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Periodization of speech development. Characteristics of the successive stages of speech development in childhood
In the psycholinguistic concepts of «speech ontogenesis» A.A. Leontiev leans on methodological approaches of outstanding linguists and psychologists of XIX-XX centuries – V. Humboldt, P.O. Yakobson, L.S. Vygotsky, V.V.Vinogradova, A.N.Gvozdev, etc. As one of basic conceptual positions A.A. Leontiev points out the following statement of V. Humboldt: « Children language acquisition is not an adaptation of words, their folding in memories and revival by means of speech, but development of linguistic abilities in years and exercises».
Process of speech activity formation (also acquisition of the native language system) in ontogenesis in the concept of «speech ontogenesis» A.A. Leontiev subdivides into a number of the successive periods, or "stages":
1-st - preparatory (from the moment of a birth till 1 year);
2-nd – pre-preschool (from 1 year till 3 years);
3-rd - preschool (from 3 till 7 years);
4-th - school (from 7 till 17 years).
The first stage of speech formation lasts for first three years of child’s life. Development of children's speech till three years (according to the accepted in psychology traditional approach), is subdivided into three basic stages:
1) pre-speaking stage (the first year of life) in which the periods of buzz and babble are distinguished.
2) the stage of primary development of language (pregrammar) - the second year of a life and
3) the stage of grammar mastering (the third year of a life).
A.A. Leontev specifies, that time frameworks of these stages are extremely divergent (especially to three years); besides in development of children's speech we can distinguish the acceleration – a shift of age characteristics on earlier age stages.
Language, being means of realization of SA as it was marked above, represents system of special signs and rules of their combination. Besides the internal maintenance signs on language have also the external form - sound and writing. The child begins development of language with development of the sound form of language sign’s expression.
Laws of the speech phonetic part’s formation in ontogenesis of speech activity were an object of research of many authors: P.M. Boskis, A.N. Gvozdev, G.A. Case, F.À Ray, etc. Data of these researches are generalized and analysed by E.M. Vereschagin, D. Slobina, A.A.Leontev, A.M. Shahronovich, and others. We shall specify some of these laws.
Development of an articulation of speech sounds – is very complicated problem, though the child starts "to practise" in pronouncing sounds already from one and a half-months, for mastering utter speaking skills he needs four-five years. All normally developing children have a certain sequence in development of the language sound form and in development of pre-speech reactions: buzz, "pipe", babble and its «complicated variant» -so called, modulated babble.
When a child is born, his appearance he marks by crying. Cry – is the first voice reaction of the child. Child’s crying stir up activity of articulatory, voice, respiratory parts of speech apparatus.
For the child of the first year of a life «speech training» in pronouncing sounds is some kind of game, involuntary action which gives a pleasure to the child. The child persistently, during many minutes, can repeat the same sound and thus practise in its articulation.
The period of buzz is noted in all children. Already in 1,5 months, and then - in 2-3months the child shows voice reactions in reproduction of such sounds as [a-a-bm-bm, bl, u-gu, bu etc.] they later become basis for formation of articulate speech. Children of all nations of the world are similar in buzz (under the phonetic characteristics).
In 4 months sound combinations become complicated: appear new, type of sounds [ fn-agn, lya-alya, rn, etc.] Child while buzzing plays with his articulation apparatus, sometimes repeats the same sound, getting pleasure from it. Child usually buzz when he is dry, fed and healthy. When one of relatives is near and starts “ talking" to the child, he with pleasure listens to sounds and as though "picks up" them. On a background of such positive emotional contact child starts to imitate adults, tries to diversify his voice expressive intonation.
According to of some experimental researches, by 6 months sounds, pronounced by children, start to remind sounds of their native language. It has been checked up in the following psycholinguistics experiment. The examinee, were carriers of different languages (English, German, Spanish, Chinese) listened to the records of crying, buzzing and babbling of children who were brought up in corresponding language environments. Only at listening recordings of six-seven-mouth children examinees could distinguish with the big degree of reliability sounds of native language for them.
During buzz (the pronouncing of separate sounds modulated by a voice, under the characteristics corresponding vowels) the sound part of children's speech does not have four major features inherent in speech sounds:
(b) the "fixed" localization (a "stable" articulation);
(c) constant articulation positions;
(d) relevance, i.e. conformity of these articulations orthopedic (phonetic) norms of the native language.
