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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 rural families may not value formal linguistic development as much as other skills. These households might focus more on practical skills like farming, hunting, or other household tasks: this can lead to delayed language acquisition. For instance, a larger emphasis may be placed on the direct transmission of survival skills rather than communicative skills. The home environment is crucial in a learner's language development. The amount of verbal interaction, reading materials, and the general language use and attitudes in the household significantly impact a child's language acquisition. 3.2 Maternal sensitivity and warmth play critical roles in fostering language acquisition. When a mother promptly responds to her child's cues and signals with warmth and affection, the child feels safe and encouraged to explore their environment, including language. For instance, a mother who constantly reads books and sings to her child or a mother who engages in conversations with its child are both examples of rewarding literacy interactions. 3.3 Five factors to compare and contrast language development are 1) Vocabulary: children with rich language exposure can have a broader vocabulary. 2) Creativity in language: these children could be more imaginative with their linguistic expression. 3) Understanding complex sentences: they can understand more complicated sentences and expressions. 4) Level of engagement: they might interact more confidently. 5) Early reading skills: they could have better reading skills. 3.4 Delayed language acquisition in early years could lead to communication challenges, difficulty in expressing emotions, or understanding others. This can cause the child to become frustrated and demonstrate behavioral problems. It might also affect their academic performance and social interaction in the future. 3.5 Firstly, teachers and parents can provide a language-rich environment. This includes frequent conversations, story readings, and encouraging them to express themselves verbally. Secondly, they should provide positive reinforcement whenever the child makes an effort to communicate. Lastly, caregivers can also collaborate with speech and language therapists to design individualized strategies to enhance language growth.
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