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Child Language Acquisition

Emily Prentice | Tuesday March 26, 2019

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Many of you will be looking to cover the topic of Child Language Acquisition (CLA) with year 13 now, perhaps with an eye to providing it as a possible Investigation topic.

Introducing CLA

Our CLA Introduction is a 24 page printable booklet which contains a comprehensive guide to the topic, covering key concepts in a range of frameworks and the central theories in some detail.

  • Child Language Acquisition Introduction New! PDF

This guide is most useful for your own information as to the scope of what to cover. What I particularly like about the comprehensive guide is that it provides some tips on gaining material to use in the classroom (including how useful the Teletubbies can be!). One update to add to this is the TV programmes ‘The Secret Lives of 4 (and 5 and 6) Year Olds’ have been fantastic for child language data – both for classroom viewing and for some NEAs.

I also very much appreciate that the guide covers reading and writing as well as speech. Please don’t be alarmed that speech is covered in much more depth: there simply is more to learn about spoken acquisition in terms of theory and concepts. Reading in fact is no longer on the spec as such, but the students who learn about it understand children’s writing much more effectively and can make far more intelligent comments about it, so it is worth doing. Also, conducting a ‘memories’ starter on how they learned to read (Biff, Chip and Kipper, anyone?) is a real joy!

Theories used for CLA

Edusites English 12 page printable guide focuses on Linguistics theories, Research and Concepts written for teachers and students, this guide is a handy A5 aide memoire which does not skimp on detail.

  • Child Language Acquisition Theories New! PDF

CLA Classroom Activities

A task I’ve found really helpful when talking about spelling strategies with students is to give them a spelling test of difficult words. If your school uses a levelling test with younger students, give them...


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