Language Development in Early Childhood — The Primary School Years: Ages 6–9
In this chapter we will discuss those aspects of language development that mark developmental changes in the years from age 6 to 8 or 9. In many U.S. school systems these years include grades 1 through 3 or 4. The years of development that we have termed early childhood is, once more, a period marked by very dramatic changes. Such changes occur both in language knowledge and in the medium through which language knowledge is acquired. It is during these years that most children learn how to read, and this can have a profound effect on what they know about language. In fact, learning to read can enhance conscious awareness of the categories and relations in language. Earlier language development consists largely of intuitive knowledge of these categories and relations, although some level of conscious awareness can be elicited even in 2-year-old children.
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