Oral Language Development: The Pathway to Literacy Arizona Branch of The International Dyslexia Association Annual Meeting May 9, 2009 Stacy Fretheim, MS, CCC-SLP
Definition of Language • Language is a code made up of rules including • how to make words • what words mean • how to put them together • what word combinations are best in what situations. • Language develops naturally • Innate skill • Brains are hard-wired for language • Requires exposure to language stimuli
Two Main Divisions • Language falls into two main divisions: • Receptive language: • understanding what is said, written or signed • Expressive Language: • speaking, writing or signing.
A Rough Guide for Language Development • Babies start “playing with sound” early (cooing 2-3 months, babbling 5-7 months) • Expect first words between 12 and 18 months. • There is usually a "spurt" of language development before 2 years. • Expect to hear 4 to 5 word sentences by 4 years. • Grammar should be correct most of the time by 4 years. • "Other people" should understand almost everything your child says by the time he or she is 4!
Going from “Ga-Ga” to “Good Morning” • The development of language depends upon the ability to tell the difference between simple sounds • In typical development, this happens innately • Studies show that babies up to 6 months of age can perceive the differences in all sounds in any language Kuhl, 2008
Creating Phonological Maps • Clear distinct representations of the sounds are “mapped” out with respect to: • Auditory Features • Visual Features • Tactile Kinesthetic Features
METALINGUISTIC WRITING SPELLING READING SYNTAX (FORM) SEMANTICS (MEANING) PHONOLOGY PRAGMATICS (FORM) (FUNCTION) LANGUAGE (BUILDINGBLOCKS) 9 YEARS ___ 5 YEARS ___ 18 MONTHS ___ 9 MONTHS ___ 1 MONTH ___
(PERCEPTION / PRODUCTION) PHONOLOGY EXECUTIVE FUNCTION / INTENTION WORKING MEMORY HOLD / MANIPULATE PROSODIC REPRESENTATION (WORD LEVEL) PHONEMIC REPRESENTATION MOTOR ARTICULATORY SUBREPRESENTATION SOMATOSENSORY ARTICULATORY SUBREPRESENTATION ACOUSTIC SUBREPRESENTATION VISUAL SUBREPRESENTATION ATTENTION / AROUSAL Alexander, 2004
Providing a Strong Foundation “The development of phoneme awareness, the development of an understanding of the alphabetic principle, and the translation of these skills to the application of phonics in reading words are non-negotiable beginning reading skills that ALL children must master in order to understand what they read and to learn from their reading sessions.” Dr. Reid Lyon STATEMENT OF DR. G. REID LYONCHIEF CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOR BRANCH NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (April 1998)
Red Flags • Warning signs that language may not be developing typically: • Lack of appreciation for rhyme or lack of interest in sound or word play • Difficulty telling an event/story in sequence • Difficulty appreciating the individual sounds in words heard, spoken or read • Difficulty pronouncing multisyllabic words • Difficulty following directions
What’snext? • If you suspect that your child is having trouble with language: • Schedule an audiological screening/evaluation to make sure that your child is hearing well • Schedule a screening/evaluation with a speech-language pathologist Difficulties with oral-language as a young child put one at high-risk for developing dyslexia! Get help early!
Parents know their children best; Listen to your intuition! Feel free to contact me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org 480-629-4461