Language Learning in Early Childhood

Posted on
Children has their own ways and stages in learning language. Some researcher tried to explain the stages. The stages and process below is normal children who has ordinary brain and speech organ to produce sound and acquire language.

1. Babling and intonation pattern

Babling: in this stages we can indicate that children has normal organ while they able to do babling stage such as called their mother, ma ma, pa pa
Intonation: A baby imitate intonation pattern from their parent and environment. 

2. One word and telegraphic

One word stages: 
  • A child understand some words what other is saying
  • Moreover, child also have perception in their mind related the word stimulus

3. Preschool years

  • Children begin to interact with unfamiliar people and environment like adult
  • Children do over generalization, they consider a number of stimulus in one perception like called name all kinds of flower (rose, sun) as flowers

4. School years

Can use active and passive sentences

Teori Perkembangan Bahasa

Behaviorism Perspective

  • Child was born like plain paper, the environment has responsibility to write the paper. Child imitate and practice follow their environment. It is also reinforcement if the child make mistake.

Innative perspective

  • Children have LAD (language acquisition device) in their brain to process and produce language. Therefore they can develop their own language.
  • Children brain has an universal grammar
  • This theory fail because this theory can’t explain a child who can’t speak.

Critical period hypothesis

  • Each human has time to learn language especially while they are child (critical period) it the best time to learn language. Because adult who miss the critical period to learn language can’t speak like person who live in forest who never learn to speak while child

Interactionative perspective

This theory tried to combine innative and behaviorism theory

Piaget and Vygotsky

Cross cultural research
  • In this research compile how children acquire language in the world wide
  • This theory tried to connect same sound to the real one ex. Sound of cat. Child sound of cat but don’t understand what kinds of cat. This process, children do a perception in their ways. Finally child will find that not all the sound of cat are same.

Langauge Disorder and Delay

There are some factor affecting language disorder and delay. It divided into two main factors Neural and Physical factors


Neural : is language disorder or delay related to damage or up normal of brain. It affecting children in process the language and produce language. Usually child with this problem late to speak.
Psychical factor : The problem on each part of human body to produce language like speech organ (mouth, teeth, nose, tongue, lips) and other like ear to hear sound, eye to see the letters and so on. 


Environment : Child who can communicate to direction need


Childhood bilingualism like immigrant, children speak at home and school with different language. But they still be able to speak it all

Speed of children and adult in learning 

In learning Pronunciation related environment 
  • Adult will not say target language who has dirty word meaning in first language, therefore adult will not speak clearly. If more practice will be better.
  • Child will speak directly only speak without know the meaning (child has positive attitude) while acquire everything including language

In learning language related cognitive

  • Adult will be better in language in the beginning because adult understand the grammar (logical). In the grammar adult will be better, but the pronunciation is difficult to imitate native speaker. 
  • Child will be better than adult finally than adult because child adapt the new language better and acquirer faster even can imitate native speaker. 
Solution for who are scare to speak. It need mental, it is one of main factors of speak target language. It need self confident, self interest, necessary, and comfortable. 
Lightbown and Spada. 2006. Language learning in early childhood. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *