Language Development During Infancy

Table of Content


            When a child is born, various developments begin to take place that continue through adolescence and all the way to adulthood.  While a child develops in all areas, cognitive development takes place alongside other forms of development. It refers to development in terms of perception and reasoning, language development, information processing, intelligence and other areas of brain development.  Since all these areas of cognitive development have been extensively studied by different psychologists, this paper shall narrow down to language development. In addition, it shall explain the issue of language development at different stages during infancy and the factors that can facilitate and hinder the whole process.

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 Language Development During Infancy

            During the process of brain development in children, the ability to comprehend, communicate and produce spoken language develops. This process takes place as infants use their sight and hearing senses to acquire information from the surrounding and learn to process meaning of that information. They use their own senses to imitate the sounds from their environment and end up creating their own sounds so as to communicate. Language development is a normal process in children and takes place effectively if the brain is normal and the senses are functioning properly (Oswalt, 2007).

            Since language development is greatly influenced by the environment, it is very important to have babies exposed to people who are communicating to help them develop language efficiently and effectively. Due to this, care takers and the parents are advised to communicate and interact with children regularly. At this point, it is important to discuss language milestones during infancy.

            At birth, infants usually communicate through crying. However, it is important to note that even at this particular stage, they also learn about spoken language. Since their vision is not usually developed to enable them see far, they copy the mouth movement of their caretakers and by the second and the third month, they learn to make exaggerated vowels especially when they are emotional. This is facilitated by the development in their lynx. At the third month, infants begin making some consonants sounds and by the fourth month, they begin putting the vowel and the consonant sounds together.  It is at this stage that they become very fond of blowing bubbles so as to practice controlling their mouth and their lips as their brain continue to learn how to interpret communication. At the five month they begin using the non verbal communication as well as learning the sound patterns in their environment. Babbling begins at the sixth month which allows them to learn how to imitate a whole sentence as well as forming verbal thoughts (Oswalt 2007).

 Major developments take place during the last half of their first year, as more accomplishments are noticed during this stage. By the seventh month, they learn how to speak with other people, other than speaking at the same time and they can even initiate a conversation. In the eighth month, they learn how to connect the sounds with idea and thoughts and they also continue to add new consonants and new vowels. Babies then begin to say their first words, and by the end of that year they may have about three words in their vocabulary. However, they may only be in a position to speak a few words although they may comprehend more words.

            According to the studies of Oswalt (2007), it is during the first half of the second year that toddlers begin to use more words but they can use one word to refer to different objects. They learn the names of people who are important to them and the names of their play objects. In addition, they use word with emotion emphasis to put up a question or a request. At the second half of their second year, they begin using telegraphic speech as they can put two words together to form a simple phrase. Although their sentences are usually very basic, they can name their body parts and talk about them. The more they grow, the more their words increase although they may not be in apposition to pronounce all the words perfectly. Various researches show that at infancy stage, children usually have the ability of learning multiple languages.

Importance of Language Development

            There are many achievements that occur during the early childhood but language development is the only one which is the most visible. Since language has very many and different functions, language development is very essential and significant.  Through language development, a child gains social understanding since she can understand what is happening in the surrounding.  In addition, the child can learn how to interact with the immediate family members and other people in the society which in turn helps in development of other social skills. The same helps the children learn about the world and the environment.

            After acquiring a language, children are usually in a better position to share their experiences with their peers and their parents and the same promotes learning. In addition, they can be in a position to communicate precisely about their needs. During the early infancy, children only cry as a way of communication and they are often misunderstood.  With acquisition of a language, such instances are greatly reduced or even eliminated.

            Language skills are very important during the schooling years since they help greatly in learning how to read and write. Research has indicated that language skills are very important in reading since children with good language skills are also very effective in reading and writing.  This clearly illustrates that language development forms a foundation for future education achievements. In addition, a problem in self expression and understanding others can be eliminated as it leads to other emotional adjustment and psychosocial problems (Mandleco, B.H. 2004).

Comparison Between a Media and a Scholarly Resource

            The information about language development is available both in media and scholarly articles. Both may address the same issue, but a scholarly article is usually written by professionals after conducting research to verify the information but a media article may contain information that is not verified and can be written with any interested person even if the person is not a professional in that particular area.

            For a long time, there have been issues indicating that language development during infancy is affected by various factors like the watching of the television.  Many people have in turn written about the same. For the purpose of this research, a media article by Park (2009) and a scholarly article by Zimmerman, Christakis, & Meltzoff (2007) shall be reviewed. Both articles address the issue of language development and specifically how television watching affects children below the age of two years. The two articles contain the same information since they state that TV watching during this period of child development slows down the rate of language development. Both clearly illustrate that television watching by children below the age of two years is destructive and should not be recommended at all.

