By the end of this module you should be able to:
- describe the sequence of normal childhood language
- explain different theoretical frameworks of childhood language
development, including behaviourist, nativist and interactionist
- identify environmental and biological factors that can
influence normal language development
- describe how language development is different for deaf
children and children of deaf parents
- describe communicative competence and its components.
The process by which the smiles and gurgles of
an infant develop to form the rich language of adulthood has long
been the subject of research and debate, and various theories have
been proposed to provide an explanation for the development of
Language development requires the appropriate
use of signs and symbols that follow grammatical rules and can be
combined to produce novel expressions.
Whilst the sequence of language development
broadly follows the same pattern in different cultures, various
influences can affect or alter the process.
In this module you will learn about the normal
sequence of childhood language development and the different
theoretical frameworks that have been proposed to explain how
language is acquired.
We will also consider different environmental
and biological factors that can influence normal language
development. In the final section, we will define and look at the
different components of communicative competence.
We recommend that you make some notes as you work through
The 'TrOn Notebook' facility can be accessed
throughout the module (allowing you to make notes on each page),
and these notes will be saved in your personal area 'My TrOn', for
future reference. However, you will not be able to print these
notes as one single document.
If you would prefer to make your notes in a
separate document you may wish to download the 'learning notes'
below. This downloadable Word document will allow you to keep a
personalised record of your learning, which you can then save
and/or print for future reference.
learning notes document for this module