Ece 332 wk 3 assignment 2 | ECE 332 Child Development | Ashford University

Cognitive and Language Development Milestones Picture Book

[WLO: 1] [CLO: 1]

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, 

The purpose of this assignment is to creatively demonstrate an understanding of developmental milestones as they pertain to cognition and language development.

Part 1: Based on the required resources above, create a children’s picture book using StoryJumper (Links to an external site.) that tells a story about a child’s typical day. Your story must incorporate at least four cognitive and four language development milestones for the age-group you have selected. Your story can be about a fictional child or can be based on a real child. Watch the video, StoryJumper Tutorial (Links to an external site.), for assistance in using StoryJumper.

To complete this assignment, you must

  • Create a children’s picture book using StoryJumper.
  • Identify at least four cognitive development milestones appropriate to the age-group selected.
  • Distinguish at least four language development milestones appropriate to the age-group selected.
  • Discuss a typical day appropriate to the age-group selected.

Part 2: Open the Cognitive and Language Development Milestones Picture Book Template and complete the following items:

  • Provide the link to the StoryJumper picture book you created in Part 1.
  • Indicate which age-group your picture book will discuss.
  • List at least four cognitive development milestones that are included in your picture book.
  • List at least four language development milestones that are included in your picture book.
  • Submit your Word document to Waypoint.

The Cognitive and Language Development Milestones Picture Book:

  • Must be eight to 10 pages of text in length (not including title page, images, and references page) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of picture book
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
  • Must include a separate references page or slide that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications. 


Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory (p. 226)

According to Piaget, how does cognition develop?

■ Piaget’s constructivist approach assumes that children  discover knowledge through their own activity, moving through four  invariant, universal stages. According to Piaget, newborn infants have  little in the way of built-in structures; only at the end of the second  year are they capable of a cognitive approach to the world through mental representations.

■ In Piaget’s theory, psychological structures, or schemes, change with age in two ways: through adaptation, which consists of two complementary activities—assimilation and accommodation; and through organization, the internal rearrangement of schemes to form a strongly interconnected cognitive system. Equilibration describes the changing balance of assimilation and accommodation that gradually leads to more effective schemes.

The Sensorimotor Stage: Birth to 2 Years (p. 228)

Describe major cognitive attainments of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage.

■ In the sensorimotor stage, the circular reaction  provides a means of adapting first schemes, and the newborn baby’s  reflexes transform into the older infant’s more flexible action  patterns. Eight- to 12-month-olds develop intentional, or goal-directed, behavior and begin to master object permanence. Twelve- to 18-month-olds become better problem solvers and no longer make the A-not-B search error.  Between 18 and 24 months, mental representation is evident in sudden  solutions to problems, mastery of object permanence tasks involving  invisible displacement, deferred imitation, and make-believe play.

What does follow-up research reveal about infant cognitive development and the accuracy of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage?

■ Many studies suggest that infants display various understandings  earlier than Piaget believed. Some awareness of object permanence, as  revealed by the violation-of-expectation method, may be evident  in the first few months, although searching for hidden objects is a true  cognitive advance. Young infants also display deferred imitation,  categorization, and analogical problem solving, and toddlers imitate rationally, by inferring others’ intentions—attainments that require mental representation.

Displaced reference—the realization that words can be used  to cue mental images of things not physically present—is a major  symbolic advance that occurs around the first birthday. The capacity to  use language to modify mental representations improves from the end of  the second into the third year. By the middle of the second year,  toddlers treat realistic-looking pictures symbolically.

■ Today, most researchers believe that newborns have more built-in  cognitive equipment for making sense of experience than Piaget assumed,  although they disagree on how much initial understanding infants have.

The Preoperational Stage: 2 to 7 Years (p. 239)

Describe advances in mental representation and cognitive limitations during the preoperational stage.