Only during babble (which is expressed in pronouncing combinations of the sounds corresponding a syllable, and various on volume and structure of syllabic numbers) these normative features of sound pronunciation gradually start to be shown. During this period the «syntagmatic organization» of speech is formed: «structure» of a syllable is formed (occurrence of «protoconsonant» and «protovowel»), division of a stream of speech into syllabic quantums which indicates the formation of child’s physiological mechanism of syllable formation.
2-3 months child’s speech activity receives new "quality". There appears a kind of original equivalent of a word, namely - the closed sequence of syllables incorporated by accenting, melody and unity of way of articulation bodies. This structurally organized sound production (Pseudo-words), as a rule, «chorus»: "words" have an accent on first "syllable", irrespective to the native language of the child. Pseudo-words does not have denotation (the first and basic component of value of a high-grade word) and serve only for expression of this or that «vital» to need or yet completely realized "estimated" attitude to an external world.
At normal development of the child in 6-7 months «buzz» gradually passes in babble. At this time children say syllables like [ba-ba, dja-dja, da-da, etc.], correlating them with the certain surrounding people. During dialogue with adults the child gradually tries to imitate intonation, rate, a rhythm, melody to reproduce numbers of syllables; the volume of babble words which the child tries to repeat for adults extends.
In 8,5-9 months babble already has the modulated character with various intonations. But not all children develop in this process is equally: decrease in acoustical function brings to the “attenuation” of buzz, and this can be granted as diagnostic symptom.
In 9-10 months there is a quantum leap in child’s speech development. There appears first "normative", "subjectively relevant" words (corresponding lexical system of the native language). The circle of articulations within two-three months does not extend, it is equal as there is no reference of sounds to new subjects or phenomena.
In 10-12 months child uses all nouns (which is the only part of speech presented in child’s "grammar") uses in the Nominative case in a singular form. Later child tries to connect two words in a phrase (Mum, give!) (approximately in one and a half year). Then the imperative mood of verbs is acquired (Go-go! Give-give!). Traditionally it is considered, that when child uses words in plural forms mastering of grammar begins. Depending on individual distinctions in rates of psychophysical and cognitive development all children differently move ahead in language (LINGUISTIC) development.
"Suspension" of phonetic development during this period of «speech ontogenesis» (for 3-4 months) is connected with substantial growth of number of words of the active dictionary and, that is especially important, with the advent of the first presence of real generalizations, which according to L.S. Vygotsky correspond, under the concept of «syncretic coupling of subjects to casual attributes ». In child speech appears a language sign. The word starts to act as structural unit of language and speech. « If earlier separate pseudo-words arose on a background semantically and articulation not differentiated babble speech now all child speech becomes verbal ».
Child’s mastering of sound sequence in a word is a result of development of conditional communications’ system. The child imitates by borrows certain sound combinations (variants of sound pronounce) from surrounding people’s speech. Mastering language as complete system of signs, the child masters sounds at once as phonemes. For example, the phoneme [ð] can be said by the child differently - in a normative variant. But in Russian these distinctions are not essential to dialogue because do not conduct to formation of different words on sense or different forms of a word.
According to several researchers, the phonemic hearing is formed at very early age. At first the child learns to separate world around sounds (a door scratch, rain noise, miaow of a cat) from sounds of the speech turned to him. The child actively searches for a sound designation of elements of surrounding world, catching them from lips of adults. However, he uses the borrowed funds in adult phonetic language "in his own way."
The presence of such laws allows suggests to say that the child is in the process of language acquisition creates his own intermediate language system. Subsequently, the voicing (defined by sonority voices) becomes differential contrast of the speech sound feature that allows your child to double its supply of classes of consonants. Child can not borrow such rules from adults. It is not because child cannot pronounce, say, the sound [d] - he knows how to pronounce it, but thinks that the sound can only occur at the beginning of the word. Later, this "system of rules" is corrected and the child "brings" it to the adult’s system of language. When we talk about the phonetic part of speech, it is clearl, thatchild must not be able to pronounce sound adequately to perceive its differential signs. This is illustrated by the following example of dialogue with an adult and a child:
- What is your name?
