Speech Therapy

Factors that Influence Language Development: Social and Perceptual

In the last article, we had written about five factors that influence language development. The factors are:

  • Social
  • Perceptual
  • Cognitive processing
  • Conceptual
  • Linguistic

In this second article of factors that influence language development series, we will explain about the first two factors, social and perceptual factors.

Positively, you will obtain valuable information about factors of language development, especially social and perceptual factors.

We wish you a very happy learning!

General Information
Language learning is influenced by a lot of aspects of human capability and experience. For this reason, language development is more impressive and interesting when humans think through the nature of what they learned.

For example, it seems children merely have to remember what they have heard and then repeat it several times at other time. However, if this were the core of language learning, humans will never be successful as communicator (Chomsky, A Review of Verbal Behavior by B.F. Skinner, Language 1959).

Productivity is an integral part of verbal communication. Abstraction would be the main part of the understanding of some aspects of language knowledge. What Chomsky tried to deliver, abstractions cannot be directly experienced. Understanding of abstraction should emerge from the children’s mental activity when listening to speech.

We will now learn about the first two factors that influence language development significantly.

Factor that influence language development: Social factor
First: Children conclude a speaker’s communicative intent. From this point, they will use the information to enhance and guide their learning of language.

As an example, within two years, children can infer alone from an adult’s voice tone as well as from the physical setting. Children will take lesson that a new word should refer to an object which has been put on the table when the adult was away (Akhtar, Carpenter and Tomasello, 1996).

Second: The verbal environment has effect upon language learning. Starting from ages one to three, children who live in a highly communicative “professional” families hear words approximately three times each week than those of children who live in a low communicative “welfare” families.

The result from this study shows that the factor of early parental language can predict the children’s language score at nine-year-old.

Factor that influence language development: Perceptual factor
First: Children perception sets the stage. Children’s auditory perceptual skills between six to twelve months old may predict the size of vocabulary along with syntactic complexity at nearly two years of age.

Second: Perceptibility matters. In English language, impaired learners feel challenge from the forms with reduced perceptual salience.

In the upcoming articles, we will explain other factors that influence language development. The factors are cognitive processing, conceptual and linguistic.

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