■ Rapid advances in mental representation—notably, language, make-believe play, and drawing—occur during Piaget’s preoperational stage. With age, make-believe becomes increasingly complex, evident in sociodramatic play. Children’s drawings increase in complexity and realism.

Dual representation improves during the third year as  children realize that photographs, drawings, models, and simple maps  correspond to circumstances in the real world.

■ Piaget described preschoolers as not yet capable of operations. Because egocentrism prevents children from accommodating, it contributes to animistic thinking, centration, and lack of reversibility—difficulties that cause preschoolers to fail conservation and hierarchical classification tasks.

What does follow-up research reveal about preschoolers’ cognitive development and the accuracy of Piaget’s preoperational stage?

■ When preschoolers are given familiar and simplified problems,  their performance is more mature than Piaget assumed. They recognize  differing perspectives, appreciate that animals (but not inanimate  objects) have biological properties, have flexible and appropriate  notions of magic, and reason about transformations and cause-and-effect  relations.

■ Preschoolers also show impressive skill at categorizing on the  basis of nonobservable characteristics, revealing that their thinking is  not dominated by appearances. Rather than being absent in the preschool  years, operational thinking develops gradually.

The Concrete Operational Stage: 7 to 11 Years (p. 249)

What are the major characteristics of Piaget’s concrete operational stage?

■ During the concrete operational stage, thought becomes  more logical, flexible, and organized. Mastery of conservation requires  decentration and reversibility. Children also become proficient at  hierarchical classification and seriation, including transitive inference. Spatial reasoning improves, as indicated by children’s cognitive maps.

■ Concrete operational thought is limited in that children have  difficulty reasoning about abstract ideas. Mastery of Piaget’s concrete  operational tasks takes place gradually.

Discuss follow-up research on concrete operational thought.

■ Cultural practices and schooling affect children’s mastery of  Piagetian tasks. Concrete operations are heavily influenced by training,  context, and cultural conditions.

The Formal Operational Stage: 11 Years and Older (p. 253)

Describe major characteristics of the formal operational stage and typical consequences of adolescents’ advancing cognition.

■ In Piaget’s formal operational stage, adolescents become capable of hypothetico-deductive reasoning.  When faced with a problem, they start with a hypothesis about variables  that might affect an outcome; deduce logical, testable inferences; and  systematically isolate and combine variables to see which inferences are  confirmed.

■ Adolescents also develop propositional thought—the ability to evaluate the logic of verbal statements without referring to real-world circumstances.

■ As adolescents reflect on their own thoughts, two distorted images of the relationship between self and other appear: the imaginary audience and the personal fable. Both result from gains in perspective taking.

■ Adolescents’ capacity to think about possibilities prompts  idealistic visions at odds with everyday reality, and they often become  fault-finding critics.

■ Compared with adults, adolescents are less effective at decision  making. They take greater risks under emotionally charged conditions,  less often weigh alternatives, and more often fall back on well-learned  intuitive judgments.

What does follow-up research reveal about formal operational thought?

■ On tasks requiring hypothetico-deductive reasoning, school-age  children cannot evaluate evidence that bears on three or more variables  at once. They also do not grasp the logical necessity of propositional thought.

■ Adolescents and adults are most likely to think abstractly and  systematically in situations in which they have had extensive guidance  and practice in using such reasoning. Individuals in tribal and village  societies rarely do well on tasks typically used to assess formal  operational reasoning. Learning activities in school provide adolescents  with rich opportunities to acquire formal operations.

Piaget and Education (p. 259)

Describe educational implications of Piaget’s theory.

■ A Piagetian classroom promotes discovery learning, sensitivity to  children’s readiness to learn, and acceptance of individual  differences.

Overall Evaluation of Piaget’s Theory (p. 260)

Summarize contributions and shortcomings of Piaget’s theory.

■ Piaget emphasized children’s active contributions to their own  development, inspired the contemporary focus on mechanisms of cognitive  change, and provided a useful “road map” of cognitive development.  However, he offered only a vague account of how cognition changes.  Children’s cognitive attainments are less coherent and more gradual than  Piaget’s stages indicate.

