I agree with the behavioral geneticists and cognitive theorists view of the language development process that all children will learn and develop their own speech through dialogue and their own reasoning.
The parent’s role in language development is very important. In view of the fact that children will acquire a great proportion of their language from their parents, the language a child is subjected to at home is a vital factor in defining the child’s language skills.
During a child’s formative years is the optimum time for learning to speak, therefore parental support of early language development is crucial.
The behaviorist theory proposes that language is learned through the reinforcement and replication given to children when they start to make sounds and form words. The parent’s role is therefore to correct children when they make mistakes so that they will learn from these.
Whereas, behavioral geneticists and cognitive theorists believe that there is a genetic basis for language because children in infancy, begin to sort sounds and words based on what they hear. As children grow, they learn through conversation and their own thinking. The parent’s role is therefore to encourage learning and development via support and guidance; not by over regularization. Parents aspire to teach the child to learn for themselves. The University of California (2009) reports how adult and child conversations have a greater influence on a child’s language development than subjecting children to language via simple one-on-one reading.
Infant-directed speech, more commonly known as baby talk, such as cooing includes a range of simple speech sounds. Lao (2011) discusses how many of these sounds are initially produced by accident but in response to the reinforcement from their parents and with some practice; infants are likely to continue on to produce the speech sounds of their native language. Whereas a parent’s reactions to the infant language development by regularization is seen by some as discouraging to a child.
The language attainment of children occurs steadily through interaction with people and the environment regardless of whatever theory a person may subscribe to.
I am in favor of parents encouraging learning and development through support and guidance; not through over regularization. Encouragement makes more sense because the parents are equipping the child to learn for themselves and this will boost their confidence as they grow older. Whereas, over regularization of a child’s development can have an adverse effect on their confidence.
Lao, J. (2011). Infant Language Development. Retrieved from http://parentingliteracy.com/parenting-a-z/45-mental-development/97-judyinnyc
University of California (2009). Conversing Helps Language Development More Than Reading Alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/06/090629132204.htm