Linguistics Chapter 7 Preschool Building Literacy Language Learning Outcomes Identify Major Languagedevelopment Milestones That

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
Language Development From Theory to Practice 3rd Edition
Khara L. Pence Turnbull, Laura M. Justice
Chapter 7: Preschool Building Literacy on Language
Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify major language-development milestones that occur in the preschool period.
3. Explain factors that contribute to preschoolers’ individual language achievements.
4. Describe how researchers and clinicians measure language development in the preschool
I. What Major Language-Development Milestones Occur in the Preschool Period?
A. With exposure to so many different objects and activities, preschoolers (even those who
do not attend preschool programs) have many opportunities to hear new words,
grammatical constructions, and language functions.
B. Preschool-age children who are reared in literate households, or who attend preschool are
also exposed to written language and begin to acquire important emergent literacy skills,
which is probably the crowning achievement of the preschool period.
C. Decontextualized Language
1. As preschoolers continue to add to the quantity of words they understand and
2. During the preschool years, children begin to incorporate decontextualized language
3. Contextualized language is grounded in the immediate context, or the here and now.
4. In contrast, when a child wants to discuss people, places, objects, and events that are
5. Decontextualized language relies heavily on the language itself in the construction
of meaning.
6. The ability to use decontextualized language is fundamental to academic success
D. Theory of Mind
2. First, children demonstrate sensitivity to diverse desires, or the understanding that
people can have different desires for the same thing.
4. Third, children show sensitivity to knowledge access, or the understanding that
something can be true but someone might not know it to be true.
6. Fifth, children understand hidden emotion, or the notion that someone can feel a
certain way while displaying a different emotion.
8. During the preschool years, children typically develop an understanding of false
10. Sentential complements are structures that represent a person’s speech or mental
11. They contain a main clause with a verb of communication (e.g., to say; to exclaim) or
12. As children develop, conversational exchanges tend to pose particular challenges for
atypically developing children (such as children with autism spectrum disorder and
E. Emergent Literacy
2. Researchers refer to the earliest period of learning about reading and writing as
emergent literacy.
4. Emergent literacy achievements depend largely on children’s metalinguistic ability,
or the ability to view language as an object of attention.
6. Print awareness is children’s understanding of the forms and functions of written
7. Alphabet Knowledge
a. Children who grow up in households where book reading is common begin to
show emerging knowledge of the alphabet during the first 3 years of life.
b. During the preschool years, children typically recognize some of the letters in
8. Print Awareness
a. Print awareness describes a number of specific achievements children generally
acquire along a developmental continuum: developing print interest, recognizing
9. Phonological Awareness
a. Children with a shallow level of phonological awareness show an implicit and
rudimentary sensitivity to large units of sound structure.
b. They can segment sentences into words and multisyllabic words into syllables.
c. They can also detect and produce rhymes, combine syllable onsets with the
remainder of the syllable to produce a word, and detect beginning sound
II. What Major Achievements in Language Form, Content, and Use Characterize the Preschool
A. Language Form
1. Achievements in Speech Production
a. Four- and five-year-old children generally show only minimal difficulties with a
few of the later-developing phonemes.
b. Children may also exhibit persistent difficulties with some of the earlier-acquired
phonemes when they appear in complex multisyllabic words, or in words with
consonant clusters.
c. The phonological processes continue to diminish during the preschool years as
children’s phonological systems stabilize; in the age 3-4 period, children have the
fastest suppression rate.
2. Grammatical and Derivational Morphology
a. Derivational morphemes are the prefixes and suffixes we add to a word to change
its meaning and sometimes its part of speech.
b. Six factors contribute to the order in which children acquire these types of
c. Frequent occurrence in utterance-final position: Infants and children are most
sensitive to sounds and words at the ends of utterances.
d. Syllabicity: Children first learn morphemes that constitute their own syllables and
later learn morphemes that contain only a single sound.
e. Single relation between morpheme and meaning: Children first learn morphemes
with only one meaning before they learn morphemes that express multiple
f. Consistency in use: Children learn the names of morphemes that are used
consistently more easily than morphemes that vary in their use.
n. Preschoolers master the verb to be in its copula and auxiliary forms.