■ Some researchers reject Piaget’s stages while retaining his view  of cognitive development as an active, constructive process. Others  support a less tightly knit stage concept. Still others deny both  Piaget’s stages and his belief in the existence of general reasoning  abilities.

The Core Knowledge Perspective (p. 261)

Explain the core knowledge perspective on cognitive development, noting research that supports its assumptions.

■ According to the core knowledge perspective, infants are  innately equipped with core domains of thought that support rapid  cognitive development. Each core domain is essential for survival and  develops independently, resulting in uneven, domain-specific changes.  Violation-of-expectation research suggests that young infants have  impressive physical and numerical knowledge.

■ The theory theory regards children as naïve theorists who  draw on innate concepts to explain their everyday experiences and then  test their theory, revising it to account for new information. In  support of this view, children reason about everyday events in ways  consistent with the event’s core domain. Physical and psychological  explanations emerge earlier than biological explanations, suggesting  that biological knowledge may have little or no innate foundation.

What are the strengths and limitations of the core knowledge perspective?

■ Core knowledge researchers are testing intriguing ideas about why  certain cognitive skills emerge early and develop rapidly. But critics  believe that violation-of-expectation studies are not adequate to show  that infants are endowed with knowledge. The core knowledge perspective  has not offered clarity on how cognition changes.

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory (p. 266)

Explain Vygotsky’s view of cognitive development, noting the importance of social experience and language.

■ Vygotsky viewed human cognition as inherently social and saw  language as the foundation for all higher cognitive processes. According  to Vygotsky, private speech, or language used for self-guidance,  emerges out of social communication as adults and more skilled peers  help children master challenging tasks within their zone of proximal development. Eventually, private speech is internalized as inner, verbal thought.

Intersubjectivity and scaffolding are two features of social interaction that promote transfer of cognitive processes to children. Guided participation recognizes cultural and situational variations in adult support of children’s efforts.

According to Vygotsky, what is the role of make-believe play in cognitive development?

■ Vygotsky viewed make-believe play as a unique, broadly  influential zone of proximal development in which children learn to act  in accord with internal ideas rather than on impulse.

Vygotsky and Education (p. 269)

Describe educational implications of Vygotsky’s theory.

■ A Vygotskian classroom emphasizes assisted discovery through  teachers’ guidance and peer collaboration. When formal schooling begins,  literacy activities prompt children to shift to a higher level of  cognitive activity, in which they proficiently manipulate and control  their culture’s symbol systems.

■ Vygotsky-based educational innovations include reciprocal teaching and cooperative learning, in which multiple partners stimulate and encourage one another.

Evaluation of Vygotsky’s Theory (p. 272)

Cite strengths and limitations of Vygotsky’s theory.

■ Vygotsky’s theory helps us understand wide cultural variation in  cognitive skills and underscores the vital role of teaching in cognitive  development. But in some cultures, verbal dialogues are not the only or  most important means through which children learn. Vygotsky said little  about biological contributions to cognition and about how children  internalize social experiences to advance their thinking.


The Information-Processing Approach (p. 278)

■ Information-processing theorists view the mind as a complex,symbol-manipulating system through which information flows,much like a computer. Researchers use computer-like diagramsand flowcharts to analyze thinking into its components, mappingthe precise steps involved in thinking about a task or problem.

A General Model of Information Processing (p. 278)

Describe the store model of the human information processingsystem, noting implications for cognitive development and relatedfindings.

■ We hold, or store, information in three parts of the mental systemfor processing. The sensory register takes in a wide panorama ofinformation, but only momentarily. The short-term memorystore retains attended-to information briefly so we can activelymanipulate it in working memory to accomplish our goals. The central executive is the conscious, reflective part of the system,directing the flow of information and implementing basicprocedures and complex strategies. The more effectively weprocess information, the greater the likelihood that mentalactivities will become automatic processes and that informationwill transfer to long-term memory, our limitless, permanentknowledge base.

