Early Childhood and Literacy Essay

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Language Development in Young Children

Early Childhood and Literacy

Language is a physical link of a child to his outside world. Language acquisition is essential for a child's social, physical and cognitive development. It plays a vital role in developing an individual who would be able to express himself adequately to his family, friends and the world around him. A vast majority of the children can develop linguistic skills effortlessly, whereas some have difficulty in developing these essential skills. They are slow to learn a language and eventually struggle with academic and literacy skills throughout their educational career. The first few years of a child's life are important and critical for their performance.

This project examines the issues related to language development in first two years of a child's life. It also discusses the importance of the language and the role linguistics play in preparing a child for his academic career and life ahead. It discusses the features of environment in which a child can learn to talk, understand and communicate. The paper quotes certain studies related to the subject in question and devise ways by which language development can be improved.

Why Language development is critical for a young child?

The development of linguistic skills of a child and his academic career are directly related. So, language development is a critical phenomenon that needs to be addressed and unraveled. Research has shown that long before a child can turn sounds into words and recognize his alphabets, he must learn the fundamentals of human communication.

The language skills start to develop by the birth of an individual. They start with first parent-child communication and continue to progress and advance at an exponential rate. A multifaceted and complex syntax of vocabulary has developed, by the time a child is a preschooler. A bulk of research confirms the fact that the initial two years of a child's life are critical to his later literacy development.

Early childhood consultants have lain down, that a child who possesses better verbal capabilities is more likely to interact in a healthy manner with others. Language development and competence building are inter-related. An essential and critical component of school readiness for a child is to confirm that, he has adequate access to education and care that would eventually lay strong foundations for literacy and language.

Even before a child can learn to speak and communicate, the quality and the quantity of the language he hears, bear a significant impact on the development of his communicative skills. Unfortunately, the children who are facing multiple issues including poverty, low family income, unstable employment histories and low educational levels, are less likely to develop sufficient linguistic and literary skills. The deprivation and the absence of parental care and support, in the early life, can cause these children to enter kindergarten behind their more privileged peers. The children, who are more advantaged in terms of emotional and social skills, oral linguistic and communicative skills and behavioral regulative skills, develop vocabulary and literacy skills far more quickly than their less-fortunate peers. Therefore, the children lagging behind require a more individualized, concentrated attitude to intervention and towards primary verbal language and literacy provision. For these children, special welfare training centers have to be setup to provide them support and training. Traditional language developmental techniques to improve linguistics of a young child are given below:

Frequent contact of the child to rich language.

Caregivers, who would pay due attention to the children so as to give them confidence and polish their communicative skills.

Caregivers would read frequently to children so that they grasp and understand the information being conveyed to them. This practice was adopted so as to enhance the comprehensive capability of the children.

So, the issue of language development at a young age is quite clear. There is a strong association between the depicted 'language gap' by a child and his eventual incapability to grasp concepts at their school.


"Language is an organized system of symbols that has meaning and is used for interpersonal and intrapersonal communication (Byrne, 1978)" Byrne has clearly identified the importance of language and has highlighted the fact that "the development of language is tightly linked with both social interaction and learning to read" (CLLRNet, 2007).

"Language is inextricably entwined with our mental life: Our perceiving, our remembering, our attending, our comprehending, and our thinking.in short, all of our attempts to make sense of our experience in the world (Clark, 1991)." This supports the fact that the social and mental support is entwined to ensure the linguistic success of a child. A strong linguistic perception would strengthen the comprehensive and perceptive abilities of a child, making him an intelligent individual. Support, love and parental care are a pre-requisite for a child's mental development, which in turn would strengthen his linguistics. "Unfortunately, many children who are eventually labeled "unprepared" spent their early years in unresponsive care settings, missing out on the behaviors and language embedded in responsiveness that form the basis for social, emotional and language development (fund, 2007)." Studies have confirmed the fact that a deprived early life rusts the mental capabilities of a child. Highlighting the importance of parental attention, a child welfare organization, and the Ounce of Professional funds states:

"Early language development is dependent on the quality of the social interactions a child has with the important adults in his life. Social situations in which caregivers and infants share the same focus on an object or topic are referred to as episodes of joint attention (fund, 2007)"

"Children's acquisition of words and word meanings is a complex process (Knudtzon, 1997)" The language impairment can avoided if this complex task is efficiently executed by taking into account the essentials of child training. As discussed earlier the "language abilities will flourish under the right circumstances, which include a secure home that encourages verbal interaction (CLLRNet, 2007)." It is essential that the adults are sufficiently responsive, caring and attentive when communicating to their child. Only then would be the literary career of their child secure.


The parent's role in language and in turn the literacy development, the factor of emotions and the quality of language forms the bases of the discussion.

Parents' Parts in Literacy and Language Development:

The parents having multiple stressors in their families need specific help in realizing the joy of contributing in their children's language improvement. Skilled teachers can setup effective connections to involve parents to practice rudimentary communication skills. They need to focus on three principle things to involve their child i.e. notice, invite and comment. They need to notice the activity in which their child is specifically interested. They should comment on the activity or object of interest of their child. Parents should invite their child to engage in productive communication with them and should answer their questions to keep them engaged.

Language and Emotional and Social Development

The researches over the years have demonstrated that social and emotional factors have a direct impact upon the language development of a child. During the infancy of a child, responsive care can pave a smooth way to opportunities for verbal and non-verbal communication. As children pass through the set stages from infancy to the period of toddlerhood and then a preschool, they progressively use language for communal engagement. In good social surroundings, children signal for their partialities and get their needs fulfilled. As a preschooler, children start to self-regulate by gaining and an understanding of behavioral and emotional literateness and are adequately able convey their needs by their words.

The Importance of Quality:

The Quality of communication is as important as the sociology and psychology related to it. Thoughtful and responsive attention and care for a child below five is one of the most significant factors for improving the linguistics of a…[continue]

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