Child Directed Speech Essay

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Child Directed Speech

What is Child Directed Speech? It is the theory of language development of young children aged between 1 year old and 4 years old. There are three key features in the development of child speech:


· Speak slower, clearer pronunciation

· More pauses, especially between phrases and sentences

· Higher pitch

· Exaggerated intonation and stress


· Simpler, more restricted vocabulary

· Diminutive forms (e.g. 'doggie')

· Concrete language, referring to objects in the child's immediate environment


· Simpler constructions

· Frequent use of imperatives

· High degree of repetition

· …show more content…

pointing to a picture.

2) Query: e.g. ask to identify picture.

3) Label: e.g. tell what object is.

4) Feedback: e.g. Repetition and reinforcement.

Repetition and reinforcement:

Skinner, B.F (1957), Behaviourist:

Suggests that parents should play on the role of: Stimulus> Reward.

However, its noted that all children pass through the stages of development, regardless of the types of reinforcement given. Also, there is a gap between performance (speaking) and competence (understanding). Finally, consistent application - create original sentences (not imitating - creating).


Noam Chomsky (1959 + 1965) }

} Biological Molecule.

Lennenberg }

Lennenberg's theory (L.A.D.) - Language Acquisition Device.

Linguistic Universals

· Deepstructure

· Surface Structure

However, there are criticisms behind this theory:

1) Suggests that language can only be learned by exposure to it - neglects interactive aspects.

2) Bard and Sachs (1977) - Jim - Son of deaf parents, - The parents used very little sign language to communicate with him, instead, exposed him to television and radio, to develop and understand language, however, very little language at all was developed until, he was sent to a speech therapist where a gradual progress of speech was accomplished.

So how is speech is developed?


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