■ The store model suggests, and research confirms, that severalaspects of the cognitive system improve with age. Working-memory capacity increases, with individual differences predictingintelligence test scores and academic achievement. Gains inprocessing speed also occur, contributing to working-memoryresources. Furthermore, children make strides in executivefunction, with preschoolers gaining in attention, suppressingimpulses, and flexible thinking and school-age children andadolescents in integration of cognitive operations and strategiesthat enable increasingly difficult tasks.

Developmental Theories of Information Processing (p. 282)

How do Case’s neo-Piagetian theory and Siegler’s model ofstrategy choice explain changes in children’s thinking?

■ Case’s neo-Piagetian theory accepts Piaget’s stages butattributes change within and between stages to greater efficiencyin use of working-memory capacity. Brain development, practicewith schemes and automization, and formation of centralconceptual structures contribute to development. Case’s theoryprovides an information-processing explanation of the continuumof acquisition—that many understandings appear in specificsituations at different times—and thus is better able than Piaget’stheory to account for unevenness in cognitive development.

■ Siegler’s model of strategy choice highlights children’sexperimentation with and selection of mental strategies to accountfor the diversity and ever-changing nature of children’s thinking.Strategy development follows an overlapping-waves pattern.When given challenging problems, children generate a variety ofstrategies, gradually selecting from them on the basis of accuracyand speed.

Attention (p. 286)

Describe the development of attention, including sustained,selective, and adaptable strategies.

■ Gains in sustained attention depend on rapid growth of theprefrontal cortex, the capacity to generate increasingly complexplay goals, and adult scaffolding of attention. As sustainedattention increases, children become better at focusing on relevantaspects of a task and at flexibly adapting attention to taskrequirements. Sustained, selective, and adaptable attention dependon inhibition, the ability to control distracting stimuli.

■ Development of attentional (and memory) strategies tends tooccur in four phases: (1) production deficiency (failure toproduce the strategy); (2) control deficiency (failure to executethe strategy effectively); (3) utilization deficiency (consistent useof the strategy, but with little or no performance improvement);and (4) effective strategy use.

■ From age 5 on, children undergo marked advances in planning.They learn much from cultural tools that support planning, adultguidance and encouragement, and opportunities to practice.

Memory (p. 292)

Describe the development of strategies for storing and retrievinginformation from memory.

■ Although the beginnings of memory strategies can be seen inearly childhood, young children seldom engage in rehearsal or organization. As use of these strategies improves, school-agechildren combine them; the more strategies they usesimultaneously, the better they remember. Elaboration emerges atthe end of middle childhood. Task demands and culturalcircumstances influence the development of memory strategies.

Recognition, the simplest form of retrieval, is a fairly automaticprocess that is highly accurate by the preschool years. Recall—generating a mental representation of an absent stimulus—is morechallenging, shows much greater improvement with age, and isstrongly associated with language development.

■ Even young children engage in reconstruction whenremembering complex, meaningful material. As originallyprovided information decays and new information is presented,children make more inferences, and the coherence ofreconstructed information and its memorableness increase.However, much recalled information can be inaccurate.

■ According to fuzzy-trace theory, when information is encoded, itis reconstructed automatically into a gist—a vague, fuzzy versionthat is especially useful for reasoning. With age, children rely lesson verbatim memory and more on reconstructed gists, contributingto improved recall of details with age.

Explain the development of episodic memory and its relationship tosemantic memory.

Semantic memory—our vast general knowledge system—contributes vitally to and develops earlier than episodic memory.Not until 3 or 4 years of age do children have a well-functioningmemory system of personally experienced events that occurred ata specific time and place.

■ Like adults, young children remember familiar experiences interms of scripts—a special form of episodic memory that permitsthem to predict what might happen on future similar occasions.And as preschoolers talk with adults about personally significantpast events, they adopt the narrative thinking generated in thesedialogues, forming an autobiographical memory. Childrenwhose parents use an elaborative rather than a repetitiveconversational style produce more coherent and detailed personalstories.

