Language Development in Middle Childhood: Ages 9–13
Roughly speaking, the years of middle childhood are considered to be from 9 to 12 or 13 years. The developmental changes that occur in both linguistic and cognitive achievements as well as physical development over this period are dramatic. Cognitive and linguistic progress, on the surface, is not as dramatic as physical and social development. This last aspect, social maturation, has the greatest impact on both linguistic and cognitive development. Further, this is the period during which children’s conscious awareness of what they know about language, and what they are doing with language, flourishes. These developments can be used to great advantage by educators. Children become aware of the strategies they use to solve problems, and begin to use them with greater deliberation. This might be considered the “wise guy era” in terms of linguistic behavior. For example, children during this period produce puns and tell and appreciate jokes that may be truly funny. This is a clear indication of awareness of language and its uses.
KeywordsNative Language Reading Comprehension Native Speaker Language Development Middle Childhood
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