Language: The Role Of Language In Children

1460 Words6 Pages
Language is a specifically human ability that allows people to communicate information such as thoughts, feelings and ideas. Language can be seen as a set of guidelines in our brain that allows us to speak effectively to each other. Language can be passed from one person to another through our voices, text, visual media and through our bodies. Language enables humans to ask questions, issue orders and make statements (Hayes, 2011). Humans continually create new ways of writing and speaking in order to facilitate to specific purposes (Hayes, 2011). Language is culturally specific and is constantly facilitated and understood by humans in terms of the culture it belongs to. Languages such as English have been spread around the world
…show more content…
One role of language in a child’s life serves as a tool to communicate and illustrate to a caregiver, their material needs. Children will use language to illustrate to their caregiver needs such as hunger, thirst, services and things they want and don’t want. According to Halliday’s theory this language function that is used by children is called “instrumental language”. Bernstien (pp 349) suggests that when a child is using instrumental language, eg phrases such as “I want” or “I don’t want” it can indicate that a “child has developed a meaning potential in which he (they) can request either goods or services.” Bernstein (pp 351) also suggests that when a child asks for food it can either be specific (milk, bread, cake) or general (breakfast, dinner, drink), assistance or amenity. This could suggest that one of the functions of language for a child is to communicate their material needs for goods and services to their caregivers in specific ways to cater to their…show more content…
According to Hallidays theory a child will use “regulatory” function of language in order to control caregivers and to manipulate the persons in the environment (Bernstein pp 350) . If a child tells another person to “go away” the child is using regulatory language. Bernstein (pp 350) suggests that a child will use a “regulatory function of language” and that “this is a use of language to control the behaviour of others”. Therefor a role of language in a child’s life could be to use it in a way to control others. The regulatory function can also serve as a means of performance from the demanded person. According to Bernstein regulatory function can also call for a “specific action on his or her part” (pp 350) referring to the person the child is interacting with. This can range from singing a song or drawing a picture. This suggests that a child can use lanauge in a way to elicit learning experiences from the
Open Document