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decorative star graphic  The Play Years:
Cognitive Development
- Language -

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Ψ  Vocabulary - Language explosion

•  A child's mind develops categories to chart the meaning of various words.
•  Five year olds can learn any word as long as it explained & used in context.
•  Fast mapping is used. The child needs to hear a word only once or twice before defining it through categorization with other words.

Ψ  Language difficulties:

•  comparisons
 •  names of colors
  •  metaphors & analogies
   •  abstract nouns "government"
    •  relationships of place & time- "tomorrow"

Ψ  Grammar difficulties:

Overregularization - It seems logical to children to apply the rules of grammar when speaking, but of course this can produce incorrect speech, e.g. "foots" rather than "feet".

Ψ  Learning Two Languages

•  In today's world, bilingualism is an asset, perhaps a necessity.
•  Bilingual children by age 5 are less egocentric in their understanding of language & are more advanced in their theory of mind.
•  Immigrant bilingual children tend to make a language shift, becoming more fluent in their new language than in their home language.
•  Which Language? The best solution: "balanced bilinguals"

Human Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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