Identify Stages Of Human Growth And Development In Relation To Communication Skills And Ability?

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Abi Ainscough answered
It is thought that newborn children undergo a number of stages, from birth until the age of about seven, during which their linguistic skills are developing in different ways. Of course, our grasp of language is also developing and improving, no matter how old we are, but these are stages in relation to the first key aspects of linguistic development.

• The pre-language stage

A child is in the pre-language stage for approximately the first 12 months of its life, although this does, of course, vary from child to child. During this stage, the child will communicate using hand signals, as well as noises such as crying and babbling. Many linguists emphasize the importance of the pre-language stage in a child's development, as during this stage, it is thought that children learn about features of language such as intonation and pitch.

• The holophrastic stage

During the holophrastic stage, children will use a single word to communicate a whole sentence or meaning. For example, the word "drink" could be used to mean a number of things, like "where is my drink?" "I want a drink", "you are drinking", and so on. The words the child uses to communicate are usually concrete - as in, they are usually names of physical objects or people, rather than concepts such as love or hate. The holophrastic usually lasts until around 18 months.

• The two word stage

This is a progression from the holophrastic stage, where the child will use two words that are somehow related to one another in order to convey meaning. Continuing from the previous example, the child may say "I drink" if he or she is drinking, wants a drink, or simply wants to draw attention to their drink. They may say "you drink" if they see your drink or cup, or see you drinking. In this stage, we can usually witness a child's grammatical development, as there are signs that the child understands how a sentence is constructed. This stage usually lasts until around two years of age.

• The telegraphic stage

This is a very complex stage, in which a child learns aspects of language such as adjectives, the formation of negative sentences, and the construction of questions. It usually lasts for a few years, perhaps up until the age of seven or eight.

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