- Malina ( Marina).
- No, Malina.
- Well, I say - Malina!
- Malina, Malina!
- Oh, so your name is Marina?
- Yes, Malina!
These examples shows that a child who cannot pronounce the sound [r], adequately differentiates it from the opposition sound. Therefore he rejects adult imitation of the pronunciation though himself can't express differentiation in pronunciation between correct and incorrect variant.
According to the facts mentioned above, we conclude that first of all child masters purely external (i.e, sound) the structure of the sign, which subsequently, in the process of operating with signs, causes the child to its correct functional use.
In the initial period of language acquisition the scope of bubble and meaningful words in the active vocabulary of the child expands. This stage is characterized by increase of child’s attention to the surrounding speech, in this period significantly increases the activity of child’s speech. Words which child uses usually "ambiguous", "semantically polyphonic", simultaneously by one word or word combination child represents several concepts: the "bang" - has fallen, lies, stumbled, "give" - give me, give, offer, "Bibi" - walks, rides, car, airplane, and bicycle.
After one and a half years growth of child’s active vocabulary can be noticed, there appears first sentences consisting of the whole words and amorphous word-roots.
Pedagogical observations show that children do not immediately acquire correct reproduction of the language signs: some language features assimilate earlier, others later. The easier word’s pronunciation and structure, easier child remembers it. During this period, all of the following factors play particularly important role:
a) imitation (reproduction) of surrounding speech;
b) formation of a complex system of functional (psychophysical) mechanisms for implementation of speech;
c) conditions in which the child was brought up (the psychological situation in the family, caring attitude to the child, full speech environment, adequate communication with adults).
Characteristic indicator of children’s active speech development at this stage is the gradual assimilation of grammatical categories.
In this period we can point out a separate "sub stages" - physiological grammar acquisition period - "when a child uses in communication grammatical sentences without proper registration of their constituent words and phrases”: Mom, give me a dolly ("Mom, give me the doll "), Katy no ka ("Katy there is no cars "). In normal speech development, this period lasts from several months to six months.
In preschool period of speech development we can see various phonetic infringements children’s speech: they pass many sounds of a native language (don't say absolutely), rearrange, replace sounds with more simple on an articulation sounds. These lacks of speech (which are defined as «physiological speech disorders») explain age imperfection of the articulation apparatus, and also an insufficient level of phonemic perception’s development (perception and differentiation of phonemes). At the same time at this period coomonly seen reproduction by children of intonation-rhythmic, melodic contours of words.
N.S.Zhukov noticed that the quantum leap in development of child’s speech occurs from the moment when he can correctly construct simple sentences and change words in cases, numbers, persons and times. By the end of the preschool period children communicate among themselves and people surrounding them, using simple sentences the simplest grammatical categories of speech.
Parents and educators must know that the optimum and intensive period in child’s speech development is the 3rd year of life. During this period all functions of the central nervous system, which provide the formation of system of conditioned-reflex communications, more easily amenable to pedagogical influence. If conditions of development are adverse at this time, formation of speech activity can delay in development or even proceed in the "deformed" variant.
Many parents evaluate their child's speech development only according to the accuracy sound pronunciation . Such approach is incorrect because the rate of children's speech formation is a timely development of the child's ability to use their vocabulary in speech communication with others in a different sentence structures. At 2,5-3 years children use sentences of three-four words using different grammatical forms (go - goes – we go – I don’t go; doll – to a doll - a doll).
Pre-school stage "of the speech ontogenesis is characterized by the most intensive children’s linguistic development. Often a qualitative leap in expanding of active and passive vocabulary can be seen. Child begins to use all parts of speech in the structure of formed during this period linguistic ability gradually form habits of word formation.
The process of language acquisition proceeds so rapidly that after three years, children with a good level of speech development freely communicate not only with the help of grammatically well-formed simple sentences, but some types of complex sentences. At this time, an active vocabulary of children reaches 3-4 thousand words, formed by more differentiated use of words in accordance with their values, children master the skill of inflection and word formation.
In the preschool period, phonetic aspects of speech is formed actively, children master the ability to reproduce the words of varying syllabic structure and sound pronounce. Even if there exist individual errors, they usually can be found in the most difficult in pronunciation words, infrequent or unfamiliar words. Adults have only once correct child and to give a sample of correct pronunciation and organize a small "speech practice" in the normative pronunciation of words as a child quickly introduce a new word in their own independent speech.
By the end of the preschool period of speech development children normally acquire phrase speech, which is phonetically, lexically and grammatically correctly issued. Deviations from orthoepy norms of oral speech (separate "phonetic" and "grammatical" errors) have no fixed character and at corresponding pedagogical "updating" by adults are quickly eliminated.
Sufficient level of phonemic hearing allows children to learn the skills of sound analysis and synthesis, which is a prerequisite for learning literacy in the period of schooling.
Analysis of the formation of different sides of verbal activity in children from the standpoint of psychology and psycholinguistics has a direct bearing on the problem of connected speech during preschool childhood. In preschool period the child's speech as a means of communication with adults and other children is directly related to the specific situation of visual communication. Being realized in dialogue form, it is pronounced situational (caused by a situation of verbal communication) in nature. With the transition to preschool age, the emergence of new activities, new relationships with adults are the differentiation of functions and forms of speech. The child appears form of speech messages in the form of story-monologue about what happened to him is in direct contact with an adult. With the development of independent practice in the child there is a need to formulate their own plan, in the argument about the method to practical action. There is a need for speech, which is clear from the context of the speech - a connected speech context. The transition to this form of speech is determined primarily by assimilation of grammatical forms deployed statements. Simultaneously, and the further complication of the dialogical form of speech, both in terms of its content and in terms of increased language capabilities of the child, the activity and its involvement in the live speech communication.
Features of the formation of coherent monologic speech of preschool children with normal language development are considered by LP Fedorenko, FA Sokhin, O. Ushakova and etc. Researchers note that at the age of 2-3 the elements of monologue speech appear in the utterances of normally developing children. From 5-6 years child begins to acquire rapidly monologic speech, as by this time the process of phonemic speech development is completed and children mostly learn morphological, grammatical and syntactical structures of the native language (A. Gvozdev, GA Fomichev, V. C. Lotarev, O. Ushakov, etc.). From the age of 4 children acquire such types of monologue speech as a description (a simple description of the subject) and the narrative, and in the seventh year of life - short arguments. Quotes from children of five or six years now quite informative, it has certain logic of presentation. Often, their stories are full of fantasy, desire to invent episodes, which they did not have in their life experience.
However, a complete acquisition of monologue speech by children is possible only in conditions of aimed education. To the necessary conditions of successful monologic speech acquisition the development of special reasons, the need for use of monologic utterances; formation of different types of control and self-absorption of the syntax are include. Acquisition of monologic speech is possible regulatory, planning functions of speech appear (Vygotsky, Luria, A. Markov, etc.). Studies of a number of authors have shown that preschool age children can learn skills of planning monologic utterances (L.R. Golubeva, N.A. Orlanova, etc.) This, in turn, is largely determined by the gradual formation of child’s inner speech. According to A.A. Lublin and other authors, the transition of foreign "egocentric" speech to the internal normally occurs in 4 to 5 years.
It should be noted that the acquisition of connected speech is possible only if there exists a certain level of vocabulary and grammatical structure of speech formation.
Research works of A.N. Gvozdev show that seven year old child masters speech as a full means of communication.
In the school period of speech development improvement of coherent speech continues. Children consciously learn grammatical rules of free speech processing, fully master the sound analysis and synthesis. At this stage writing speech is formed.
The child's speech development - is a complex, diverse and fairly lengthy process. Children do not immediately take possession of the lexical-grammatical system, inflection, word formation, sound pronunciation and syllabic structure. Some groups of linguistic signs acquired much later than others. Therefore, at various stages of children's speech development, some linguistic elements are already assimilated, others – acquired partly. At the same time mastering speech phonemic structure is closely related to the progressive formation of a common vocabulary and grammatical structure of the native language. In general, the ontogenesis of linguistic ability is a complex interaction with on the one hand, the process of adult-child communication and the process of subjective and cognitive activity development, on the other.