Language and Communication Skills

2017 Words9 Pages

All humans are born with a need to communicate. Language is the tool which allows them to do this. It begins very simply with crying sounds used to tell the parents how they are feeling and builds up quickly, by the age of 5 they can usually use a huge rane of words, put together in complex sentences to describe, question, discuss, express feelings etc.

Language has to be learnt. All babies babble in some way, even deaf babies. Language development begins at birth – a new mothers first reaction when holding her baby is to hold her close to her chest and look directly into her face and talk to her. This is the surest way to give her baby the best start.

The development of oral language is one of the child’s most natural
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When a child uses their finger to point at something they are commonly making an assertion (“There’s my”), and when a child uses an open hand this is usually a request (“Can I have?”). According to Greenfield and Smith (1976), Bates (1976) and Lock (1980), the child learns ‘speech acts’ at the gestural stage. The child will also learn that intentions such as (assertions, requests, commands, etc) can be conveyed as signals and use non-verbal vocalisations to then communicate a message (a child’s whimper and a pointing finger at a cookie = “I want that cookie”). Lock hypothosised that the combinations of preverbal vocalisations and gestures prefigure the coming messages in simple one and two word sentences. As the child’s vocabulary develops, the vocalisations accompanying the gestures are increasingly verbal until the child’s language is sufficiently sophisticated to perform speech acts through speech alone. Though we should not forget that gestures remain an important part of human communication ar all stages of development, to prove this just watch the hands of any adult giving road directions.

The child’s cries and other preverbal vocalisations are among the most obvious early communicative acts: parents are usually able to distinguish between cries of hunger, pain, tiredness etc. In about the
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