Human Communication Development in Early Childhood Years
Throughout this semester we have covered various topics that specifically focus on human communication development in early childhood years. Starting off with the similarities and differences between animal and human communication, moving on to some history of language acquisition theories, then to the ‘how’ and ‘whys’ that are associated with early communication development in infancy, and lastly language acquisitions in toddlers pertaining to word acquisition and grammatical development. Each week’s discussion was thought provoking, and I have learned much from exchanging perceptions and debating with each group member. Today my goal is to give beneficial recommendations to Tam’s parents who aim to help facilitate Tam’s communication learning skills and ease their worries.
Most of the time people take communication as something for granted and rarely appreciate it. Hence, it is necessary start off with the basics. In Class we learned what specifically communication is, and what 4 processes are it consisted of (formulation, transmission, reception, and comprehension). Tam’s parents need to understand that each step is crucial for the communication process to be successful; when one link doesn’t function well enough, the communication is then not be complete. First, we looked into the definition of language, which is a code and symbol that is shared within communities. Second, we learned about the relationship between language and speech regarding to sound signals and systems involved with speech production. Additionally, we recognized that the hearing mechanism allows us to hear and process information. Eventually boiling it down to the equation Language + Speech + Hearing = Communication. Furthermore, we explored the three language domains and their interrelationships and language components, concluding that language is complex and multifaceted (Wachtel, 2013). Keeping this in mind, it is necessary for Tam’s parents to not be too impatient or stressed, and try to focus on all three of these components equally instead of worrying about just one component.
After understanding the complexity of communication, our discussion question helped us recognize how communication and language pertains to humans and primates in a similar or different way. First of all, we see a few commonalities between children and animal language being gestures and sound making. This is demonstrated in the Koko, a talking gorilla video and also in the baby sign language video. Differences would be how children communicate in a much more complex way adding in the extra element of symbols. After doing some research, I was able to further understand the similarities/differences. A specific comparison and contrast between vervet monkey infants and human infants show how both use symbolic examples and gradually learn rules of word restriction; nonetheless, human language has a much larger complex set of symbols (Human and Animal, Unknown).