3. Sentence Forms
a. Preschoolers make significant advances in using complex sentences, such as the
b. Subject-verb-object-adverb: “Daddy’s hitting the hammer outside.”
c. Subject-verb-complement-adverb: “Daddy is hungry now.”
B. Language Content
1. Preschoolers continue to acquire new words at a lightning pace about 860 words per
year averaging about two new words per day.
2. Fast Mapping
a. After fast mapping occurs, children engage in slow mapping, during which they
gradually refine representations with time and multiple exposures to the word in
3. Knowledge of Semantics and Syntax
a. In the preschool years, children continue to overextend object names on the basis
of information they have about other objects, but they weigh the function of an
object more heavily than its perceptual appearance.
4. Shared Storybook Reading
a. Preschoolers acquire new words as they participate in shared storybook
interactions with other people.
b. Maternal language in storybook-reading activities contains a more diverse array
5. Relational Terms
a. Relational terms allow speakers to express logical relationships.
b. Deictic Terms
Deictic terms are words whose use and interpretation depend on the location
of a speaker and a listener within a particular setting.
understand and use other interrogatives with more abstract applications, such
as when, how, and why.
Preschoolers may respond inappropriately to questions they do not
d. Temporal terms
Temporal terms describe the order of events, the duration of events, and the
concurrence of events.
Preschoolers understand temporal terms describing order before they
e. Opposites
Preschoolers learn opposites that they can perceive physically (such as big-
small) before they learn more abstract opposites (such as same-different).
f. Locational prepositions
Locational prepositions, which describe spatial relations, include under, next
g. Kinship terms
Children tend to learn kinship terms that refer to the family member with
whom they are most familiar earlier than kinship terms that refer to family
C. Language Use
1. Discourse Functions
a. Preschoolers begin to use language for more complex discourse functions,
including interpretive, logical, participatory, and organizing functions.
b. Interpretive functions make clear the whole of a person’s experience (“I was
2. Conversational Skills
a. Most preschoolers can maintain a conversation for two or more turns, particularly
when they select the topic for discussion.
b. Although they still have some difficulty realizing when communication
3. Conversational Pragmatics
a. Grice described a principle of conversational logic that he posited speakers and
listeners should be expected to observe, namely: “Make your conversational
contribution such as required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted
purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged.”
b. He termed the principle the Cooperative Principle.
c. There are four categories pertaining to the Cooperative Principle.
d. The category of quantity concerns the amount of information speakers should
i. The category of manner concerns not what the speaker says, but how the speaker
says it.
j. The speaker should avoid being unclear and ambiguous; the speaker should be
brief and orderly.
4. Narrative Skills
a. A narrative is a child’s spoken or written description of a real or fictional event.
b. Narratives differ from conversations in that two or more persons carry on
conversations, whereas narratives are largely uninterrupted streams of language
from a single person.
e. A causal sequence unfolds following a cause-and-effect chain of events, or
provides a reason or rationale for some series of events.
f. A temporal sequence unfolds with time.
g. Although narrative skills begin to develop as early as age 2 years, most children
cannot construct true narratives with a problem and a resolution.
h. Children’s early narratives may include only a minimal description of the
participants, time, and location relevant to the event and may contain only a series
of events.
i. Children’s repertoire of linguistic devices, including adverbial time phrases and
verb morphology, grows during the preschool period, which helps increase the
comprehensibility of their narratives.
m. Ethnographic research is a qualitative research method that involves gathering
data about different societies and cultures with the aim of describing the nature of
the populations of interest.
n. Researchers have summarized that children from working-class communities tend
to talk about negative experiences and serious physical harm more often than their
middle-class counterpart; children from middle-class communities tend to talk
more about sustaining minor injuries.
o. The researchers also summarized that children from working-class families use
more dramatic language than their middle-class counterparts.
p. Researchers point out that teachers’ and children’s narrative styles may “clash.”