How does eyewitness memory change with age, and what factorsinfluence the accuracy of children’s reports?

■ Compared with preschoolers, school-age children are better atgiving accurate and detailed eyewitness accounts and resistingadults’ misleading questions. When a biased adult repeatedly asksleading questions, children are far more likely to give falseinformation. Negative stereotyping of the accused and a longdelay between the events and the child’s eyewitness report furthercontribute to inaccurate reporting.

Metacognition (p. 303)

Describe the development of metacognitive knowledge andcognitive self-regulation.

Metacognition expands greatly as children construct a naïve theory of mind, a coherent understanding of people as mentalbeings. From early to middle childhood, children becomeincreasingly conscious of cognitive capacities and strategies. Theycome to view the mind as an active, constructive agent rather thana passive container of information. As older children considerinteractions among variables, metacognitive knowledge becomesmore complex and integrated.

Cognitive self-regulation—continually monitoring andcontrolling progress toward a goal—develops gradually. Itimproves with adult instruction in effective strategy use andpredicts academic success.

Applications of Information Processing to AcademicLearning (p. 307)

Discuss the development of reading, mathematics, and scientificreasoning, noting the implications of research findings forteaching.

Emergent literacy reveals that young children understand a greatdeal about written language before they read and write inconventional ways. Preschoolers gradually revise incorrect ideasabout the meaning of written symbols as their cognitive capacitiesimprove, as they encounter writing in many contexts, and as adultshelp them with written communication.

Phonological awareness strongly predicts emergent literacyknowledge and later reading achievement. Vocabulary andgrammatical knowledge, adult–child narrative conversations, andinformal literacy-related experiences also foster literacydevelopment.

■ As children make the transition to conventional literacy,phonological awareness, processing speed, and visual scanningand discrimination contribute to reading progress. A combinationof whole-language and phonics approaches is most effective forteaching beginning reading.

■ Mathematical reasoning also builds on informally acquiredknowledge. Toddlers beginning grasp of ordinality serves as thebasis for more complex understandings. As preschoolers gainexperience with counting, they understand cardinality and beginto solve simple addition and subtraction problems. When adultsprovide many occasions for counting and comparing quantities,children construct basic numerical concepts sooner.

■ During the early school years, children acquire basic math factsthrough a combination of frequent practice, reasoning aboutnumber concepts, and teaching that conveys effective strategies.The best mathematics instruction combines practice inexperimenting with strategies and conceptual understanding.

■ The ability to coordinate theory with evidence—the heart ofscientific reasoning—improves from childhood to adolescence.Greater working-memory resources and exposure to increasinglycomplex problems in school contribute to the metacognitiveunderstanding that is vital for reasoning scientifically.

Evaluation of the Information-Processing Approach (p. 314)

Summarize the strengths and limitations of the information-processing approach.

■ A major strength of the information-processing approach is itsprecision in breaking down cognition into its components.Information processing research has contributed greatly to thedesign of teaching techniques that advance children’s thinking.

■ Nevertheless, computer models of cognitive processing do notreflect the richness of real-life learning experiences and have nottold us much about the links between cognition and other areas ofdevelopment.


Components of Language (p. 360)

What are the four components of language?

■ Language consists of four subsystems: (1) phonology, the rulesgoverning the structure and sequence of speech sounds; (2) semantics, the way underlying concepts are expressed in words;(3) grammar, consisting of syntax, the rules by which words arearranged in sentences, and morphology, markers that vary wordmeaning; and (4) pragmatics, the rules for engaging inappropriate and effective conversation.

Theories of Language Development (p. 360)

Describe and evaluate major theories of language development.

