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Different Roles of Language in a Child’s Life

Please review the paper and make adjustments:

Tutor comments:

Your assignment also asks you to discuss several theories, including Halliday’s, Piaget’s and others. (“Etcetera” literally means “and the others.”) You discuss Halliday and Piaget in the text of your paper. What other theories apply to this subject matter? What other theories are relevant here?

Your assignment asks you to discuss the different stages of language acquisition in detail at the end of your paper. You can add more details to your discussion of childhood and the evolution of language use. As you revise, think carefully: how do language and language use evolve as children move through EC, primary and secondary contexts?

  • Discuss the evolution of language skills in growing children in more detail

  • Add more theories.

There are additional notes in the attached assignment

Thank you


Language can be seen or heard. What this means is that there are two main forms of language: spoken and written. Spoken and written language are distinct forms of language in that they are made up of specific characteristics that make them unique. Spoken communication entails the productions of special sounds which are arranged in specific orders to convey intended meanings (Elbow, 2010, p. 3). The manner in which the words and sentences are arranged is usually based on a specific conceptualisation of time (2010, p. 3). By referring to time, spoken communication makes it possible for individuals to perceive time in terms of the past, the present and the future. The spoken words and sentences are then heard by a recipient who then acts upon them. This is the basic way in which spoken communication occurs. Thus, under spoken communication, language is heard rather than seen. On the other hand, the written form of communication differs from the spoken form in that it is more structurally complex, highly organised and explicit as compared to spoken communication (Elbow, 2010, p. 4). Language can also be diverse or standard. Diversity in language is a result of the existence of different dialects of a given language. A dialect is usually a distinctive variety of a given language which is differentiated from the other varieties of the language by linguistic features such as grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary (Caruso, 2007, p. 93; Solano-Flores, 2006, p. 2360). It is through interaction with different languages that a standard form of a language undergoes changes to give rise to a dialect or variety of the language. Therefore, it can be seen that language can be in an oral or a written form and that it can be diverse or standard. Whether written or formal, diverse or standard, language plays an important role in the lives of individuals. This report examines the different roles that language plays in the life of a child and as a child grows up..

The role of language in general

in the lives of individuals. In general, empowerment can be defined as an interactive process that makes it possible for individuals to experience a process of social change. The social change that people experience as part of the empowerment process makes it possible for the individuals to exercise power and influence over the institutions that affect their lives. Language plays a key role in this process. This is because when an individual masters a particular language, he or she experiences some form of emancipation. Also, in some cases, dialects of a single language may be associated with specific cultures and social classes within a society. Thus, language is closely tied to social and political influence. forms of communication. Non-verbal forms of communication include the use of gestures, behavioural language and sign language. Verbal forms of communication entail the use of sounds that are produced by the persons who are communicatingon. The sounds may be in the form of intelligent words or simply in the form of grunts, shouts or other sounds. Through these forms of communication, individuals are able to communicate their likes, dislikes and general feelings to others. Through an exchange of feelings and experiences, individuals are able to express themselves to others while at the same time receiving information from the others. As well, language can serve as a tool of empowerment. Human beings communicate using spoken language, written language, sign language or body language. They communicate to inform, express their feelings or simply to maintain contact among people with others. In this case, language is used by individuals as a pattern of symbols and sounds that represent specific meanings. With regard to communication, individuals use both verbal and non-verbal In general, language has different roles in the lives of individuals. One of the roles of language in the lives of individuals is that First, it can be used to express the unique identities of individuals. Basically, the social identity of a person is shaped by the social groups and other cultural aspects of the society to which the person belongs (Emmitt, Zbaracki, Komesaroff& Pollock, 2010, p. 52). These attributes help to create meaning that is finally expressed by individuals through language (Emmitt et al., 2010, p. 53). This is defined by factors such as the geographical location, the type of family and religious affiliation that the individual is related to. Eventually, these factors that define the social identity of a person are expressed in the manner in which the person communicates. Therefore, language, in this case, is used to express the social identity of a person. In addition to this, human beings use language purely for communication purposes

The role of language in a young child

A child learns language through interaction with the people with whom the child is in contact. In general, children spend most of their times with their mothers and other members of their families. It is therefore from the interaction with the mother and other family members that a child begins to learn and use language (Talay-Ongan & Ap, 2005, p. 84). Also, it is because of this that the use of language by a child occurs within the context of communicating with the mother or other family members (Talay-Ongan & Ap, 2005, p. 85).

