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Child and Adult Language Acquisition - Term Paper Example

2 pages
427 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Term paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

How human beings can recognize and understand language, create words and sentences to pass information are called language acquisition. The ability of an individual to use language requires an individual to have different methods such as advanced jargon (Dornyei 2014). Children and adult language acquisition differ in various ways as each process passes through different stages.

Language acquisition in children occurs when they learn their natural language. It involves conceptualizing the essential information from the language of their environment and understanding it for future use (Saxton 2015). It takes place in stages. The first is the babbling stage. A child produces all forms of speech sounds including those not heard in the immediate surrounding and (Traxler 2015). In One word stage, children speak one word which may have a meaning. They then move to a two-word stage where they add pronouns such as me and you. Their structure is composed of a verb and a noun. However, they do not include closed class words. Finally, they produce telegraphic speech which is characterized by English sentences without closed class words.

Adult language acquisition is the process by which people familiarize themselves with other languages apart from those learned from childhood. It involves various stages. In preproduction stage, learners have acquired about five hundred words, but they have not yet learned their second language (Traxler 2015). In the early production stage, learners can speak in short sentences of not more than two words. In the speech emergence, their vocabulary increases to about 3000 words. They speak using simple queries and sentences. In intermediate fluency, students can speak more complex phrases and their vocabulary increases to 6000 words. Finally, the learner moves to advanced fluency. They can talk almost at the same level as the natural speaker does.

Adults' acquisition language differs from children acquisition language in various ways. Children's brains are still growing while adults have cognitive minds (Guasti 2017). Also, adults have the first language which gives them the basis of learning the second language.

To sum it up, language distinguishes us from non-humans. Both children and adults pass through various stages as they learn how to communicate. Each stage enables the person to communicate better way. However, both children and adults take different times in learning the language.


Dornyei, Z. (2014). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Routledge.

Guasti, M. T. (2017). Language acquisition: The growth of grammar. MIT Press.

Richards, J. C. (2015). Error analysis: Perspectives on second language acquisition. Routledge.

Saxton, M. (2017). Child language: Acquisition and development. Sage.

Traxler, M. J. (2015). Language and cognition. The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics, 281.

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