■ Chomsky’s nativist theory proposes a language acquisitiondevice (LAD) containing a universal grammar, or storehouse ofrules common to all languages. The LAD permits children, oncethey have sufficient vocabulary, to speak grammatically andcomprehend sentences in any language to which they are exposed.Animal research is consistent with this perspective, revealing thata complex language system is unique to humans.

■ The broad association of language functions, especiallygrammatical competence, with left-hemispheric regions of thecerebral cortex is in accord with Chomsky’s notion of a brainprepared to process language. Evidence for a sensitive period oflanguage development also supports the nativist view.

■ Researchers have challenged the nativist perspective on severalgrounds, including the difficulty of specifying a universalgrammar. Also, children’s continuous, gradual mastery of manyconstructions is inconsistent with the nativist assumption ofinnately determined grammatical knowledge.

■ According to the interactionist perspective, languagedevelopment results from exchanges between inner capacities andenvironmental influences. The most influential information-processing accounts are connectionist, or artificial neural network,models, which show that powerful, general cognitive capacitiesare sufficient to detect certain linguistic patterns. Other evidenceconfirms that babies identify basic language patterns with thesame strategies they use to understand nonlinguistic experiences.

■ Social interactionists believe that children’s social skills andlanguage experiences combine with native capacity to profoundlyaffect language development. But debate continues over whetherchildren make sense of their complex language environments byapplying general cognitive capacities or capacities specially tunedto language.

Prelinguistic Development: Getting Ready to Talk (p. 368)

Discuss receptivity to language, development of speech sounds, andconversational skills during infancy.

■ Newborns are capable of categorical speech perception and aresensitive to a wider range of speech categories than exists in theirown language. Between 6 and 8 months, infants start to organizespeech into the phonemic categories of their native tongue. In thesecond half of the first year, they have begun to analyze theinternal structure of sentences and words. Adults’ use of infant-directed speech (IDS) eases language learning for babies.

■ Infants begin cooing around 2 months, babbling around 6months. Over the first year, the range of babbled sounds expands.Then, as infants get ready to talk, sound and intonation patternsstart to resemble those of the child’s native language.

■ At 10 to 11 months, babies’ skill at establishing joint attentionimproves, and by the end of the first year they actively engage inturntaking games and use two communicative gestures, the protodeclarative and the protoimperative, to influence others’behavior. By the second year, caregiver–child interactioncontributes greatly to language progress.

Phonological Development (p. 373)

Describe the course of phonological development.

■ First words are influenced partly by the sounds children canpronounce. Because associating new words with their referentstaxes toddlers’ working memories, they tend to miss the finedetails of a new word’s sounds, which contributes to earlypronunciation errors.

■ Young children apply systematic phonological strategies tosimplify challenging pronunciations. Gradually, they refineminimal words into full words with correct stress patterns. As thevocal tract matures and preschoolers engage in active problemsolving, pronunciation improves greatly. But syllable stresspatterns signaling subtle differences in meaning are not mastereduntil middle childhood or adolescence.

Semantic Development (p. 376)

Summarize the course of semantic development, noting individualdifferences.

■ Language comprehension develops ahead of production. Formost children, rate of word learning increases steadily andcontinuously from toddlerhood through the preschool years. Tobuild vocabulary quickly, children engage in fast-mapping.

■ Girls show faster early vocabulary growth than boys, andtemperamentally shy or negative toddlers acquire language moreslowly. Low-SES children, who experience less verbalstimulation, usually have smaller vocabularies. Most toddlers usea referential style of language learning; their early words mainlyrefer to objects. Some use an expressive style, producing moresocial formulas and pronouns.

■ Early vocabularies typically emphasize object words; action andstate words appear soon after. When first learning words, childrenmake errors of underextension and overextension. Their wordcoinages and metaphors expand the range of meanings they canexpress.

■ Reading contributes enormously to vocabulary growth in middlechildhood. School-age children can grasp word meanings fromdefinitions, and comprehension of metaphor and humor expands.Adolescents’ ability to reason abstractly leads to an appreciationof irony, sarcasm, and figurative language.

