Humans speak naturally and spontaneously and learn the
language spoken around them. Babies start to say words about 12 months. In the
second year, a child develops vocabulary of about 250 words and makes simple
statements. Children use correct sentence structures by the age of three.
Vocabulary increases to about 2600 words at the age of six.
Babies spontaneously make nonverbal sounds that with brain
maturation and practice gradually form sounds into recognizable words. Speaking
is a spontaneous feature of the brain, and all normal children will speak if
they hear a language spoken; any language will do. Older infants imitate words
they hear spoken and if adults engage them in conversation, will expand their
vocabularies and start to make meaningful statements.
Adults spontaneously speak “baby talk” to infants using
high pitched, somewhat melodic and nonverbal sounds, exaggerated facial
expressions and hand gestures. Babies like the entertainment and babble and coo
in response. This mimetic exchange marks the beginning of human conversation.
Human conversations always retain an infrastructure of nonverbal sound
The coherent, syntactical aspect of language is an overlay
of more precise communication. Words go with gestures Young children point with
a pudgy index finger and say the name their pointer indicates. Pointing and
naming remains an endearing characteristic for the rest of a human life. Babies
follow the path of language evolution. Their progress is from the description of
the immediate and concrete objects to making abstract statements about events.
The first thing you do when you are learning a language is point and name. You
invent nouns. Little tykes can get a lot accomplished with their pointing finger
and a few nouns. Tourists in a foreign country revert to the two year old
strategy of pointing, naming, using pantomime to replace the verbs they do not
Children's play contains a rich mixture of aerobics,
theatre, fantasy, competition, cooperation, conflict, resolutions of conflict
and talk. Play conversations are a mix of real language and nonlinguistic sounds
and gestures. Much of the sound emitting behavior observed in conversations is
old primate behavior. Chimpanzees could trade places with children and feel
quite at home. Children at play, for example, interact with a continuous
sequence of sounds as they run, jump, squat, push, pull, and hit. Some sounds
they emit are single or double word commands. Brief phrases are uttered, usually
shorter that 6 syllables. Shouts, shrieks, laughter and occasional cries or
crying complete the cacophony of play. Like primate relatives, children will
climb trees, swing from branches and make primate sounds.
There is a growing consensus that young females are better
at language skills and males are better at spatial skills. Young females do
better at elementary schools than males, in part because schools are more “girl
friendly” and emphasis focal attention and written language as the main learning
path. Females on average have greater verbal fluency; do better with arithmetic
calculation, precise manual tasks and recalling landmarks. Kimura suggested that
males have an advantage on tests that require spatial rotation of objects,
target-directed motor skills, mathematical reasoning and navigation.
You can list several components involved in reading,
beginning with visual scanning, fixation, encoding 2-dimensional patterns,
orthographic encoding, letter identification, word identification, context
recognition, syntactic encoding, semantic encoding, and phonetic encoding.
Reading out loud adds further motor functions to produce speech and hearing
functions to monitor and correct motor output. Such a diverse array of
functions distributed throughout the brain is easy to disrupt in a thousand
ways. The understanding of reading, writing and speech difficulties is therefore
primitive and preliminary.