7 Great Books for Early Years Practitioners
03 Aug 21
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Categories: Early Years and Childhood Studies, Undergradute
It might seem hard to believe, but from the day they are born a newborn baby begins to learn the necessary skills for cognitive development. They can sleep for as much as 16-18 hours a day but when they are awake, they are continually learning from what is going on around them, listening to the sounds that they hear and absorbing the things they can see. But how, precisely, do children learn to speak?
Language development in children is a truly incredible process. Learning a language comes naturally and everyone is born with an understanding of how to go about it. No matter what language is spoken at home, all children will learn the language in the same way and what affects language development is the same for everyone, no matter their culture or language.
Language development in children progresses via the following three stages.
Babies are born being able to distinguish and hear all of the specific sounds that are found across the world. This equates to around 150 sounds from 6500 languages. These are phonemes and even from a very young age, babies can filter out which belong to their natural tongue, and which do not. The best way to help a baby with this is to talk to them; they learn best from hearing a range of voices. Talking to them as though you are having a conversation and waiting for a response can help as well.
Learning how those sounds go together helps language development in children to progress to the word stage. They understand that the “ma ma” sound relates to one of the people who looks after them, for example. What affects language development is not just hearing the words and sounds but having them in context. These “words” are referred to as morphemes, and can be a single word or two words combined.
By the third stage children are learning how to formulate simple sentences. These may just be two words to begin with, but over time they will add more words. These may not be in the right order, however, as this is something that comes later. Now it is important for adults to continue modelling good speech, speaking clearly and allowing children to talk by not interrupting them. Asking questions is the perfect way of helping children to learn during this stage.
At the University of Bolton, we offer a BA (Hons) in Early Years Childhood Studies that could offer you the skills that you need for a rewarding career with children. Our highly experienced lecturers can provide you with the specialist knowledge you can use to equip yourself with the skills that you need for a career that will offer you plenty of rewarding challenges.
The University of Bolton has been voted No.1 for Student Satisfaction for the past 3 years*. We offer a university experience that we truly believe is #UniAsItShouldBe. Our inclusive, supportive and welcoming environment gives our students the best chance of achieving their goals.
If you would like to learn more about the university and our early years childhood studies courses, we would be delighted to talk to you. Our team of friendly advisors can be contacted on +44 (0)1204 900 600. Alternatively, if you message firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be happy to answer your queries.
*Complete University Guide 2021, 2020, 2019 - North West region.
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