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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 Cultural practices in the rural family environment can greatly influence language acquisition. These practices include parental communication practices, storytelling, oral traditions, and the child's exposure to multiple languages. For example, the common practice of code-switching where parents alternate between languages could either confuse or enrich a child's linguistic development. This establishes that the home environment greatly influences language acquisition, as it is the place where a child receives their initial exposure to language, cultural norms, and conversation tactics. 3.2 Maternal sensitivity and warmth significantly affect how effectively young children acquire language skills. Mothers or primary caregivers who respond to their child's verbal cues with enthusiasm and understanding foster an environment of positive reinforcement, which is conducive to learning. An example of this would be a mother enthusiastically repeating or expanding on her child's attempts to form words. Another example could be a caregiver engaging a child with picture books and encouraging them to participate in storytelling. 3.3 Children who receive rich language exposure from parents tend to have larger vocabularies, better comprehension skills, higher cognitive ability, and superior emotional health. Those mostly in the company of siblings may have more limited vocabularies, less mature sentence structure, and less developed conversational skills. However, they might have better peer interaction skills and an understanding of colloquial language. Adequate adult interaction is crucial in providing balanced language exposure. 3.4 Delayed language acquisition due to home environment can lead to academic challenges, as most formal education is language-based. It also might cause social difficulties because language is necessary for communication, self-expression and connection with others. Furthermore, children may experience a reduced ability to regulate emotions and behavior due to limited linguistic tools to express themselves. 3.5 Teachers and caregivers support learners with limited language exposure through various methods. They can create an environment conducive to language learning, using games, songs, and interactive books. Parents can be advised to provide language-rich experiences, such as frequent conversations, storytelling, and exposure to various linguistic materials. Additionally, professional intervention such as speech therapy and counseling can also be sought to help overcome language challenges.
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