The analysis of development in children has shown a time in which a child begins to learn to speak a language. The child actually begins by pronouncing some few words, though not perfectly until the pronunciation attains unto perfection. Experts and researchers in the field of childhood development have proven that language development commences even when the child is still in the foetal stage. The foetus is said to develop the ability to identify the speech of the mother. When a child is around four years old, the child is expected to distinguish sounds and even go as far as reading lips.
These experts have also observed that children have the mental capacity to analyze and distinguish speech sounds from almost all languages. Howbeit, this ability to distinguish speech sounds of all languages will suddenly disappear when the child is about ten months old. The child then starts learning only the native language. And so by the time the child is like three years old, the child must have learnt as much as approximately three thousand words.
Principles of language development
Sometimes it is amazing to know how infants learn language with ease and without attending any class. There have been various principles of theories on the reason that infants learn languages and how the learning occurs. One of such theories suggests that language is part of human beings. And that infants are also born with a language learning device to acquire, learn and process languages. It further says the infants have the capability to produce the language as soon as the necessary vocabulary are acquired. Another theory suggests that these infants learn languages by virtue of imitation.
Role of parents in language development
Experts in the early childhood development have also discovered that the parents play a major role in the language learning of the infants. The parents usually have a special or a stylish way of communicating with the children. This is usually referred to as the baby talk or the infant directed speech. This infant parent communication is a specialized way of talking. It is peculiar to infants. One thing that is worthy of note is the fact that this specialized way of talking is general among all infants and parents as well. For an instance, instead of asking a question such as “do you want to pass urine?”, you often hear parents ask “do you want to wee wee?”
This special way of communication between the child and the parents have been known and used to gain and secure the attention of the infants. In addition to this, it is a major tool in language development for the children. Experts are of the opinion that this baby talk style of communication allows the children to learn a language easier and faster than expected. As the children grow up, without knowing it, the parents get used to and adapt to the way of speaking of the children for communication to flow easily.