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Question: List then define the pre-linguistic and the adult-like language stages in language development. (4) 1.2 Explain the concept of emergent literacy and its significance in a learner's language development and highlight how emergent literacy lays the foundation for later reading and writing skills. (3) 1.3 Critically discuss the importance of the Grade R year in the acquisition of language skills and discuss how teachers and parents or caregivers play a crucial role in fostering language development during this period. (4) 1.4 Describe the typical milestones and progressions observed in language development during this period. (4) 1.5 Analyse TWO (2) challenges that may arise during language development in learners and identify strategies that can support and promote language acquisition in the classroom or home environment. (4) 1.6 Critically explain how teachers and parents or caregivers can effectively address language-related difficulties in the following TWO (2) environments. - Teachers (at school) - Parents or caregivers (at home) (6)
1.1 Pre-linguistic and Adult-like Language Stages: a. Pre-linguistic Stage: This is the initial stage of language development in infants, ranging from birth to approximately one year. During this stage, infants mainly use non-verbal communication methods such as crying, cooing, babbling, and gesturing to express needs and responses. b. One-Word/ Holophrastic Stage: Around the first year, toddlers begin to say their first meaningful words, usually naming people or objects. c. Two-Word Stage: By about age two, children start combining two words to express simple sentence-like structures. d. Adult-like Language Stages: These stages occur from the age of about five and beyond when children begin to communicate using complex sentences and a wide lexicon, similar to an adult's language. They can comprehend and converse in more sophisticated manners, using correct grammar and syntax. 1.2 Emergent Literacy: This concept denotes the early process of learning to understand and use language that begins at birth and develops throughout the preschool period. Emergent literacy sets the foundation for reading and writing skills as it involves strengthening phonological awareness, vocabulary, print awareness, and storytelling. These are all necessary pre-requisites for decoding print and understanding the writing system, which are critical for successful reading and writing abilities later in life. 1.3 Importance of Grade R in Language Acquisition: Grade R (Reception year) is crucial in language development. During this period, learners are introduced to the structured educational environment where language skills are fostered through interactive activities. Teachers and caregivers play an essential role in this period by providing rich language input, creating a diverse language environment, correcting mistakes and enriching vocabulary. 1.4 Language Development Milestones: During their early years, children go through numerous linguistic milestones: understanding and following simple instructions, using basic grammar, increasing vocabulary, forming simple sentences, learning to read and write simple words and sentences, etc. 1.5 Language Development Challenges and Solutions: Two common challenges include language delays and difficulties in understanding or using language (Language Disorder). To overcome these, strategies like providing a language-enriched environment, regular reading and storytelling, interactive games that promote language skills, and specialised speech and language therapy might be useful. 1.6 Addressing Language-Related Difficulties: a. Teachers: In a school environment, teachers should create an inclusive, tailored learning environment, use visual aids and technology, provide one-on-one attention, incorporate practical language-learning activities and liaise with speech and language therapists if required. b. Parents/Caregivers: At home, parents can promote language development by consistently talking and reading with the child, engaging in interactive games, providing stimulating language-rich environments, and seeking professional help if they notice persistent language difficulties.
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