Language Development in Infancy: Ages 0–3
Language development during these very early years of life, from birth to about 2½ to 3 years, is very dramatic and rapid. From birth to 2½ years is the period usually labeled as infancy, in keeping with Piaget’s description of these years (Piaget, 1926). The period starts with the baby, who spends much of the time sleeping, crying and cooing, and ends with the almost-3-year-old child who can engage in conversation with family members, peers and teachers in one or more languages. The home environment is of principal importance during these years since much of the infant’s time is spent in that situation. However, over the past few decades care-giving and educational programs for infants have been developing in the U.S., as well as being available in some other countries for some time. Even though some aspects of language development are still very much the product of the familial situation in which a child is born, these programs can impact development as well, and can do so in a positive manner.
KeywordsLanguage Development Sign Language Speech Sound Deaf Child Bilingual Child
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