The Importance Of Language Play

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Language Play

Did you ever wonder why young children like to tell stories, repeat what we say, make rhymes, etc? Simply because they are playing with the language that they are trying to learn. It has been proven that children’s play with the language system in terms of both cognitive and social factors all function together to allow the child learn the language systems and make meaning. Language play is an activity children engage in that is inherited in particular social and cultural contexts and which has certain meanings and values for the users (Gillen, 157). Children expand on their language by playing with all elements associated with the language such as: sounds, linguistic systems, rhymes and conventions of speech. Accordingly,
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Psycholinguists believe that children are born with the ability to learn and engage actively with a language, take the initiative to respond, and make meaning. Such practice is known as protoconversations; which is the conversations between infants and caregivers. The way infants make certain movements to express understanding shows that infants have a coherent organized mind that specifies the timing and form of body movement to communicate before they even know the language (Gillen, 158-9). For that reason, the linguist Noam Chomsky, believes that children are born with an inherited ability to learn any language as it is already imprinted on the child’s mind and therefore; Chomsky suggests that every child has a ‘Language Acquisition Device,’ that has the major principles of a language and its grammatical structures into the child’s brain, so children only learn the vocabulary and apply the syntactic structure to form sentences…show more content…
Social anthropology is the study of culture and society seeking an insider perspective on beliefs and practices that children engage in when building a language (Gillen, 157-8). Children tend to try to learn almost everything through their interaction with adults. Children learn most of their early language in chunks from the community surrounding them. And to know that a child had absorbed the language is when we see, that what they are producing is appropriate to the situation, known as communicative competence. Communicative competence is knowing not only the language but what to say, to whom, and in what situation. It is the knowledge and expectation of everything involving the use of language in social settings. It has been observed by many folklorists that children acquire the language by relying on language plays that are associated with their culture and social background. One sort of language play is: storytelling; as it is an important development of coherence in children’s communication. When children tell stories they express their thoughts in different ways to send across their message. Storytelling emphasis on social and cultural shaping of language practices and is an important feature of stability construction on individual and social levels. Another language activity that youngers enjoy, is children’s lore which is playground rhymes and games that are associated with only childhood
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