Language Development Methods in Child


The development of language varies according to the initiation of the significant factors related to the primary subject. Looking at a clearer perspective, children of young age usually adapt to the environment which they have been introduced. Learning is something that starts at home and with the people that attend to the needs of the children such as the parents, family or a caregiver.

Maternal Input

A study about the language development especially the maternal input study conducted by Hurtado et al. (2008) which is entitled, “Does input influence uptake? Links between maternal talk, processing speed and vocabulary size in Spanish-learning children, examined the effects of the caregivers to the learning abilities of the children in 18 to 24 months. It is significant because it analyzes the proficiency of the Spanish- speaking children in building vocabularies at a very young age. The mothers usually feed the children the information that it gets through the early stages of life and try to apply these things as the kid grows up. In the study conducted, it explores how the Spanish- learning children comprehend with the way the caregivers talk to them and be able to input the process of learning vocabulary. The ability of the children to comprehend with the things around is based on the input of the caregivers on the process of talking to the children. It is said that the mothers who talks more often to their children in 18 months affects the children’s comprehension when it gets to the 24th month. It means that the process is an effective way of training the child in an early stage on language development for the latter stages of infancy (Hurtado et al., 2008).


The study measured and tested this idea through conducting a research in a community-based laboratory that was attended by the mothers, the children, the experts and the observers (Hurtado et al., 2008). The participants are mostly the immigrants from Mexico that possess a low English proficiency because of using Spanish as the major language they speak at home. The measurements used in the study are observed through the Mother’s speech, size of the vocabulary and speech processing (Hurtado et al., 2008). Indeed, the study prevails that the measurement used are important factors in communicating with an infant in order to comprehend with each other. Analyzing the given method resulted to the idea that the speech of the caregiver primarily affects how the child recognizes a certain word and adds it up to the vocabulary in a continuous learning process.

The study provided a good background of discovering how a language is developed for the infants. The way the mothers talk to the children shapes the children’s learning throughout the growth stage and development of word recognition. At 18 months, children tend to be familiar with the words that the mothers utter and at 24 months, this retained to their vocabulary and apparently become aware of what a certain word or phrase means (Hurtado et al., 2008). Feeding up the information at the early months of a child serves as a back up for a more wide- ranged vocabulary when the child gets older. This study gives a future evaluation of thinking that the children who have been exposed to the mother’s way of talking during infancy are more talented when it comes to comprehension (Hurtado et al., 2008). Considering that the children are Spanish, it is important to note that they have a very good way of grasping to the English language which is not similar to their own language. English language is shorter in a way compared to the Spanish language. Thus, the study suggests a very good way of understanding how the Spanish- children develop language from the very start of speech recognition.

A study which is, “Intimacy, imitation and language learning: Spanish diminutives in mother-child Conversation”, depicts the language development which involves the intimacy of relationship between the mother and the child (King and Melzi, 2004). The paper points out how the Spanish-speaking mothers and children use diminutive in the conversation. This depicts the variations of how each interpret the diminutive used in talking with each other and is said to be one of the process of learning language. Diminutives have been apparent to the way the children interprets what they hear from the mothers. The method used in the study is a good one because it allowed a free conversation between the mother and a child where observers can really see the process of how the child responds to the mother (King and Melzi, 2004). The study has significantly showed how the language becomes an important factor of how the child comprehends to the things that the mother prevails throughout the conversation. Simple affixes matter and may mean differently which made the conversation suitable as a method of analyzing such language learning process (King and Melzi, 2004).

The study depicts how the child adapts to the way the mother talks and respond the way the mother throw her lines. Intimacy indeed reflected an important point in the process of learning of the child. Development of language depends on how the child learns from the primary influencers and teachers at home. The use diminutive is also reflected from the mother’s way of talking which is being able to fetch by the child as he/she grows older.

A very interesting study relates to the language development that talks about the behavioral difficulties of the children in language development is done by Raymond C. Tervo (2007), which is entitled “Language Proficiency, Development, and Behavioral Difficulties in Toddlers”. The paper explores the proficiency of language and its development among the toddlers which involves a range of 18 to 35 months. Evaluating how the children comprehend to the given situations made the researchers conclude that the children who expressed delays are those who are experiencing emotional problems (Tervo, 2007). The reports on behavioral problems of the children apparently points out to the delayed language development because of a failed open communication between the mothers and the children. This may bring future social and emotional problems as well because of a delayed language development (Tervo, 2007).

This study used the methods of Child Development Inventory, Possible problems checklist, Child behavior checklist and Language development survey. The findings of the study have been sensitive to the behavior and emotional functioning of the children that has difficulties in language development. The children who have speech and language delays are then reflected to have distinguishing factors of developmental profiles of the dilemmas that they have encountered in the learning process. Basically, the study reflects how the children learn language in spite of the emotional behaviors they have and the delays on the developmental stage. According to the responses of the mothers, the children experiences problems which affects the language development and are being put at risk that requires a more intense assessment of language and behavior (Tervo, 2007). The methods that are used in the study can distinguish the language specifications and the significance of the behavior problems in the delays of language development.


The three studies correlates through the language development among children. The first and second study relates with each other through the depiction of how the mothers or caregivers affect the language development of the children from 18 to 35 months. It requires intimacy for the first two articles to be able to comprehend with the child development process of learning. The mothers significantly act as the primary influencers of the children on the following experiment conducted. Children in the study showed familiarization on the way the mothers talk and respond to each conversation that they have accordingly. Considering that the Spanish- speaking children are differently learning the language because of the size of the vocabulary compared to the English language is an important aspect of thinking that the children are competent enough to comprehend and be familiar with the words that the mothers convey. Maternal input is the most important factors in the learning process of the children most especially on the early stages of the language development. Thus, this should be given more attention because as the child grows older, new things will be learned and will be adapted from the outside sources not just at home. Identification of the familiar words and/or phrases is mostly conveyed through the initiation of the mothers/caregivers in the article and this is indeed an efficient way of teaching how the child should respond to the following actions.

The third study is quite broader and general terms are covered. This pertains to the language proficiency of the children with the behavioral problems connected to it. This study serves as the balancing perspective of the first two articles as it showed the negative effects of having emotional problems to the language development and comprehension. Delays on learning language have been associated with the behavioral problem of the child which somehow depicts the relationship between the mother and the child. As the first two articles suggests a close and intimate relationship with each other, the third one caters to the stresses that the child encounters on the infant stage of the child where maternal inputs play a significant role.

The third study reveals a good point of understanding the outside influencers of the language development and be able to consider not only the things that the mothers input through the conversations that they have with the child. This is important because the way the child develops language will be coming from different sources and mothers or caregivers are just the basic sources. Knowing the emotional and behavioral factors that affects the growth and development of the language proficiency should also be treated as a major area that needs to be addressed through a systematic approach. Among the three studies, maternal input caters to the main point of language development and proficiency of a child from 18- 35 months. The first months though depicts familiarization of the words or phrase and upon later months, the child then begins to recognize such things.


Hurtado, N. Virginia A. Marchman and Anne Fernald. (2008). “Does input influence uptake? Links between maternal talk, processing speed and vocabulary size in Spanish-learning children”, Developmental Science 11:6, pp F31–F39.

King, K. & Melzi, G. (2004), “Intimacy, Imitation and Language Learning: Spanish Diminutives in Mother-Child Conversation”, First Language; 24; 241.

Tervo, R.C. (2007). “Language Proficiency, Development, and Behavioral Difficulties in Toddlers”, Clin Pediatr (Phila); 46; 530.

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