re-organised our site. Please visit our home page or use the menu bars above to find the page that you are looking for.

BBC - CBeebies Grown-ups

Oops!

We can't find your page!

Did you type the URL?

You may have typed the address (URL) incorrectly. Please check to make sure you've got the right spelling, capitalisation etc.

Did you follow a link from somewhere else on a CBeebies website?

We may have a missing page, please use our contact us form to let us know, and we will correct our mistake.

Did you follow a link from another site?

Links from other sites can sometimes be outdated or misspelled, especially as we have re-organised our site. Please visit our home page or use the menu bars above to find the page that you are looking for.


Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Page 3 of 6NextPrevious

Language Development

by Hannah Mortimer, Educational and Child Psychologist

Average user rating 3 out of 5

Abbreviations, Pronouns and Conjunctions

You can then begin to hear your child use 'he' and 'she' in their talking and to begin to add auxiliary verbs such as 'I am walking'. Abbreviated forms of 'it is' or 'that is' follow; 'That's a book!' and then they become able to shorten auxiliary verbs too; 'I'm singing'. About this stage, sentences become more long and complex, with short phrases linked together by words such as 'when', 'and', 'but' and 'because'. Suddenly full-scale discussions with your child become possible.

You may be interested to know that some researchers believe that we are born with a 'language acquisition device' in our brains which is specialised for the job of acquiring language. Other researchers believe that Language Development depends on the stage of understanding and reasoning which a child has reached. In other words, language depends on the development of thinking skills, rather than vice-versa.

Parental Response is Vital

children sitting with parentsEven a very young baby can be seen 'turn-taking' with a parent.

It seems that social interaction must play a large part in helping children develop language. Even a very young baby can be seen 'turn-taking' with a parent when their earliest vocalisations are echoed back to them as they pause to listen; could these be the very first 'conversations'? Even for the three to five-year-old, it will be how we respond to what they are saying which helps them ascribe meaning to those words.

For example, if they say that they 'hate' somebody, and we react quite strongly (even though they were just playing with a word which had particularly impressed them), then we have taught them the strength of that word. With every utterance and how it is responded to, comes a greater understanding of the worth and usefulness of that word.

If this is so, then how parents speak to children will be extremely important. We tend to emphasise key words, to slow our speech down, to repeat phrases if the child has not understood, to add gestures and expressions to help meaning, and, some would argue, to provide a 'scaffold' to help our children learn language.

Print-friendly version



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy