Chapter 1
Language Theory and
Language Development

Language Disorders in Children
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
All righ...
Introduction



You can learn to be a clinical decision maker!
Let’s think about four possible children you might be wor...
Chapter Overview Questions











What are the differences between a language disorder, a language
difference, a...
Definitions








Language is a complex and dynamic system of conventional symbols
used for thought and language.
Sp...
Background Information


Children with speech and language disorders make up 1.79% of
the total school population.



La...
The Speech Chain Model
See Figure 1.1 on page 5





Level 1- the acoustic level of communicative function
Level 2 - th...
Theories of Language
Development









Behaviorism
Cognitive
Nativist
Neurobiological Research and Neural Matur...
Behaviorism Theory






Learning occurs when an environmental stimulus triggers a
response or behavior
Increasing the ...
Cognitive Theory








Jean Piaget
Sequence of progressively more sophisticated cognitive skills,
from primitive thi...
Nativist Theory









Noam Chomsky
Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
 Innate ability to learn language, a biolog...
Neurobiological Research and
Neural Maturation








An accumulating body of science
 Relationship between language...
Social Interaction Theory




Based on principle that communication interaction plays a
central role in children’s acqui...
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural
Theory






Cognitive development is socially mediated

A child’s interactions with others i...
Information-Processing
Theories (Connectionism)




An individual’s cognitive ability to process information is
complete...
Systems/Ecological Approach






An individual’s family, community, and culture shape his or her
functioning throughou...
The Domains of Language







See Figure 1.5 on page 24
Form
 Syntax
 Morphology
 Phonology
Content
 Sematics
Use...
The Components of Language










Morphology

The structure of words and the construction of word forms.
Syntax
...
The Five Communication
Subdomains

4.

Early Pragmatics
Vocabulary
Early Word Combinations
Morphosyntax

5.

Discourse

1....
Subdomain 1:

Early Pragmatic Skills
Prelinguistic communication
 Joint visual attention (JVA) - between 10 and 12 months...
Clinical Implications for
Communication Subdomain 1





Underlie all later communication
First aspect of communication...
Subdomain 2:

Vocabulary Development


Vocabulary development
Begins towards the end of the first year of life and
contin...
Clinical Implications for
Communication Subdomain 2






At early stages in vocabulary development, practitioners
cons...
Subdomain 3:

Multiple Word Combinations






Once an individual produces approximately 50 individual words,
word comb...
Clinical Implications for
Communication Subdomain 3






Once a child is able to demonstrate early pragmatic skills an...
Subdomain 4:

Morphosyntax Development








Children’s utterances begin to demonstrate characteristics of
syntax an...
Clinical Implications for
Communication Subdomain 4


Once an individual demonstrates the ability to use foundational
pra...
SUBDOMAIN 5:

Advanced Pragmatic &
Discourse Development






Between the ages of 3 and 7 children’s developing
pragma...
Clinical Implications for
Communication Subdomain 5




Skilled practitioners track children’s abilities to use vocabula...
Think Like a Clinician!
Use what you’ve learned in Chapter 1 to identify the
Subdomain of each student described below:
1....
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Ch 1 language theory and language development

  1. 1. Chapter 1 Language Theory and Language Development Language Disorders in Children © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Introduction   You can learn to be a clinical decision maker! Let’s think about four possible children you might be working with  A fourth grade student is having difficulty comprehending his reading especially in science and geography. He is very social and gets along well with his peers.  A sixth grade student who has been diagnosed with a learning disability does not appear to understand when other students are using sarcasm; he takes their statements literally. This situation is causing problems at school.  A two-year-old has 50+ words but almost all of the words are nouns. He is not combining words into two-word combinations.  An eighth grade student is getting poor grades in writing composition. His teacher says his writing is “immature” and that he does not write with enough complexity. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-2 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. Chapter Overview Questions       What are the differences between a language disorder, a language difference, and a language delay? What are the three levels of communication described within the speech chain? What are six different theories influencing language development as described in this chapter? What are five different communication subdomains? What is the most important communication characteristic associated with each subdomain? How do practitioners use information regarding the subdomains to guide clinical interventions? Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-3 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. Definitions     Language is a complex and dynamic system of conventional symbols used for thought and language. Speech is the articulation and the rate of speech sounds and quality of an individual’s voice. Communication, includes symbolic and nonsymbolic information (i.e., facial expressions, body language, gestures, etc.). A language disorder… may be evident in the process of hearing, language, speech, or a combination of all three processes. in is impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems. can represent a deficit in receptive language, expressive language, or a combined expressive-receptive deficit. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-4 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. Background Information  Children with speech and language disorders make up 1.79% of the total school population.  Late Talker  Language difference  Descriptive-developmental framework Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-5 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. The Speech Chain Model See Figure 1.1 on page 5    Level 1- the acoustic level of communicative function Level 2 - the internal physical/motor system required for communication Level 3 - the linguistic component of communication *The linguistic component is the focus of this book. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-6 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. Theories of Language Development         Behaviorism Cognitive Nativist Neurobiological Research and Neural Maturation Social Interaction Theory Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Information-Processing Systems/Ecological Approach Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-7 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. Behaviorism Theory    Learning occurs when an environmental stimulus triggers a response or behavior Increasing the frequency of positive behaviors and decreasing or altering negative behaviors B.F. Skinner Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-8 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. Cognitive Theory     Jean Piaget Sequence of progressively more sophisticated cognitive skills, from primitive thinking to advanced cognitive ability. Proposes specific cognitive achievements are fundamental to linguistic development. Linkages exist between children’s motor ability, play behavior, and language development. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-9 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. Nativist Theory       Noam Chomsky Language Acquisition Device (LAD)  Innate ability to learn language, a biological brain mechanism  children need only minimal language exposure to prime the LAD. Deemphasizes contribution of child’s environment Biological base for language learning Helps explain innate human ability to develop sophisticated language systems. Extends and clarifies the children’s language-learning ability and drive to communicate. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-10 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. Neurobiological Research and Neural Maturation     An accumulating body of science  Relationship between language and brain development in young children. Brain development facilitates language performance AND child’s learning changes the brain The brain becomes less capable of reorganizing and adapting to new environmental input at people age.  Brain plasticity decreases with age. Highlights the need for very early intervention for children with developmental delays and sensory impairment. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-11 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. Social Interaction Theory   Based on principle that communication interaction plays a central role in children’s acquisition of language. Children’s language development is strongly tied to:  Children’s appreciation of others’ communicative intentions  Sensitivity to joint visual attention Desire to imitate others’ behaviors and speech. Important concepts:  Infant-directed talk (motherese)  Coordinating attention (pointing)  Parent-child communication routines (scripts)   Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-12 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13. Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory    Cognitive development is socially mediated  A child’s interactions with others influence his or her cognitive understandings. Initially a child and a more capable partner solve problems together, but eventually the child internalizes the process and is able to carry out the function independently. Language plays a critical role in shaping learning and thought.  Private speech plays a role in cognitive development  Private speech occurs when children speak aloud as they are engaged in play. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-13 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. Information-Processing Theories (Connectionism)   An individual’s cognitive ability to process information is completed by a large number of very simple processing elements similar to computer software. For example:  Phonological processing connections are a likely cause of reading disability prompts practitioners to focus on building linkages between letter names and letter sounds in intervention programs for struggling readers.  Cognitive-processing components--attention, memory, and transfer of information--affect the communication skills of individuals with intellectual disability. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-14 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. Systems/Ecological Approach    An individual’s family, community, and culture shape his or her functioning throughout the life span. Human behavior and development must be viewed as occurring within complex systems. Functional or life-skill goals linking aspects of language use, form, and function and is particularly useful for older students or adults with cognitive impairments. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-15 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. The Domains of Language     See Figure 1.5 on page 24 Form  Syntax  Morphology  Phonology Content  Sematics Use  Pragmatics Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-16 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  17. 