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PSYC 302 Final Exam Review Notes

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PSYC 302
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1Ch 6 up to pg 253 and 3 articles Werker Baldwin and SaffranChapter 6 Development of Language and Symbol Use What sets humans apart from other species our use of symbols systems for representing out thoughts feelings and knowledge as well as for communicating them to other peopleo Symbols are an extremely important source of learning and knowledgeo So becoming symbol minded is a crucial development task for all childrenLanguage Development Children have mastered basic structure of their native language by 5 years old Using language involves botho language comprehension understanding what others say or sign or writeo language production speaking or writingsigning to others language comprehension precedes language productionThe components of Language hierarchy for all languages sounds combined to form wordswords combined to form sentencessentences combined to form narrativeso therefore acquiring a language involves learning its sounds and patterns specific words the way in which language allows words to be combined huge benefit comes from this combinatorial process generativityrefers to the idea that through the use of the finite set of words in our vocabulary we can put together an infinite number of sentences and express and infinite number of ideas phonemes the elementary units of meaningful sound used to produce languageso phonemes that distinguish meaning in any one language overlap with but also differ from other languageso thus first step in childrens language learning is phonological development the acquisition of knowledge about the sound system of a language morpheme smallest units of meaning in a language composed of one or more phonemeso ex I or dogsingle morpheme bc refer to a single entityo dogs2 morphemes 1 refers to familiar furry entity the other refers to more than oneo thus second component of language acquisition semantic developmentthe learning of the system for expressing meaning in a language including word learning for every language there are a large set of rulesthe syntax the rules in a language that specify how words from different categories nouns verbs adjectives etc can be combinedo third component of language syntactic development learning of the syntax of a languageacquiring the rules for combining words in a given language Pragmatic development the acquisition of knowledge about how a language is used Adults in contrast to young language learners have metalinguistic knowledgeknowledge about language including its properties and how its usedbasically that language is a language2 Same factors are needed in learning sign languageWhat is required for languageA human brain Language speciesspecific behaviouronly humans acquire languageo Speciesuniversalvirtually all young humans learn language Only the human brain acquires a communicative system with the complexity structure and generativity of languageBrainlanguage relations Language processing involves a substantial degree of functional localization 90 of RH people language is primarily represented and controlled by the left hemisphere of cerebral cortexo Association was formed by Paul Broca EEG studies show evidence that there is greater electrical activity in the left hemisphere when listening to speech Specialization for language also evident within the left hemisphereo Aphasia condition where language functions are severely impairedresult from damage to some but not all parts of the left hemisphereo Brocas aphasia typically associated with injury to Brocas area in the left hemisphere Difficulty producing speecho Wernickes aphasia cannot produce comprehendible speech language comprehension is also impairedCritical period for language development Critical period the time during which language develops readily and after which sometime between 5 years old and puberty language acquisition is much more difficult and ultimately less successfulo Several reports of children who failed to develop language after being deprived of early linguistic input Ex Victor the wild childabandoned by parents lived alone in the woods discovered when he was 12 years oldnaked walked on all fours scared of people and had no language After intense socialization and language training learned how to behave appropriately but never learned more than a few words Ex Modern day wild child Genieimprisoned in a room from 18 months13 years old development was stuntedphysically motorically and emotionallycould barely speak After intensive training made some progress but language ability never developed beyond that of a toddlers Different pattern of cerebral organization in late learners of a 2nd language and in those who learned it early Young learners limited cognitive ability make the task of analyzing and learning language easiero By high school language learning capability has already declinedA human environment Children must be exposed to other people using language Adequate experience hearing other talks is readily available in the environment of almost all children everywhere3 Infants identify speech as something important very earlyinfants 2 months of age pay attention longer to speech sounds than to nonspeechInfantdirected talk Infantdirected talk IDT distinctive mode of speech that adults adopt when talking to babies and very young childreno most obvious quality is its emotional tonesuffused with affectiono another characteristic is exaggerationhigher pitch extreme changes in intonation patterns talk more slowly clearly and elongate the pauses exaggerated facial expressions infants use the intonation of the mothers message to interpret meaning infants also learn new words better whether in native language or foreign language when words are presented in IDT IDT is very common throughout the world but not universalo Ex Kawaraae of the Solomon islands believe infants lack capacity for understanding speech so no point speaking to them When their infants begin to speakinitiate very direct language training Infants have 2 basic necessities for acquiring language human brain and human environmentApplicationsTwo languages are better than one Bilingualism ability to use 2 languages Does early exposure to 2 languages cause confusion and make language learning more difficulto Children who are acquiring 2 languages appear to build 2 separate linguistic systemso Some children may initially lag behind slightly but the course and rate of development are generally very similar Cognitive benefits to bilingualismo Children competent in 2 languages perform better on variety of cognitive tests than monolingual childreno Advantages of acquiring 2 languages outweigh the minor disadvantages More difficulty arise with respect to formal acquisition of second language later on in schoolo Debate over bilingual education in USvery complicated with host of political ethnic and racial issueso One sideadvocates totally immersion children are communicated with and taught completely in Englisho Other sideinitially provides instructions in basic subjects in native language and gradually increase amount of instruction provided in English In support of latter view there is evidence that 1 children often fail to master basic subject matter when it is taught in a language they dont fully understand 2 when both languages are integrated in classroom children learn 2nd language more readily and participate more actively This approach prevents semilingualism inadequate proficiency in both languagesThe process of language acquisition Acquiring language involves both listening and talking
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