Chapters 7 & 8 Terms


A communication system in whic words and their written symbols combine in rule-governed ways to enable speakers to produce an infinite number of messages

communicative competence

the ability to convey thoughts, feelings, and intentions in a meaningful and culturally patterned way

productive language

the production of speech

receptive language

understanding the speech of others


the system of sounds that a language uses


the basic unit of a language's phonetic system; phonemes are the smallest sound units that affect meaning


the study of word meanings and word combinations, as in phrases, clauses, and sentences


the structure of a language; consists of morphology and syntax


the study of morphemes, language's smallest units of meaning


the part of grammar that prescribes how words may combine into phrases, clauses, and sentences


a set of rules that specify appropriate language for particular social contexts

language acquisition device (LAD)

Chomsky's proposed mental structure in the human nervous system that incorporates an innate concept of language

critical period

a specific period in childrens development when tehy are sensitive to a particular environmental stimulus that does not have the same effect on them when encountered before or after this period - support nativist oppinion

The Learning View of language development

B.F. Skinner -- propose that parents selectively reinforce the childs babbling sounds that are most like adult speech
-propse that child learns primarily through imitation or observational learning

Nativist view of language development

Noam Chomsky - proposed that children are born with an innate mental structure that guides their acquisition of language and, in particular, grammar
- biologically predisposed to acquire language

Interactionist View of language development

language is learned in the context of spoken language but assuming as well that humans are in some way biologically prepared for learning to speak

Language acquisition support system (LASS)

According to Bruner, a collection of strategies and tactics that environmental influences - provide the language learning child

infant-directed speech

a simplified style of speech parents use with young children in which sentences are short, simple, and often repetitive and teh speaker enunciates especially clearly, slowly, and in a higher pitched voice


a technique adults use in speak to young children in which they imitate and expand or add to a childs statement
Child: Give Mama
Adult: Give it to mama


a technique adults use in speaking to young children in which they render a childs incomplete sentence in a more complex gramatically form


a gesture that an infant uses to make some sort of statement about an object


a gesture that eitehr an infant or a young child may use to get someone to do something she or her wants

categorical speech perception

the tendency to perceive as the same a range of sounds belonging to the same phonemic group


a very young infant's production of vowel-like sounds (at about 1 month) - Oo sounds occur during social exchanges with caregiver


an infant's production of strings of consonant-vowel combinations (middle of first year)

patterned speech

a form of pseudospeech in which the child utters strings of phonemes that sound very much like real speech but are not (close of first year)

naming explosion

the rapid increase in vocabulary that the child typically shows at about age 1.5 years


the use, by a young child, of a single word to cover many different things


the use by ayoung child, of a single word in a restricted and individualistic way


a single word that appears to represent a complete thought

telegraphic speech

two-word utterances that include only the words essential to convey the speaker's intent


the application of a principle of regular change to a word that changes irregularly

metalinguistic awareness

the understanding that language is a rule-bound system of communicating

phonological awareness

the understanding of the sounds of a language and of the properties, such as the number of sounds in a word, related to these sounds


the acquisition of two languages


the mental activity through which human beings acquire and process knowledge

constructivist view

the idea that children actively create their understanding of the world as they encounter new information have new experiences
Jean Piaget spent his career studying the development of children's thinking, Working in his native Switzerland, Piaget based mu

schema (plural, schemas)

an organized unit of knowledge that the child uses to try to understand a situation; a schema forms the basis for organizing actions to respond to the environment


combining simple mental structures into more complex systems


schemas based on internal mental activities


adjusting one's thinking to fit with environmental demands


applying an existing schema to a new experience


modifying an existing schema to fit a new experience

stages of development

comprehensive, qualitative changes over time in the way a child thinks

sensorimotor stage

Piaget's first stage of cognitive development, during which children change from basic reflexive behavior to the beginnings of symbolic thought and goal-direted behaviors (age range: 0-2 years)

