Early Childhood Language Skills

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Early Childhood

Language Skills
At 18 months, the virtual child had over 50 words at her command that she was able to use to make two-word sentences such as “Mama up” and “Doggie outside.” In their effort to further encourage the child’s development of her language skills, the parents applied B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory (Berk, 2012). They would respond, using slightly longer sentences such as “Yes, the doggie is outside” before introducing descriptive and useful new words. The parents would encourage imitation and respond with positive reinforcement, which would further enthuse the child to develop her language skills (Berk, 2012). When the child was 2 years old, the parents would converse with the child at any given opportunity and would read books of her choice which further influenced her language development. Research has found that when mothers are more responsive during the first few years of a child’s life enable their children to achieve language development milestones at an earlier stage than children whose mothers were less responsive (Leigh, Nathans & Nievar, 2011). The mother had a more influential role in the virtual child’s language development as she would allow the child to explore the surrounding environment through daily walks and teach the child new words as they did. It was due to parental involvement and an encouraging, safe environment, the virtual child developed her language skills not only due to influence but to a desire to learn new
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