Discuss ideas about how semantic development takes place,including the influence of memory and strategies for wordlearning.

■ A special part of short-term memory, a phonological store thatpermits retention of speech-based information, supports youngchildren’s vocabulary growth. After age 5, semantic knowledgealso influences how quickly children form phonological traces,and both factors affect word learning.

■ Children figure out the meanings of words by contrasting themwith words they already know and assigning new words to gaps intheir vocabulary. According to one view, children are innatelybiased to induce word meanings using certain principles, such as a mutual exclusivity bias and syntactic bootstrapping.

■ An alternate perspective is that children build their vocabularieswith the same cognitive strategies that they apply to nonlinguisticstimuli. According to the emergentist coalition model, childrenfigure out word meanings from a coalition of cues—perceptual,social, and linguistic—which shift in importance with age.

Grammatical Development (p. 384)

Describe the course of grammatical development.

■ Between 1½ and 2½ years, vocabulary reaches 200 to 250 wordsand two word utterances called telegraphic speech appear. Theseearly word combinations do not reflect a consistent, flexiblegrammar. As children generate three-word sentences, they usegrammatical rules in a piecemeal fashion, gradually refining andgeneralizing structures.

■ English-speaking children add grammatical morphemes in aconsistent order that reflects both structural and semanticcomplexity. Once children acquire a regular morphological rule,they overregularize, extending it to words that are exceptions.Over time, children master expressions based on auxiliary verbs,such as negatives and questions. Between ages 3½ and 6, they adda variety of intricate constructions. Certain forms, such as thepassive voice and infinitive phrases, continue to be refined inmiddle childhood.

Discuss ideas about how grammatical development takes place,including strategies and communicative support for mastering newstructures.

■ Some experts believe grammar is a product of general cognitivedevelopment. According to one view, children engage in semanticbootstrapping, relying on word meanings to figure out sentencestructure. Others believe that children master grammar throughdirect observation of the structure of language. Still others agreewith the essence of Chomsky’s theory. One idea accepts semanticbootstrapping but proposes that grammatical categories are innate.Another speculation is that children have a built-in set ofprocedures for analyzing language, which supports the discoveryof grammatical regularities.

■ Adults provide children with indirect feedback about grammaticalerrors by asking for clarification or by restructuring their speechusing recasts and expansions. However, the impact of suchfeedback on grammatical development has been challenged.

Pragmatic Development (p. 390)

Describe the course of pragmatic development.

■ Even 2-year-olds are effective conversationalists. Strategies thathelp sustain interaction, such as turnabout and shading, areadded in early and middle childhood. Children’s understanding of illocutionary intent also improves, and they also acquire moreeffective referential communication skills.

■ From the preschool to school years, children produce moreorganized, detailed, and evaluative narratives, which vary widelyin form across cultures. The ability to generate clear oralnarratives contributes to literacy development. Preschoolers arealready sensitive to speech registers. Parents tutor young childrenin politeness routines, emphasizing the importance of adaptinglanguage to social expectations.

Development of Metalinguistic Awareness (p. 394)

Describe the development of metalinguistic awareness and its rolein language-related attainments.

■ Preschoolers show the beginnings of metalinguistic awareness.Their understandings are good predictors of vocabulary andgrammatical development and, in the case of phonologicalawareness, literacy development. Major advances inmetalinguistic skills take place in middle childhood.

Bilingualism: Learning Two Languages in Childhood (p. 394)

How do children become bilingual, and what are the advantages ofbilingualism?

■ Children who learn two languages in early childhood acquireeach according to a typical timetable. When school-age childrenacquire a second language after mastering the first, they take fiveto seven years to attain the competence of native-speakingagemates. Bilingual children sometimes engage in code switchingbetween the two languages.

■ Bilingual children are advanced in cognitive development andmetalinguistic awareness—advantages that provide strongjustification for bilingual education programs in schools.

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