. This may be in the form of expressing their feelings and preferences to the people around them. . Under this, children use language as a means of expressing their awareness of their own individualitywho are within their environment. In this case, children learn to speak particular words as a means of evoking feelings of relationships and interaction with those that they are with. The fourth function of language in young children is the personal function, but also those of others. This may be in the form of giving out instructions to others. Therefore, children use language to regulate the behaviour of those they interact with. Thirdly, young children use language as a tool of interacting with the people needs that are required. For example, a child usually learns to use language to get comfort, attention and feeding. Thus, language acquisition is used as a tool of helping the child to express his or her desires. Secondly, language has a regulatory function to young children (Halliday, 2006, p. 71). Basically, young children are motivated to learn language because they realise that they can use it to not only regulate their own behavioursLanguage serves different functions to young children. According to Halliday (2006, p. 69), young children are usually motivated to acquire and learn language because they can use the language for specific purposes in their interactions with their environment. One of the basic functions of language to younger children is that the language serves to help a child acquire the physical and material

These functions of language among young children and the manner in which children acquire different language skills can be interpreted within the context of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development theory (Fellowes & Oakley, 2014, p. 51). Under this theory, language acquisition among children is said to occur in concurrence with the sensorimotor, pre-operational and concrete operational stages of cognitive development of children.

Apart from these two theories, the behavioural theory of language development can also be used to explain how young children acquire and learn language. The basic argument of this theory is that language should be seen as a form of behaviours that can be learned by an individual (Fogle, 2012, p. 72). In this case, language development in a young child is said to develop in two main ways: imitation and practice (Fogle, 2012, p. 72). Children learn a language by imitating the sounds that they hear from their parents or the other people with whom they are. The reaction of the people usually works to reinforce the language learning process in children.

The role of language in an older child

in the lives of the children as they go through school and grow into full adults in the society. What is important to note is that as children go through the early childhood, primary and secondary stages, the manner in which they use language changes (Talay-Ongan & Ap, 2005, p. 85). These changes are made necessary by increasing mastery of vocabulary and grammar of language, the changing environment in which the children are required to practice language and the people with whichom the children interact. As children grow from early childhood to primary and secondary school, they interact with more people outside their families. Their use of language, therefore, changes. Basically, children in school not only communicate their fellow learners, but also with their teachers and other adults who are found within the school environment. In addition to this, older children who are in school are required to master and use language as a medium of instruction. Thus, language is used as an important tool of learning the content of the education system that is taught in school as well as a tool of interacting with the individuals who are found within a school environment. Language serves important functions for older children who are in school. Interestingly, language continues to serve important functions

purposes. Basically, the ideational function of language is related to the manner in which individuals use language to express their cognitive processes or feelings about particular things (Halliday, 2002, p. 91). Thus, individuals express their feelings, ideas and interpretations of phenomena to the others by using specific language forms that have been learnt over the course of time. The third role of language among older children is related to the textual function of language. Textual function of language refers to the manner in which individuals organise texts or the small operational units of language that are used for communication purposes (Halliday, 2002, p. 92). This function of language is related to the mode of the text or the manner in which the text that individuals use in their communication is constructed. Additionally, older children use language to for ideational

As well, language plays the role of helping older children to relate to and interact with others effectively. It is by mastering the use of a particular language that children can successfully carry out communication that helps them to form relationships with their peers. Halliday (2002, p. 93) notes that identity-related use of ideational use of language among children occurs in the form of children using language as a means of getting into a speech or event. By using language, children can play a particular role in a conversation and this helps to establish a relationship or interaction with the other person who listens to them.


Language plays important roles in the lives of children. What is important to note is that these functions stem from the main roles that language plays in the lives of adults. Adults use language to communicate, express themselves and acquire a form of power in relation to others. On the other hand, children use language for purposes that are related to those of adults but which are unique in several ways. Children who have not reached the age of going to school use language to express their feelings, interact with the people who are in their environment and even influence the behaviour of those people. These different ways in which children use language are usually shaped by the cognitive development process that children undergo. Older childrenchildren, who are in school use language to communicate their own ideas, interact with others and form relationships with their peers as well as other people who are found in the school environment.


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