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A2 Language Acquisition: Revision questions

Speaking acquisition

1. Complete the following table about the stages of language acquisition:

Stage Approx age Typical linguistic feature

Cooing and 0 – 12 Proto-words; repeated consonant and
babbling vowel sounds
Holophrastic / 1-



2. What does LAD stand for and who came up with the idea?

3. Define the difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.

4. Circle the morphemes in the following words:

running eats smaller wugs southward

5. List 5 linguistic features of child-directed speech


6. What is one argument for the validity of the innateness theory?

7. Circle whether these statements are true or false:

a. Children are enthusiastic about learning to speak and their language reflects this.
b. If a child has not entered the telegraphic stage by 38 months they are in trouble.
c. Phonological development depends upon learning complex articulatory movements.
d. Children learn language at roughly the same pace regardless of their native language.
e. Children in the two-word stage have knowledge of grammar and syntax.

8. Why are children’s first words usually nouns? What types of words usually come

9. List the four main theories of language acquisition, their associated theorists and a
brief summary.

Theory Theorist(s) Brief summary


10. Look at this short transcript:

Child: this is my fis

Adult: a fis?
Child: no a fis
Adult: a fish?
Child: yes a fis

What is happening here, in terms of the child’s language development?

11. What is the ‘wug test’ trying to show about language acquisition?

12. Why might a child in the telegraphic stage say /taka/ when wanting to say tractor?

13. ‘Daddy kick’ and ‘kick ball’ are typical utterances from what stage? What kind of
grammatical constructions are they?

14. Which sounds are likely to be learnt first? Which are likely to be learnt later?

Reading acquisition

1. List 5 ways in which the pages from this child’s book are designed to help children
learn how to read:

Once there was a baby, just like you. She woke and stretched
and hugged her Teddy Bear.

2. Match each of these statements to either synthetic phonics or analytic phonics:

a. The UK government supports it being taught in schools

b. Is a system of reading where each grapheme is worked out individually
c. A system of reading that encourages guessing
d. Requires a lot of intensive teaching
e. The process is fast
f. Emphasis on the first letter works well for short words but not for long words

3. Complete the following table about reading cues:

Reading cue Description and example

Visual When using a visual cue, a child will look at an image in a book to help them
read / remember a word. For example, they see a picture of a tiger and this
helps to trigger the word recall.

4. Speech is innate but reading is _________.


Writing acquisition

1. What kinds of spelling errors are apparent here?

glas (glass) ____________________

baot (boat) ____________________

rong (wrong) ____________________

rediculuos (ridiculous) ____________________

2. List 5 things that children may find difficult when learning how to write:

3. Put these stages of writing development in order:

words child’s own name and strings of letters sentences
copied letters text letter-like forms

4. What is meant by the term emergent writing?

5. Look at this (typed up) example of children’s writing, written by a child of 7 years:

It’s a misrbel rainy day The wind is tossing the Trees and levaes about I like to see the
streekes of rain drops. Runing and racing down the window pane. i am warm and cosy in My
house But all the trees are Not.

List 5 things the child knows about writing List 5 things the child is
struggling with

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