III. What Factors Contribute to Preschoolers’ Individual Achievements in Language?
A. Intraindividual Differences
1. Intraindividual Variation in Language Profiles
a. A preschooler will exhibit one of many language profiles simultaneous patterns
2. Intraindividual Variation in Early Literacy Profiles
a. Literacy profiles are simultaneous patterns of literacy, including competencies
such as narrative discourse and metasemantics.
B. Interindividual Differences
1. Interindividual Variation in Language Profiles
2. Interindividual Variation in Early Literacy Profiles
3. Effects of Socioeconomic Status
a. As in toddlerhood, familial socioeconomic status (SES) continues to relate to
children’s language development in the preschool years.
b. Differences may become even more prominent in the preschool years because not
C. Effects of Peers and Siblings
2. In another study, researchers found that preschoolers with disabilities attending
3. Heterogeneous grouping may have a facilitative effect on language development for
4. Research indicates that preschoolers with more than three siblings tend to have
5. However, preschoolers with an older sibling who is attuned to the preschooler’s
6. Effects of Gender
a. Differences between girls and boys remain stable through the preschool years.
b. Gender differences in language can be identified for the areas of form, content,
c. Boys tend to use no more often than girls to correct or prohibit the behavior of
their playmates.
d. When given story prompts to complete, 3- to 5-year-old girls included greater
IV. How Do Researchers and Clinicians Measure Language Development in the Preschool
A. Researchers
1. Language Sample Analysis
a. Researchers who measure preschoolers’ language development can analyze
children’s language form, content, and use in many ways.
b. Some common measures of semantics include total number of words (TNW),
number of different words (NDW), and type-token ratio (TTR, computed by
a child can produce.
g. The researcher collecting a language sample should try to establish rapport with
the child as soon as the session begins by introducing himself or herself and
describing his or her job.
h. They also recommend introducing the recording equipment to the child and
o. Be patient by allowing the child plenty of time to initiate conversation and to
respond to your questions and directions.
p. Listen and follow the child’s lead by encouraging the child to elaborate on his or
her ideas, by adding new information when appropriate, and by maintaining the
child’s pace.
2. Grammaticality Judgment Tasks
a. There are two types of grammaticality judgment tasks.
b. To make a well-formedness judgment, the child must decide whether a sentence is
syntactically acceptable.
B. Clinicians
1. Screening
a. One example of a screening measure for language abilities is the Expressive
2. Comprehensive Evaluation
a. One popular comprehensive evaluation tool for language development is the
3. Progress Monitoring
a. One example of a progress monitoring measure for language abilities is the Oral
4. Formal Assessment of Bilingual Children
a. Assessing the language and early literacy skills of children who are bilingual
Beyond the Book:
1. Recall from our discussion in Chapter 5 that although young children tend to comprehend
2. Search the Web to find some strategies for promoting preschoolers’ alphabet knowledge,
3. Find a wordless storybook and have a preschool-age child tell you a story using the
4. Observe a group of preschool-age children and identify any phonological processes you
hear. In addition to noting the phonological processes, note the specific words the
Discussion Points:
What kind of task might a researcher design to determine whether a preschooler is using
decontextualized language?
Adults rely on metalinguistic abilities in certain circumstances as well. Can you think of
some occasions when you had to focus on language as an object of attention?
What language-development theory (from Chapter 4) could best explain children’s ability
to use knowledge of the animacy of an object to infer the meaning of a new word?
Why do you think the telephone intervention described earlier helped develop children’s
narrative skills?
How might a researcher study the quality of teachers’ language use within the preschool

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