object permanence

the notion that entities external to child, such as objects and people, continue to exist independent of the child's seeing or interacting with them

basic reflex activity

an infant's exercise of, an growing proficiency in, the use of innate reflexes

primary circular reactions

behaviors focused on the infant's own body that the infant repeatedly engages in because they are pleasurable and satisfying

coordination of secondary circular reactions

an infant's combination of different schemas to achieve a specific goal

tertiary circular reactions

behaviors in which infants experiment with the properties of external objects and try to learn how objects respond to various actions

inventing new means by mental combination

children begin to combined schemas mentally and rely less on physical trial and error

symbolic thought

the use of mental images and concept to represent people, objects, and events

deferred imitation

mimicry of an action some time after having observed it; requires that the child have some sort of mental representation of the action

core knowledge of systems

Ways of reasoning about ecologically important objects and events, such as the solidity and continuity of objects

preoperational stage

in this stage, the ability to use symbols facilitates the learning of language; this stage is also marked by semi-logical reasoning, egocentricity-in which the child sees the world from her own point of view- and intuitive behavior, in which the child can

symbolic function

the ability to use symbols, such as images, words, and gestures, to represent objects and events in the world

preconceptual substage

the first substage of Piaget's preoperational period, during which the child's thought is characterized by the emergence of symbolic function, the rapid development of language animistic thinking, and egocentricity

animistic thinking

the attribution of life to inanimate objects


the tendency to view the wold from one's own perspective and to have difficulty seeing things from another's viewpoint

intuitive substage

the second substage of the preoperational stage during which the child begins to solve problems by using mental operations but cannot explain how she arrives at the solutions


the understanding that altering an object's or a substances appearance does not change its basic attributes or properties


The understanding that the steps of a procedure or operation can be reversed and that the original state of the object or event can be obtained.
This child's decision as to whether the two glasses hold equal amounts of colored water will reveal whether he

ends over means focus

consideration of only the end state of a problem in evaluating an event; failure to consider the means by which that end state was obtained


focusing one's attention on only one dimension of characteristic of an object or situation

concrete operations stage

stage in which the child is able to reason logically about materials that are physically present

formal operations stage

stage in which the child becomes capable of abstract thinking, complex reasoning, and hypothesis testing

self recognition

a childs conceiving of the self as seperate from teh envrionment and other people

theory of mind

understanding of the mind and how it works

false-belief task

involves telling a child a story and then asking him what a character in the story thinks

horizontal d´┐Żcalage

the term piaget used to describe unevenness in children's thinking within a particular stage; for example, in developing an understanding of conservation, children conserve different objects or substances at different stages


Psychological tools and signs- such as language, counting, mnemonic devices, algebraic symbols, art, and writing- that facilitate and direct thinking and processes

elementary mental functions

Psychological functions, such as voluntary attention, complex memory processes, and problem solving, that entail the coordination of several cognitive processes and the use of mediators

zone of proximal development (ZPD)

The region of sensitivity for learning characterized by the difference between the developmental level of which a child is capable when working alone and the level she is capable of reaching wit the aid of a more skilled partner


an instructional process in which the more knowledgeable partner adjusts the amount and type of support he offers to the child to fit with the child's learning needs over the course of the interaction

reciprocal instruction

a tutoring approach based on the ideas of the zone of proximal development and scaffolding

community of learners

an approach to classroom learning in which adults and children work together in shared activities, peers learn from each other, and the teacher serves as a guide

guided participation

learning that occurs as children participate in activities of their community and are guided in their participation by the actions of more experienced partners in the setting

intent community participation

children's participation in the authentic activities of their community with the purpose of learning about the activity

egocentric speech

according to Vygotsky, a form of self-directed dialogue by which the child instructs herself in solving problems and formulating plans; as the child matures, this becomes internalized as inner speech

inner speech

internalized egocentric speech that guides intellectual functioning

microgenetic change

changes associated with learning that occur over the time of specific learning experience or episode