            The articles clearly illustrate that television watching reduces the time for interaction between the child and the parents or the caregivers, and since the interaction facilitates language development, children who watch television are bound to experience some problems in the acquisition of language. Majority of the children who watch television at this age also have their parents affected by the same such that communication between the infant and parent becomes very limited. The same studies argue that although children learn from what they hear, television is a passive mode of communication and does not provide the same effect as parent-child communication. Moreover, when the television is on, children spend more time in silence and solitude than they do in social interaction. Both conclude that even the DVDs that are designed to help children in cognitive development have the same effect since they reduce verbal communication (Park 2009, & Zimmerman, Christakis & Meltzoff, 2007).

            Nevertheless, anyone researching using the two articles is bound to notice some outstanding differences. Information may be the same and accurate but one would be tempted to rely more with information from a scholarly article. This is due to the fact that such information is more comprehensive, apart from being compiled by professionals.  The scholarly article reports empirical research findings from a research that was conducted to research the issue of the effect of television watching by children below the age of two years. The methodology, results and analysis are clearly illustrated and explained before making any conclusions. On the other hand, the media article reports about the research findings of other people since the author has not conducted any research on the same.

            Information from the scholarly material is more specific, hence why it can be more reliable. Although the bracket age is 0-2 years, the study only addresses children between eight to sixteen months. Specific issues that relate to the watching of the television are reviewed extensively.   The issue is also discussed from different perspectives for instance it is mentioned that poor language development can also lead to increased watching of the television. The fact is the scholarly article deals with the issue comprehensively and extensively.  On the contrary, the media article seems only to summarize findings from different sources.  As the author is short of information, it is not possible to provide comprehensive information and to discuss different issues. However, both articles are useful but for education purposes it would be advisable to rely on information from scholarly articles.


            The information about language development is very important and is significance to each and every person. It can be applied by someone as a member of the society, as a professional and also as a parent.  As a professional one can use the information to provide professional guidance the caretakers and the parents on issues concerning language development in children.  Information can be provided on the importance of interaction between the child and the caretakers on enhancing language development. It would also be important to provide the caretakers with information concerning language development at various stages during infancy period. Moreover, one can use the information to diagnose language impairment during practice.

            As a parent, the information is equally important.   I will be in a position to engage my children in effective communication to foster their language development.  Sometimes parents fail in parenting due to lack of enough knowledge on issues concerning development in young children.  I will also be in a position to monitor the rate of development as it is vey important, since one can identify a problem and seek help immediately.   Moreover, with the knowledge of the importance of language development during infancy in other areas like reading and writing, I will use all the measures to ensure that language development in my children takes place effectively.

            Finally, as a responsible member of the society, I can use the information to ensure that all children in the society develop effectively. This can be achieved by arranging seminars and workshops with an aim of equipping parents and care takers on the knowledge of language development in children. Moreover, since various research findings have revealed that watching television for children below two years is destructive, I can put up campaigns that will discourage the caretakers and the parents from exposing their infants to television before the age of two years.  Given that there are social policies that protect children, the issue of children DVDs should be addressed therein so as limit or eliminate them from the market.  Advertisement about the same should be eliminated from the media to reduce the influence that makes ignorant parents purchase them and eventually use them while raising their children (Park 2009, & Zimmerman, Christakis, & Meltzoff, 2007).


            Language development as highlighted earlier in this research is very significant since it is a visible achievement. It starts right from birth and continues systematically as other forms of development.  It becomes more sophisticated as the child progresses in age.  In each stage, a child learns something new until finally the language is effectively acquired. Although a child at this stage usually has the ability to acquire many languages, she learns first the language of the parents or the caretakers. There are barriers to effective language development like above discussed issue of television watching. All factors that limit verbal communication between the infant and caretakers affect the issue of language development. Since language is vey important in the life of a human being,  measures ought to be taken to ensure language development more so in infant stage takes place effectively.


Mandleco, B.H. (2004). Growth and development handbook: newborn through adolescence. Stamford, Cengage Learning.

Oswalt, A., (2007). Cognitive Development: Language Development. Retrieved on 13th May2010      from:

Park, A., (2009). TV May Inhibit Babies’ Language Development. Retrieved on 13th May 2010 from:,8599,1902209,00.html

Zimmerman, F. J., Christakis, A.D. & Meltzoff, N. A., (2007). Associations between Media Viewing and Language Development in Children under Age 2 Years. Retrieved on 13th May 2010 from:


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