17. The Components of Language      Morphology  The structure of words and the construction of word forms. Syntax  The order and combination of words to form sentences  Relationships among the elements within a sentence. Phonology  The sound system of a language  Rules that govern the sound combinations. Semantics  The system that governs the meanings of words and sentences. Pragmatics  The system that combines the above language components in functional and socially appropriate communication.     Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-17 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18. The Five Communication Subdomains 4. Early Pragmatics Vocabulary Early Word Combinations Morphosyntax 5. Discourse 1. 2. 3. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-18 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. Subdomain 1: Early Pragmatic Skills Prelinguistic communication  Joint visual attention (JVA) - between 10 and 12 months  One of the first interactive communication acts  Early Development  8 and 15 months - Request objects or activities, refusal, comments  16 and 23 months - Requesting information, answering questions, acknowledging a response.  Early Discourse Skills – begins in preschool and continues  Initiating a conversation  Taking turns during a conversational exchange  Maintaining ongoing topic  Conversational topic switching  Making conversational repairs  Code switching © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Language Disorders in Children, 1e  Joan N. Kaderavek 1-19 All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. Clinical Implications for Communication Subdomain 1    Underlie all later communication First aspect of communication that is considered during observational process If the practitioner identifies a weakness in the individual’s ability in early pragmatic functions; Communication Subdomain 1 becomes the focus of intervention. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-20 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. Subdomain 2: Vocabulary Development  Vocabulary development Begins towards the end of the first year of life and continues to develop throughout one’s life. First words typically produced between 10 and 16 months. By two years, children typically produce 200-500 words and understand many more words than they produce Semantics deficits are characteristic of many language disorders including:     – – – – developmental delay autism spectrum disorder hearing impairment specific language impairment. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-21 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. Clinical Implications for Communication Subdomain 2    At early stages in vocabulary development, practitioners consider whether children’s word usage reflects a variety of semantic categories. The interventionist may train caregivers to facilitate a variety of semantic forms. Successful vocabulary interventions should  integrate new word meaning with familiar words,  provide repeated, meaningful, and contextual opportunities to learn new words,  provide explicit and implicit learning opportunities,  aim for fluent and automatic understanding and use of new words, and  teach students to be more independent word learners. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-22 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  23. 23. Subdomain 3: Multiple Word Combinations    Once an individual produces approximately 50 individual words, word combinations begin to emerge. At this early word combination level, children are not governed by adult syntax rules and do not use morphological forms. Children create combinations of words by:  naming objects or people of interest  stating the actions objects or people perform  describing the object’s or person’s characteristics  describing who owns or possesses the object. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-23 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  24. 24. Clinical Implications for Communication Subdomain 3    Once a child is able to demonstrate early pragmatic skills and has more than 50 single words practitioners engage children in early play activities to facilitate multiple word combinations. A child’s parents and/or caretakers are trained to facilitate semantic combinations. For older individuals with significant communication impairments, practitioners may incorporate an alternative communication approach (AAC). Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-24 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  25. 25. Subdomain 4: Morphosyntax Development     Children’s utterances begin to demonstrate characteristics of syntax and morphological development (i.e., language form). Occurs between 24 and 36 months for children developing typically. Examples:  present progressive ing verb  plural s By age 5, children’s sentences evidence complex syntax including the use of embedded phrases and clauses. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-25 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. Clinical Implications for Communication Subdomain 4  Once an individual demonstrates the ability to use foundational pragmatic functions and produces multiword combinations using a variety of semantic categories practitioners typically evaluate a speaker’s use of morphosyntax using the framework developed by Brown (1973).  Used in language analysis  Demonstrated in students’ ability to read difficult texts and write at the level required for school success. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-26 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  27. 27. SUBDOMAIN 5: Advanced Pragmatic & Discourse Development    Between the ages of 3 and 7 children’s developing pragmatic/discourse skills include the ability to use language to:  reason and to reflect on past experiences  predict events, express empathy  maintain status and interactions with peers  use and understand sarcasm and politeness forms  code switch in order Students also have to learn to modify discourse styles for different situations. Some forms of discourse are called narratives. Narrative forms Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-27 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  28. 28. Clinical Implications for Communication Subdomain 5   Skilled practitioners track children’s abilities to use vocabulary, produce sentences, and use advanced language within sophisticated discourse genres. Observe student:    in the classroom with peers producing narratives  Discourse analysis  Focus on intervention for students in peer-groups, etc. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-28 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29. Think Like a Clinician! Use what you’ve learned in Chapter 1 to identify the Subdomain of each student described below: 1. 2. 3. 4. A sixth grade student who has been diagnosed with a learning disability does not appear to understand when other students are using sarcasm; he takes their statements literally. This situation is causing problems at school. A two-year-old has 50+ words but almost all of the words are nouns. He is not combining words into two-word combinations. An eighth grade student is getting poor grades in writing composition. His teacher says his writing is “immature” and that he does not write with enough complexity. An eighth grade student is getting poor grades in writing composition. His teacher says his writing is “immature” and that he does not write with enough complexity. Language Disorders in Children, 1e Joan N. Kaderavek 1-29 © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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