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Question: "Research on the preschooler's home environment and delayed language acquisition (Lenyai 1992) conducted in the now Limpopo Province, established that cultural practices in the homes of the research subjects contributed significantly to their delayed language acquisition" (Study Guide 2023:104). 3.1 Discuss the cultural practices and their impact on language acquisition in rural families and highlight the influence of the home environment on learner's language development. (4) 3.2 Critically explain the significance of maternal sensitivity and warmth in fostering language acquisition in young learners. Provide TWO (2) examples of rewarding literacy interactions that contribute to linguistic growth. (5) 3.3 Use FIVE (5) factors to compare and contrast the language development of learners who have rich language exposure from parents with those who are mostly in the company of siblings and have limited interaction with adults. (10) 3.4 Critically discuss the implications of delayed language acquisition in learners during their early years due to their home environment. (3) 3.5 Discuss how teachers and parents or caregivers support learners with limited language exposure to overcome language challenges and foster linguistic growth. (3)
3.1 In rural families, cultural practices, such as storytelling, chanting, or singing folk songs, play a crucial role in language acquisition. However, if traditional dialects are predominantly used, children might experience difficulties in acquiring the formal language used in education settings. The home environment greatly influences language development. When parents converse regularly, using a wide vocabulary and complex sentences, it fosters language growth. A literate environment filled with books, newspapers, and magazines also supports language acquisition. 3.2 Maternal sensitivity, the ability to perceive and interpret child's needs, and warmth greatly aid language acquisition. It promotes a secure attachment with the child, encouraging exploration and learning. An example of rewarding literacy interaction could be a mother reading a storybook to the child using expressive voices, and asking the child questions about the story. Another instance could be a mother responding to her baby's babbling, encouraging back-and-forth exchange that fosters language development. 3.3 Language development differs significantly between learners with rich adult language input and those primarily in the company of siblings. Factors to consider include: 1) Vocabulary: the former group tends to have a broader vocabulary. 2) Syntax: they may form more complex sentences. 3) Pronunciation: they may speak more accurately. 4) Understanding of social norms and idioms: they are likely to understand these aspects of language better. 5) Confidence: they may have greater confidence in using language to communicate. 3.4 Delayed language acquisition can have serious implications. It can affect a learner's cognitive development, social interaction abilities, academic performance, and self-esteem. Additionally, it can result in learning difficulties and hinder communication skills, potentially leading to social isolation. 3.5 Teachers and caregivers can support these learners by increasing language exposure - using a rich vocabulary and complex sentences in their talk, regularly reading to the child, and creating opportunities for guided conversations. They should encourage children to express their thoughts and provide positive reinforcement for their attempts. Another strategy could be building a language-rich environment, including books and engaging language games. Collaborating with speech-language pathologists could also be beneficial in advancing a child's language capabilities.
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