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Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development in Early Childhood by Mind Map: Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development  in Early Childhood
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Theoretical Perspectives of Language Development in Early Childhood

References Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2011, August). Discovery learning (Bruner); Social development theory. Retrieved August 12, 2011, from; Leeuwen, T.V. (2011). Michael A. K. Halliday biography- (b.1925), lexicogrammar, learning how to mean, treatise on the astrolabe. Net Industries. Retrieved from   Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood (3rd ed.). Up Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.    

Cognitive Developmental

Language is gained through brain maturation and cognitive abilities developing. Cognitive development is needed in order for language to develop. (Otto, 2010)

Jean Piaget

Believes brain maturation and cognitive development must occur for language to develop. There is no unique language system, language is innately within a child. The cognitive processes or stages need to occur in order for children to acquire language.


emphasizes human capabiities that are inborn for language development. "Children learn language by discovering the structure of their language" by the inborn machanism called language acquisition device (LAD). Focuses on one aspect of language knowledge. (Otto, 2010, p. 29)

Noam Chomsky

"Chromsky contends that all people inherently have to capacity to acquire language due to cognitive structures that process language differently from other stimuli;" he also believed that languages across the cultures have a universal grammar inborn within the individual. Therefore, all humans carry the ability to learn their culture's language. (Otto, 2010, p. 28)


Steven PInker

although not a major theorist, he build off of Chromsky and instead figured that language came from human biological instinct and not from culture.



Language is learned during associations between stimuli and reinforcements after a response behavior of a child in reguard to language. Language is "taught" through imitation and repetition, therefore is not innate. Only focuses on three out of the five aspects of language. Only one major theorist Does not explain the rest of language competencies and especially protowords or idiomorphs (Otto, 2010)


The only major theorist of this perspective given in the text.   His defined type of learning or conditioning is operant conditioning, which explains productive speech and the process of imitation. Operant conditioning-learning that happens whenconsequences occur that are contingent on a specific behavior. An antecedent (A) is presented, the behavior (B) in response to the antecedent, and finally a positive or negative consequence (C) to the exhibited behavior occurs. For example, if a child wants to be picked up (A), child precededs to scream to be picked up (B), and picked up when he or she screams (C). According to this perspective, a child will scream to be picked up until taught how to replace the behavior of screaming to be picked up. Same goes for imitation. (A) Parent smiles (B) child smiles (C)praise and attention are given. ABC cycle is repeated until child smiles on his or her own, therefore the child has learned to smile through imitation. (Otto, 2010)


innate, genetic, predisposed, inborn human capabilities  


not innate it is learned


Interactionist believe: Nature and nurture are intertwined and cannot operate without the other for language development. Focuses on "creating a positive emotional context for this communication wthat provides motivation for continued attempts to communicat with others"  and on the development process and not as a product of the process (Otto, 2010, p. 39) Takes all perspectives into account.        


role of social interaction is the basis for language development. Language development is influenced by society                 (Otto, 2010; Learning-, 2011)


Discovery Learning



Social Interaction

Bloom and Tinker

"Intentionality Model of Language"

Aspects of Language Knowledge

(Otto, 2010)


Word Meanings Vocabulary


knowledge of word structure morpheme: two types-free (words used alone) and bound (prefixes, suffixes-derivational morphemes; word endings to change verb tense, possession, plurality or to make comparisons)


rules or grammar that form word order to make a message or in understanding another's message word order-syntax


The way language is used in a child's environment.