Children should have the opportunity to learn from when they are born, from their parent/carers or other siblings at home. Development is helped by parent/siblings talking to the child, playing, providing toys which the child can handle, investigate with to help with their imagination and concentration, giving children motivation and positive encouragement to explore their surroundings. , developing new skills. Children with low-esteem should also be given special encouragement and motivation to learn these things.
As children get older they should be encouraged to ask questions and be curious. Children imitate role models (parents) by coping speech and coping letters and words, helping them to know the difference between right and wrong, provided the environment sets a good example to them. The child’s development can be hindered by the lack of opportunity to play and talk, if nobody communicates with them, they don’t develop speech and language. If nobody plays with them, children don’t develop imagination or new skills.
The learning and development of children takes place only when the time is right and the opportunities are there. E. g. it is no good trying to force children to write their names before they are developmentally ready. Chomsky and Leneberg believed that all children are innate and that there was a ‘critical period’ up to puberty age where the ‘language acquisition period’ is active (this is the speech – producing mechanisms (tongue, lips, palette, breath control), the intellectual ability to understand complex language and parts pf the brain that enables understanding of language.
) and that if the child has not developed in that time it would be difficult for a child to acquire cognitive and language development, however other’s suggested that their was no ‘critical period’ and that they could learn in the ‘sensitive period’ where they could learn after, but it would be harder for them to learn. Children need an environment which encourages them to learn and develop. They need to explore freely and safely from an early age and need encouragement and praise for their efforts as well as their achievements.
School can influence the child’s development by the child being learnt to use language correctly. School can increase the child’s knowledge, increase their vocabulary and their thinking of new ideas in drawing and writing. Children using conversation, asking questions on what they are doing, why they are doing it. Teachers giving direct teaching, one to one or in a group, sharing ideas and children learning new skills such as problem-solving.
Teachers assess and observe the needs of each individual child and know the child’s requirement for their development and to be able to identify the next step in the child’s learning. Chomsky was critical of Skinner’s theory has he said that there was more to language learning than imitation and reinforcements. He said that children learn the rules of language, not just specific responses as Skinner had said. Chomsky asserted that human beings are born biologically equipped to learn a language and proposed the theory of L A D.
Piaget believed that children pass through stages in the development of understanding and that certain kinds of experiences are appropriate within the child’s grasp at each stage. Piaget theory is a constructionist theory where the child doesn’t become intelligent as it grows but by through interaction with the environment. He believed the environment was a crucial factor in learning. All children regardless of their ethic origin follow the same sequence of language, that’s if the child development has not been delayed by some form of disability or the needs of not being taught.